Station: [105] Saxony's Oldest Archaeological Finds

280.000 years ago the landscape around Leipzig was similar to a tundra. Watercourses cut through huge gravelly areas and willow thickets and alder trees grew on the banks of the rivers.  The climate during the first third of the Saale Glacial Period was moderately cool, but not cold by glacial period standards. Groups of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers settled in the area around Markkleeberg for a longer period of time and there is a lot of flint stone to be found in the area.

 Researchers have been salvaging thousands of flint stone artefacts since 1895 and the most prominent objects are the Markkleeberg points (a special type of the Mousterian point), the blade tools, side scraper and rare, but beautifully worked hand axes. The most prevalent finds however are production scrap such as flint stone flakes and chippings. The Palaeolithic-age hunters made tools and semi finished products on location and took them back to their encampment.

Bone, antler and the remains of teeth from big game found in the area show us there were a rich variety of animals during the glacial period. Mammoth, rhinoceros, wild horses, deer and bison were coveted kill for humans. but there are no glacial period bone or teeth remains of the latter – the reason being the lime deficiency and often good aeration of the soils in saxony. 

In the following supplementary text we will be introducing you to a special find from the last excavations held in Markkleeberg. The second supplementary text tells you about the method behind stratigraphy used to date what we discovered at Markkleeberg.