Sequence stratigraphic correlation of the Palaeolithic sites of Schöningen (Germany)

Jörg Lang1, Jutta Winsemann1, Dominik Steinmetz1, Ulrich Polom2, Lukas Pollok1, Utz Böhner3, Jordi Serangeli4, Christian Brandes1, Andrea Hampel1, Stefan Winghart3
1 Institut für Geologie, Leibniz Universität Hannover
2 Leibniz Institut für Angewandte Geophysik (LIAG)
3 Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege
4 Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

V 4.1 in Steinzeitlicher Mensch und Umweltwandel - zur Archäologie von Umweltrisiken

18.09.2012, 08:30-08:50, H8

Schöningen represents one of the key sites for Lower Palaeolithic archaeology in central Europe, where an up to 45 m thick Middle to Upper Pleistocene succession has been preserved in a subglacial tunnel valley (Lang et al., 2012). The basal tunnel valley fill consists of Elsterian meltwater deposits, subglacial till and glacilacustrine deltaic deposits. After deglaciation the tunnel valley remained underfilled and provided a long-lived depocentre for interglacial deposition. During the subsequent Holsteinian interglacial (MIS 9) a lake formed within this depocentre and lacustrine sediments accumulated. This interglacial lacustrine succession consists of laterally stacked delta systems fed by surface run-off shed from the Elm ridge west of the basin.

Unique Lower Palaeolithic artefacts have been recovered from several sites embedded within the Holsteinian delta plain deposits. We will present a new sequence stratigraphic model for these interglacial deposits, based on the integration of outcrop data, borehole data, high-resolution shear wave seismic reflection data and 3D subsurface modelling (GOCAD®). The sequence stratigraphic correlation allows i) to establish a high-resolution stratigraphic framework for the Holsteinian interglacial deposits, ii) to correlate the different archaeological sites and iii) to relate the spatial distribution of artefacts to the depositional environments.

The reconstructed lake-level curve of the Holsteinian lake bears evidence for climatic oscillations (Lang et al., 2012). In face of changing climatic and environmental conditions the long-lived interglacial lake provided an attractive site for animals and early humans ambushing them. Artefacts were embedded on the delta plain and became preserved during lake-level transgression.

During the Late Saalian Drenthe glaciation the last remnant of the tunnel valley was completely filled with meltwater deposits, which subsequently were deformed by the advancing glacier and overlain by subglacial till. The sheltered location of the Middle Pleistocene deposits within the Elsterian tunnel valley allowed for the preservation of the sedimentary succession and artefacts.



Lang, J., Winsemann, J., Steinmetz, D., Polom, U., Pollok, L., Böhner, U., Serangeli, J., Brandes, C., Hampel, A. & Winghart, S., 2012: The Pleistocene of Schöningen, Germany: a complex tunnel valley fill revealed from 3D subsurface modelling and shear wave seismics. Quaternary Science Reviews, 39, 86-105.

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Letzte Änderung 25.05.2012