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18 May 2015
A Late Glacial family at Trollesgave, Denmark

On a sandy plateau near a lake in Denmark, Trollesgave preserves evidence of human occupation identified with the Bromme Culture - a Late Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer society that extended across present-day Denmark, southern Sweden, northern Germany, possibly parts of England and Poland, and likely in once-dry areas now covered by the Baltic and North Seas. Typical stone tool finds consist of flint flakes, blades, burins and scrapers. The people hunted reindeer, moose, wolverine, and beaver.
     Re-examining stone artefacts previously recovered from Trollesgave, Randolph Donahue of the University of Bradford, and Anders Fischer of the Danish Agency of Culture, report that the Bromme had easy access to fishing, hunting, and large flint nodules of good quality for tool making.
     The site dates to a latter part of the climatically mild Allerod biozone, circa 12,700 BP, making Trollesgave the only well-dated site from the Bromme Culture - the northernmost extension of Late Glacial human habitation currently known in northwestern Europe.
     Excavations revealed a single hearth, a possible dwelling, and several flint workshops, all dated to the Late Palaeolithic. Recently, Donahue and Fischer microscopically examined a total of 307 stone tool artefacts, including end scrapers for processing hides, burins for working bone and antler, and tanged projectile points. Many of the worked stones were clearly the product of at least one experienced, skilled knapper, others of a person with intermediate abilities, and still others from an unskilled individual - presumably a child.
     The researchers report that: "The predominance of dry hide scraping over fresh hide working indicates that the assemblage was produced by a residential group, and not a task group," concluding that this typical Bromme Culture settlement was the residence of a single family hunting unit.

Edited from Journal of Archaeological Science (February 2015), Popular Archaeology (10 May 2015)

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