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A submerged Stone Age hunting architecture from the Western Baltic Sea

Geersen, Jacob and Bradtmöller, Marcel and Schneider von Deimling, Jens and Feldens, Peter and Auer, Jens and Held, Philipp and Lohberg, Arne and Supka, Ruth and Hoffmann, Jasper and Eriksen, Berit Valentin and Rabbel, Wolfgang and Karlsen, Hans-Jörg and Krastel, Sebastian and Brandt, David and Heuskin, David and Lübke, Harald (2023) A submerged Stone Age hunting architecture from the Western Baltic Sea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2312008121. ISSN 0027-8424.

[img] PDF - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)


The Baltic Sea basins, some of which only submerged in the mid-Holocene, preserve Stone Age structures that did not survive on land. Yet, the discovery of these features is challenging and requires cross-disciplinary approaches between archeology and marine geosciences. Here we combine shipborne and AUV hydroacoustic data with up to a centimeter range resolution, sedimentological samples, and optical images to explore a Stone Age mega-structure located in 21 m water depth in the Bay of Mecklenburg, Germany. The structure is made of 1,673 individual stones which are usually less than 1 m in height, placed side by side over a distance of 971 m in a way that argues against a natural origin by glacial transport or ice push ridges. Running adjacent to the sunken shoreline of a paleo-lake (or bog), whose youngest phase was dated to 9143±36 ka BP, the stonewall was likely used for hunting the Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) during the Younger Dryas or early Pre-Boreal. It was built by Hunter-gatherer groups that roamed the region after the retreat of the Weichselian Ice Sheet. Comparable Stone Age mega-structures have become known worldwide in recent times, but are almost unknown in Europe. Representing one of the oldest documented hunting structures on Earth, and potentially the largest known Stone Age structure in Europe, the site will become important for understanding subsistence strategies, mobility patterns, and inspire discussions concerning the territorial development in the Western Baltic Sea region.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/200850/
Document Type:Article
Title:A submerged Stone Age hunting architecture from the Western Baltic Sea
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Geersen, JacobLeibniz-Institut fur Ostseeforschung WarnemundeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bradtmöller, MarcelRostock University, Heinrich Schliemann-Institute of Ancient StudiesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schneider von Deimling, JensChristian-Albrechts-Universitat zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Feldens, PeterLeibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research WarnemündeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Auer, JensLandesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-VorpommernUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Held, PhilippChristian-Albrechts-Universitat zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lohberg, ArneChristian Albrechts Universitat zu Kiel Sektion GeowissenschaftenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Supka, RuthChristian-Albrechts-Universitat zu KieUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hoffmann, JasperAlfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Eriksen, Berit ValentinCentre for Baltic and Scandinavian ArchaeologyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rabbel, WolfgangChristian-Albrechts-Universitat zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Karlsen, Hans-JörgRostock University, Heinrich Schliemann-Institute of Ancient StudiesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Krastel, SebastianChristian-Albrechts-Universitat zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brandt, DavidDeutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und RaumfahrtUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lübke, HaraldCentre for Baltic and Scandinavian ArchaeologyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 November 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Keywords:stone age, hunter-gatherer, submarine geomorphology, Baltic Sea, marine geophysics
HGF - Research field:other
HGF - Program:other
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:no assignment
DLR - Program:no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):no assignment
Location: Bremerhaven
Institutes and Institutions:Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures > Maritime Security Technologies
Deposited By: Heuskin, David
Deposited On:26 Jan 2024 13:14
Last Modified:08 Apr 2024 14:30

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