Fished up from the Baltic Sea: A New Ertebølle Site near Stohl Cliff, Kiel Bay, Germany
In the coastal waters of Kiel Bay near the village of Strande (district of Rendsburg-Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein) divers unexpectedly came across trunks of fallen oak trees at 6 m depth, which led to the discovery of a new submerged late Mesolithic site. During a preliminary excavation in 2012, research divers uncovered a well-preserved coastal site, consisting of several organic sediment and silt layers with a large number of stone artefacts and organic finds. Wooden objects, plant remains, bones of several marine and freshwater fish, marine and terrestrial mammals, water birds and fragmented human bones were found. Tree ring dating, radiocarbon dates of leister prongs and human bones, and the artefact inventory pinpoint the site to the pre-pottery Ertebølle phase (5450–4750 cal BC). Sites of this time period are of particular interest as they are still rare in the south-western Baltic Sea area, where only very few sites have been examined in detail. To evaluate the extent of the organic sediment and silt layers and their potential for preserving more finds, a survey project was executed in summer 2014 over a wider area around the excavation trenches. This established a high potential for the recovery of additional finds and structures in the surrounding area, and further investigations at Strande are planned.
KeywordsBaltic Sea Schleswig-Holstein Submerged Settlement Terminal Mesolithic Underwater Archaeology Ertebølle Culture
The prospection of 2014 was funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), the excavation of 2012 was enabled by funding and help from the following: the State Archaeological Department of Schleswig-Holstein; the Archaeological Society Schleswig-Holstein e. V.; the State Archaeological Museum of Schleswig-Holstein; the Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology at Kiel University; the Centre for Scientific Diving, Kiel University; and the Sailing Centre, Kiel University. We thank all these institutions and the following individuals and organisations: Rolf and Gerald Lorenz, Matthias Wehkamp, Jonas Enzmann, Feiko Wilkes, Jana Ulrich, Karl Bruhns, Jörn Sievert, Florian Huber, Christian Howe, Philipp Schubert and Robert Lehmann of Submaris, Petra Amelow, Torsten Janßen, Henry Skorna, AMLA (Study group for maritime and limnic archaeology), all students and collegues involved in the 2012 excavation, Senckenberg am Meer Wilhelmshaven, the Workgroup of Prof. M. Wahl at Geomar Kiel, the Centre for Scientific Diving, University of Oldenburg, and the Stickenhörn and Schilksee Marinas. We also thank Geoff Bailey and Jonathan Benjamin for help in revising the text.
- Andrén T, Björck S, Andrén E, Conley D, Zillén L, Anjar J (2011) The development of the Baltic Sea basin ruring the last 130 ka. In: Harff J, Björck S, Hoth P (eds) The Baltic Sea basin. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
- Glykou A, Goldhammer J, Hartz S (2014) Versunkene Steinzeit – taucharchäologische Untersuchungen an der Schleswig-holsteinischen Ostseeküste. In: Huber F, Kleingärtner S (eds) Gestrandet, Versenkt, Versunken – Faszination Unterwasserarchäologie. Wachholtz, NeumünsterGoogle Scholar
- Goldhammer J, Hartz S (2013) Versunkene Steinzeit – endmesolithische Funde vor der Steilküste Stohl. Jb Eckernförde 71:151–162Google Scholar
- Hartz S, Lübke H (2005) Zur chronostratigraphischen Gliederung der Ertebølle-Kultur und frühesten Trichterbecherkultur in der südlichen Mecklenburger Bucht. Bodendenkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Jb 2004 52:119–143Google Scholar
- Hartz S, Lübke H (2006) New evidence for a chronostratigraphic division of the Ertebølle culture and the earliest funnel beaker culture on the southern Mecklenburg Bay. In: Kind C-J (ed) After the ice age – settlements, subsistence and social development in the mesolithic of Central Europe. Proceedings of the International Conference 9th to 12th of September 2003, Rottenburg/Neckar, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Theiss, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
- Hartz S, Jöns H, Lübke H, Schmölcke U, Carnap-Bornheim CV, Heinrich D, Klooß S, Lüth F, Wolters S (2014) Prehistoric settlements in the south-western Baltic Sea area and development of the regional stone age economy. Ber RGK 92(2011):77–210Google Scholar
- Madsen AP, Müller S, Neergaard C, Petersen CGJ, Rostrup EV, Steenstrup KJ, Winge H (1900) Affaldsdynger fra Stenalderen i Danmark. Untersøgte for Nationalmuseet, ParisGoogle Scholar
- Rößler D, Lemke W, Moros M (2009) Reconstruction of the Littorina transgression in the Western Baltic Sea. In: Harff J, Lüth F (eds) SINCOS I – sinking coasts. Geosphere, ecosphere and anthroposphere of the Holocene Southern Baltic Sea. Bericht der RGKGoogle Scholar