Hjarnø Sund: An Eroding Mesolithic Site and the Tale of two Paddles

  • Claus SkriverEmail author
  • Per Borup
  • Peter Moe Astrup
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 20)


Hjarnø Sund is one of 37 submerged archaeological sites that have been recorded in the 15-km-long Horsens Fjord. It is now located in a water depth of 0.5–2 m. Until recently, the gyttja deposits containing the archaeological material were covered with a protective layer of sand. Recent erosion by water currents has exposed the archaeological material and prompted detailed investigation before further damage occurs. Methods of investigation include underwater excavation and sediment coring, which have revealed a rich collection of material ranging in age from the late Kongemosen to the Middle Ertebølle. The deposits include two shell-midden layers dominated by oysters and cockles, which contain concentrations of flint artefacts and bones of fish and mammals, and layers of gyttja, from which artefacts of bone, antler and wood have been recovered. Of particular interest are decorated antler axes, one of which was found hafted on a wooden handle, and two wooden paddles decorated with distinctive painted designs. An extensive cultural deposit is still protected by overlying sediments, and would repay further excavation, especially given the threat of destruction by erosion.


Shell Middens Decorated Antler Wooden Artefacts Ertebølle Kongemosen 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Moesgaard MuseumHøjbjergDenmark
  2. 2.Horsens MuseumHorsensDenmark

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