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Sarcophagus lid of Padihorhepui

The man's body is adorned with a broad collar and a pectoral comprising seated figures of the divine triad Osiris, Isis and Horus. The four Sons of Horus and other funerary deities flank the central text, which contains their names and magic formulae to enable the deceased's transition into the afterlife.

Ptolemaic Period, about 200 BC

Provenance unknown

Limestone EA790

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015




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Screen slab of King Psamtek I

On this side Psamtek kneels making offerings to fearsome-looking deities, including a double-headed bull god and a snake. The majority hold long knives, as they were meant to guard a sacred space located behind this wall.

Most Egyptian depictions of people are highly idealised, but here the king's unflattering features suggest a rare attempt at true portraiture. This deviation from the norm is repeated on a similar slab made three centuries later and displayed at the other end of this gallery. Both slabs were part of one structure in the temple of Atum at Heliopolis.

The bottom design is a 'palace facade'. The frieze of cobras at the top represents Wadjyt, heraldic goddess of Lower Egypt. The reverse had a frieze of vultures: Nekhbet of Upper Egypt. That side also showed Psamtek offering, but there his figure, now effaced, was more prostrate.

26th Dynasty, reign of Psamtek, 664 BC - 610 BC. Found in Alexandria, originally from Heliopolis, temple of Atum. Greywacke. EA 20; gift of King George III, 1766.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015




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Pendant Plus extra text from the window. 3158

Anhänger, mammoth ivory, Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




Vom Kern zum Stichel Klingenkerne sind der Rest elnes grosseren Kerns, von dem in immer den gleichen Arbeitsschrmen Klingen abgeschlagen wurden. Hierzu dienten Hämmer aus Stein oder Geweih. Wahrend Geweih viel Energie auffängt und damit zu weicheren Schlägen führt, nahm man Stein, um einen harten präzisen Schlag durchzuführen. From core to burin The blade core is the remainder of a larger piece of flint, from which blades have been removed of almost identical size and shape. Hammers of stone or antler were used for this purpose. While antlers absorb a lot of energy and lead to softer strokes, it took stone to perform a hard precise blow.

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Hunting spearpoints made of reindeer antler.

To produce a spearpoint, two parallel grooves were first cut longitudinally into an antler, in order subsequently to pry out the thus preformed rod.

The pierced baton was then used to bend it straight, after treatment by soaking in hot water, drying for a day or two after binding the piece to a straight piece of wood, to maintain the straightness, and the tip was then filed to a point.

(left) Reindeer antler, used for rod production, circa 14 000 - 12 000 BP. Bad Schussenried, Kreis Biberach, Magdalenian. On loan from Staatlichen Museums für Naturkunde Stuttgart

(right) Production waste from making rods from reindeer antler and a burin, (shown in position in the groove), radiolarite, as well as a carved out, and in some respects further processed, rod of reindeer antler.

Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Magdalenian, circa 14 000 - 12 000 BP.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




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Pierced baton, reindeer antler.

Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Magdalenian, circa 14 000 - 12 000 BP.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




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Small handaxe, circa 70 000 BP - 50 000 BP.

Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert.

Heidenschmiede, Heidenheim, Kreis Heidenheim.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




Along the southwestern bulwark of the castle in Heidenheim, the rock face 35 metres above the valley floor forms a small overhang just large enough to create an 8 square metre abri, or rock shelter. Together with the open space in front of it, the cave has a usable area of some 30 square metres.

In spite of its small size, this so-called Heidenschmiede, or heathen's forge, rock shelter was a place our ancestors went to time and again. This may have been because of the splendid view across the wide, open valley of the Brenz River, which provided an excellent hunting ground.

Heidenheim is about 100 km to the east of Stuttgart.

Text above: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

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Legacies of the Neanderthals

These handaxes and flake tools are made to a large extent from chert coming from deposits in the area near Stuttgart.

Various stone tools from Heidenschmiede, Heidenheim, district Heidenheim, circa 120 000 BP - 50 000 BP.

(left) Point, radiolarite

(centre) Hand axe, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert.

(right) Faustkeilblatt, flat or leaf hand axe, chert.

Circa 120 000 BP - 50 000 BP

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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Two leaf points and a blade, circa 70 000 BP - 50 000 BP.

Artefacts struck from Witzlinge chert, Bad Urach, Witzlingen, Kreis Reutlingen, about 30 km south east of Stuttgart.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart
On loan from the Archäologischen Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg




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(top left) Scraper, Muschelkalkhornstein, Middle Triassic chert

(top right) Scraper, red radiolarian chert

(left) Scraper, green radiolarian chert

Circa 70 000 BP - 50 000 BP


Various types of scraper, from Bad Urach, Wittlingen, Kreis Reutlingen

From previous observations at other locations, and from the study of original flint deposits nearby, there is evidence that completed tools were carried to the site, which were then used here in Wittlingen until they became useless. The original deposits of the material used for these artefacts lie 50 to 100 km from Wittlingen.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart
On loan from the Archäologischen Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg




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Neanderthals were master stone knappers. They possessed a sense of aesthetics and an intuition for the right material, as may be seen from their handaxes.

