Schöningen: a reference site for the Middle Pleistocene

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  • Jordi Serangeli
  • Ivo Verheijen
  • Bárbara Rodríguez-Álvarez
  • Flavio Altamura
  • Gerlinde Bigga
  • Werner H. Schoch
  • Brigitte Urban
  • Thijs van Kolfschoten
  • Flavia Venditti
  • Nicholas J. Conard

Due to the exceptional preservation conditions, as well as the number and significance of the finds discovered, Schöningen in northern Germany stands out as a uniquely informative Middle Pleistocene site-complex. More than 20 archeological and 10 paleontological sites embedded in the shoreline sediments of a paleolake have preserved natural and anthropogenically modified wood, bones, and stones. A combination of data acquired from geological, stratigraphic, palynological, and faunal analysis, coupled with various direct dating methods, have indicated an age of ca. 300,000 years BP, corresponding to MIS 9. The lithic technology corresponds to the late Lower Paleolithic and is therefore consistent with these dates. This article gives an overview of the site-complex, of the most important discoveries at Schöningen, and describes the discovery of a nearly complete straight-tusked elephant skeleton (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) in an archeological context. Contextualized among contemporaneous archeological discoveries, the finds at Schöningen contribute significantly to our understanding of the late Lower Paleolithic in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Earth Sciences
Pages (from-to)369-387
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event40 Years of Casal de Pazzi: The site within the Pleistocene archaeo-palaeontological framework between 400.000 and 40.000 BP. Current knowledge and new research perspectives - Rom, Italy
Duration: 30.03.202201.04.2022

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: "Conference Proceedings - 40 Years of Casal de’ Pazzi in the framework of Pleistocene archeo-paleontological sites (400,000-40,000 BP): current knowledge and new research perspectives" .
Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Universita' degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza'. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • hunting, Late Lower Paleolithic, Middle Pleistocene, MIS 9, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, straight-tusked elephant
  • Engineering