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Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie

in der

Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen
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Dating Duvensee (abgeschlossen)

Dr. John Meadows, Dr. Harald Lübke

Interpreting radiocarbon results from early Mesolithic sites in Duvensee

Radiocarbon results from the Mesolithic sites at Duvensee, south-eastern Schleswig-Holstein, date the occupation of these sites to an extended period between the ninth and seventh millennia cal BC. Each site may only have been used for a brief period, however – in some cases, perhaps only for a single short season. 

Leibniz-Labor, Kiel: accelerator

Fig. 1: The AMS system of the Leibniz-Laboratory at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.

The wonderful preservation of organic materials in these structures, coupled with precise excavation techniques, mean that these sites are ideally suited to the application of Bayesian chronological modelling methods for the interpretation of radiocarbon results.

Duven 11 - GIS-model and chronology

Fig. 2: Duvensee Site 11. Details of the 3-dimensional GIS model and the Bayesian chronological model (GIS-Model: K. Göbel/ J. Meadows, ZBSA).

As the 3D GIS model of Duvensee site 11 is completed the complex stratigraphic sequence is being used to refine the dates of the existing radiocarbon samples and to provide realistic estimates of the dates of platform construction and abandonment – and even for the deposition of particular finds. The same methods will be used to assess the potential of radiocarbon dating to provide precise chronologies for the other sites and their lithic assemblages, and to relate the occupation of each site to the palaeoenvironmental sequence.

Calibration of individual radiocarbon results from Duvensee sites 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 19 and 21.

Fig. 3: Calibration of individual radiocarbon results from Duvensee sites 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 19 and 21, compared to the estimated dates of the start and end of occupation at site 11, derived from a Bayesian model of all radiocarbon results from this stratified sequence (individual results not shown).

Radiocarbon measurements which were made since the 1970s on Duvensee bog sites show that at least 7 sites at Duvensee date to the calibration plateau between 9000 and 8300 cal BC. Inspection of calibrated dates gives an exaggerated impression of site longevity. Because radiocarbon dating has become more precise over time, new work is nescessary to extend the already existing Bayesian model of Duvensee 11  to all Duvensee bog sites to obtain a more realistic chronology, and to link the archaeological record to the high-resolution palaeo-environmental reconstructions of the region now available.

Duvensee site 13. GIS-model of the excavations 1983–1985

Fig. 4. Duvensee site 13. GIS-model of the excavations 1983–1985 with the boreal fire places A and B.

We started in 2014 with site Duvensee 13, selecting 13 new radiocarbon samples which will help to test not only the intra-site contemporaneity, but also the chronological relationship between site 13 and other Duvensee sites.

Further information:

ZBSA-Jahresbericht 2011, 112

ZBSA-Jahresbericht 2014, 96-97

see also: Duvensee reloaded – Neue Forschungen zu mesolithischen Rindenmatten, Feuerstellen und Mikrolithen

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Aktueller Hinweis!

Das Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie arbeitet aufgrund der Corona-Krise ab dem 17.3.2020 überwiegend im Homeoffice. Unter den bekannten Mailadressen sind die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter erreichbar.

Daher haben auch Gastwissenschaftler zur Zeit keinen Zugang zu unseren Räumlichkeiten. Bitte wenden Sie sich zu gegebener Zeit an die bekannten Ansprechpartner.

Siehe auch:


From 17/3/2020 the staff of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology will be mainly working from home due to the Corona crisis. The employees can be reached under the known email addresses.

For this reason, guest researchers do currently not have access to our facilities. Please get in touch with the known contact persons in due course.

See further:

In Cooperation with

Dr. Klaus Bokelmann, Haveholz

Dr. Walter Dörfler, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, CAU Kiel

Dr. Karl-Uwe Heussner, Naturwissenschaftliches Referat, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin

Dr. John Meadows
Dr. Harald Lübke
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