In Heidenschmiede there were numerous stone tools made from fresh water quartzite. This is a material very similar to flint, and outcrops only a few kilometres from the site.

Handaxe, freshwater quartzite, Heidenschmiede, Heidenheim, district Heidenheim.

Circa 70 000 BP - 50 000 BP

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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60 000 years of ibex hunting: the Grosse Grotte

On a hill east of Blaubeuren, a small Swabian town near Ulm, the Hohengerhausen castle ruin stands atop a stone massif known as the Grosse Grotte, a cave whose entrance is visible from afar. In the beginning, the grotto was nothing more than a refuge for cave bears. At the time, the entrance must have been narrow and low. Then part of the rockface facing the valley collapsed and formed a gate-like entrance, so that Neanderthals then came to the grotto more frequently.

It provided an excellent lookout over the surrounding hunting area, which was home to ibexes - an unusual species of game in this region. Bones found in all levels of the grotto show that this rare prey was often hunted in these parts.

( note that Neanderthals did not use separate heads on their relatively short, heavy spears. They simply sharpened one end of the wooden spear, perhaps fire hardening it, as far as we can tell - Don )

Treasures from the rubble

Two and a half metres deep deposits in the Grosse Grotte near Blaubeuren testify to intensive use at multiple times by the Neanderthals. It began 110 000 years ago and lasted for over 60 000 years.

The material found comprises around 2 000 artefacts and waste pieces from eleven overlying horizons. Layer 11 bears witness to the oldest habitation, layer 2 of the most recent.

Photo: unknown artist and artisans
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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Spear point, Reindeer antler.

Grosse Grotte, Blaubeuren-Gerhausen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, circa 50 000 BP

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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Flint tools from the Grosse Grotte, Blaubeuren-Gerhausen, Alb-Donau-Kreis

(row 1) layer 2
Point/rounded scraper, scraper and handaxe

(row 2) layers 5 and 6
Two scrapers, Grattoir à museau, or nosed/muzzle shaped scraper, and point.

(row 3) Layer 9
Handaxe, two leaf-shaped scrapers and a double point

(row 4) layer 11
Three Levallois flakes

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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The Geißenklösterle - the beginnings of art and music

The cave contained the complete sequence of Palaeolithic layers. In addition, the discoveries of the early artefacts and musical instruments are of great importance.

Amongst the many leftovers from the time of the Aurignacian, 35 000 to 40 000 years ago, there are also large quantities of bone charcoal, which bear witness to several fire-places.

(left) Blank with cutting lines, mammoth ivory

(right) Projectile point, mammoth ivory

From the Aurignacian, 40 000 - 35 000 BP from Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Aib-Donau-Kreis.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




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Two toggle buttons, mammoth ivory.

From the Aurignacian, 40 000 - 35 000 BP from Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Aib-Donau-Kreis.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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(left) Two half-batons (unfinished roughouts), mammoth ivory, and two toggle buttons, mammoth ivory

(right) Retoucher with hole, reindeer antler

From the Aurignacian, 40 000 - 35 000 BP from Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Aib-Donau-Kreis.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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(left) Blade core, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert

(centre) Two scrapers, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert

(right) Burin, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert

( Note that the burin on the right appears to be of the Noailles type, which is usually attributed to the Gravettian, not the earlier Aurignacian - Don )

From the Aurignacian, 40 000 - 35 000 BP from Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Aib-Donau-Kreis.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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(left and centre) Two burins, one with production waste, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert

( as noted above, the burin on the left is of the Gravettian Noailles type - Don )

(right) Scraper on a wide flake, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert

From the Aurignacian, 40 000 - 35 000 BP from Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Aib-Donau-Kreis.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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(left to right)
Projectile point with split base, reindeer antler, Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Alb-Donau-Kreis. Aurignacian, circa 40 000 BP - 35 000 BP

Projectile point with wide base, bone, Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen, Kreis Heidenheim, Aurignacian, circa 40 000 BP - 35 000 BP

Projectile point, ivory, Geissenklösterle, Blaubeuren-Weiler, Alb-Donau-Kreis. Aurignacian, circa 40 000 BP - 35 000 BP

Projectile point, reindeer antler, Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Aurignacian, circa 24 000 BP

Two projectile points, with beveled bases on both sides, Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Magdalenian, circa 16 000 BP - 12 000 BP


Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




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The Brillenhöhle 28 000 BP

The Gravettian (29 000 - 21 000 BP) layers in particular of this site provide an extremely vivid picture of the various activities of hunters and collectors in their winter camp.

