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Title: Analysis of Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic faunal assemblages in the northern Rhineland, Germany
Author: Street, Martin John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 8546
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis presents an analysis of faunal assemblages from late glacial and early postglacial sites in the northern Rhineland, Germany, and examines changes in environmental conditions and material culture between 13,000 - 9,000 BP. After a summary of research history into the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of the region, the geographical, stratigraphical and absolute chronological framework is examined, and the archaeological terminology is described in its northern European context. Methods used by the study are discussed. these include quantification, spatial patterning and detailed study of the evidence for butchering methods. The main part of the thesis is provided by the study of three faunal assemblages from the sites Andernach-Martinsberg (Central Rhineland) and Bedburg-Königshoven (Lower Rhineland). Two distinct faunal complexes from the former site date to the earlier and later parts of the late glacial interstadial ("Bolling" and "Alleröd"), the Bedburg fauna dates to the Preboreal. The eruption of the Laacher see volcano (11,000 BP) has conserved late glacial sites in the Central Rhineland below deep pumice layers, giving generally excellent preservation of faunal remains. At the site Andernach-Martinsberg, two distinct faunal complexes are associated with lithic assemblages of the Magdalenian (13,000 BP) and Federmessergruppen (12,000 BP) traditions. The criteria for distinguishing the two faunal elements are first discussed. The Magdalenian fauna is characterized by species typical of arctic-continental conditions; horse, reindeer and arctic fox are the commonest species. The Final Palaeolithic (Alleröd) fauna is composed of species associated with temperate, forested conditionsred deer, elk, aurochs. The discovery of the site Bedburg-Königshoven revealed the existence of a new category of valley-bottom site previously unknown in the region. Pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating assign the archaeological level to the Preboreal. The lithic assemblage is typical for the northern European early mesolithic tradition; the fauna is dominated by the aurochs, associated with other species characterizing temperate, forested conditions. The final part of the study looks at two small late glacial faunal assemblages from the Central Rhineland. The sites Miesenheim 2 and Miesenheim 4 illustrate how human and non-human activity can be studied in detail under the excellent conditions of preservation due to the Laacher see pumice, and illustrate the potential for investigation of human subsistence activity and environmental background away from the larger sites examined by the previous part of the study. For my parents, who never objected to my becoming an archaeologist
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available