Landscape dynamics and chronological refinement of the Middle Pleistocene Reinsdorf Sequence of Schöningen, NW Germany

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschung


  • Brigitte Urban
  • Thomas Kasper
  • Kim J. Krahn
  • Thijs van Kolfschoten
  • Bent Rech
  • Marco Holzheu
  • Mario Tucci
  • Antje Schwalb
Detailed sedimentological, geochemical, palynological, and aquatic-microfossil analyses on a new composite profile (Para-Reference Profile Schöningen 13 II and Zeugenblock 13 II [2018]) exposed at the archaeological excavation site of Schöningen 13 II reflect several phases of newly recorded lake level fluctuations and vegetation changes. A pronounced deforestation and the expansion of grasses and herbal plant communities characterize the first steppe (open woodland) phase, which follows the interglacial forest communities. A succeeding tripartite woodland phase predominantly marked by Betula and Pinus is followed by another rather dry steppe phase and a second woodland period, which includes the famous archaeological “spear horizon” 13 II-4ab. Transition into a cold period is indicated by progressive desiccation of the lake and a shift to a steppe/tundra vegetation. Novel 3D images of the 10 most characteristic phases of the Reinsdorf sequence have been constructed based on the botanical data (macro remains as well as palynomorphs), terrestrial vertebrate faunal, geochemical, sedimentological, and previously established data from aquatic microfossils. In addition, a tentative correlation between the post-interglacial phases of the Reinsdorf sequence and Marine Isotope Substages 9d–9a, based on biostratigraphical as well as sedimentological data, is proposed.
ZeitschriftQuaternary Research
Seiten (von - bis)148-177
Anzahl der Seiten30
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

We thank the Ministry of Science and Culture, Hannover, Germany (Urban and Tucci, PRO*Niedersachsen, Projekt: 74ZN1230) and the German Science Foundation (DFG: UR25/11-1, SCHW671/22-1, project number: 350769604) for funding this study. We thank Annabell Rickert and Luisa Geilhausen for valuable assistance with laboratory work and Lisa Brogmus and Michael Hein for help in creating illustrations. We acknowledge Nicholas Conard as director of the Project Schöningen, Thomas Terberger from Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (NLD) Hannover, as well as the excavation team directed by Jordi Serangeli for their support of this research. The authors wish to thank A. Peter Kershaw for critically reading the manuscript. We are indebted to the two reviewers, Donatella Magri and Phil Gibbard, and to the editors for their constructive and very valuable comments that significantly helped to improve our manuscript.

Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023