Flint and the remains of a pattern of stones point to the intensive use of the cave. Narrow small points from flint were inserted into lance tips. Probably at that time the spear thrower was invented.

1 Lissoir, hide polisher, horse rib
3 Three beads, mammal bone
4 Straightened rod, reindeer antler
5 Projectile point, reindeer antler
7 Three projectile points, radiolarite and Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert
8 Two drills, radiolarite and Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert
9 Two scrapers, radiolarite and Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert
10 Burin, quartzite

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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During the Gravettian period, the rather inhospitable climate of the Swabian Jura seems to have allowed no more than sporadic settlement. In these dry and cold times, the region was dominated by steppe and tundra landscapes covered with little more than grasses and herbs. Only a few robust tree species like pines, birches and willows managed to grow in well-protected spots.

In the cold and dry conditions, the sparsely wooded steppe with roaming herds of mammoths gradually became a tree-less tundra grazed by wild horses and reindeer. And as Alpine glaciers advanced further and further south in these climatic conditions, the Blaubeuren region, (the Blautal and Schmiechtal) ultimately became uninhabitable for millennia. The Gravettian period, which began 29,000 years ago and continued for some 8 000 years, was named after the French site of La Gravette (Dordogne). The first sewing needles were invented during the long nights spent in winter quarters


The finds from caves and hunting camps 12 000 to 14 000 years ago prove the outstanding importance of reindeer hunting. They also provide insights into daily life. It is now known that the sewing needle with an eye was invented almost 20 000 years ago and harpoons were used for the first time around 15 000 years ago. In addition, red-spotted stones with abstract patterns appeared, which are regarded as specific ciphers or codes for the spiritual world.

(top row, left) Limestone with daubs of red ochre, Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Weiler
(top row, right) Harpoon fragment, reindeer antler, Vogelherdhöhle, Stetten ob Lontal (30 km northeast of Ulm)
(second row left) Two scrapers and a drill, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert, Felsställe (second row right) Two burins, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert, Felsställe
(left) Three backed bladelets, Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert, Felsställe

Felsställe is in the Kirchener Tal near Ehingen-Mühlen, 30 km southwest of Ulm.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart





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Harpoon and bow

Towards the end of the Palaeolithic period, harpoons were mainly made of long rods cut from deer antler. In addition, the range of hunting methods was supplemented by bows and arrows, which were ideal for the hunting of stag in the now denser forests. Slender arrow tips are the first indications that point to the invention of this new hunting method.

( Hunting stag in forests is easy in the rut, when the stags are roaring and announce their presence to the hunter, who can then use the forest as cover to get very close to the stag for the killing shot. A long dart with a spear thrower is cumbersome and difficult to use in such an environment - Don )

Harpoon head. Deer antler, Bad Buchau, Kappel, Kreis Biberach. Magdalenian, circa 12 000 BP.

Two arrow heads. Jurahornstein, Jurassic chert Bad Buchau. Henauhof, district of Biberach, Magdalenian, circa 12 000 BP.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart
On loan from the Archäologischen Landesmuseums Baden-Württemberg




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Modern reproduction of a harpoon with shaft.

The harpoon head and bindings are usually designed, as here, so that the head comes away from the shaft on impact, so that the shaft comes free and is not damaged, and the fish or other prey can be hauled in by the hunter with the cord or leather thong attached to the harpoon head.

If the harpoon head itself is damaged, it is a simple matter to replace it in the field.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart




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Barbed death

Although Neanderthals had already produced pointed spears, sharpening and fire hardening one end, attached points made of ivory, antler and bone only become a standard technique with anatomically modern humans.

Harpoons, however, were only invented about 15 000 years ago. The head (usually antler or bone) is provided with barbs and detaches from the shaft as soon as it penetrates the animal's body. The detachment of the head reduces the likelihood of the shaft breaking, and the harpoon head remains connected to either the hunter or the shaft of the spear by a cord or strap. In addition, replacement of a damaged harpoon head with a spare is easy in the field.

Five harpoons, reindeer antler, partly decorated with notches, Brillenhöhle, Blaubeuren-Seissen, Alb-Donau-Kreis, Magdalenian, circa 16 000 BP - 12 000 BP

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2015
Source and text: Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart










 

References

  1. Allain J., Descout J., 1957: A propos d'une baguette à rainure armée de silex découverte dans le Magdalénien de Saint-Marcel, L'Anthropologie, 61, 5-6, p. 503-512.





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