Station: [112] Groitzsch Encampment

You are now witnessing a brief scene that took place 14,000 years ago. Hunters of the Late Palaeolithic Age made an encampment near Eilenburg in what is now Groitzsch. They were based on a small hill on the bank of a river where they had a good view of the surrounding landscape. The area was full of wild game, there were plenty of edible plants and berries and flint stone to make tools and weapons was in abundance. 

Today, a wood with a chapel covers the crest of this hill. Archaeological finds on Chapel Hill were salvaged as early as 120 years ago, but organized archaeological digs only took place from the 1930’s to 2004. They revealed more than 150,000 finds predominantly consisting of flint stone. Some 2% of this are typical Late Ice-Age tools such as borers and backed bladelets, burins and end scrapers. They were all used to dismember hunted game or process animal hides. Others were used for working bones or as arrow tips. Two stone slabs in the ground proved that tents or small huts once stood here.

Groitzsch isn’t the only Late Ice Age site in Saxony, but it is by far the most interesting in terms of finds. In fact there are so many well documented finds that quarrying areas can be distinguished from work areas and traces of all production phases have been identified. But Groitzsch isn’t exceptional for this reason alone, it is also the site where the first known work of art in Saxony was discovered: a small slate platelet with three horses carved into it!