Stratzing


Overview of the 1992/93 excavations (© PK/ÖAW)
„Fanny“ (© A. Schuhmacher)

The Galgenberg (Gallows Hill), a natural elevation about 5 km north of Krems, owes its discovery as a Palaeolithic site to the researcher Emil Weinfurter, who discovered artefacts and animal bones in a hollow-way in 1942. In the summer of 1985, a construction pit was dug for a high-level tank of the water works of the city of Krems, when find layers were disturbed and bones and stone tools exposed. Johannes-Wolfgang Neugebauer, Federal Monuments Office (BDA), was informed of these finds and conducted first rescue excavations in the months of September and October of the same year. Christine Neugebauer-Maresch continued the excavations in 1986. In the course of 15 years, it was possible to scientifically investigate more than 1200 m² and thereby determine three different cultural layers.

A small human figurine was found on a plot belonging to the Kremsmünster monastery in 1988. Dated to 32,000 BP, it is to date both the oldest artwork discovered in Austria and the oldest anthropomorphic stone figurine worldwide.

In total, six fireplaces were documented in Cultural Layer 1, eleven in Cultural Layer 2 as well as eight other charcoal deposits. The most striking are the hearths with stone encirclements designed to reflect the heat.
Of the approximately 6000 knapped stone artefacts (not counting refuse chips), almost 1000 pieces could be refitted. Crucial for evidencing an extensive, roughly contemporaneous settlement, however, are successful refittings among five fireplaces of Layer 2, which are situated up to 90 m apart.

So far, the artefacts of the excavation campaigns 1985/86 and 1994 were recorded. The extensive complex excavated in 1988–1991, which includes Fireplace B with the figurine is currently subject to investigation in a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) conducted by Luc Moreau.

A series of C14 dates assign layers 2 and 1 to an age of 32,000 to 29,000 BP. Surprisingly, charcoal from layer 3 yielded dates well older than 40,000 BP, dating it to the Middle Palaeolithic. Only a small part of layer 3 could be excavated, which is why only a small number of diagnostic finds came to light. More recently, the profile exposed in a brickyard was re-assessed and evaluated. This included running a series of OSL-dates. The ages of Cultural Layers 1 and 2 broadly correspond to the known C14 dates; the range of samples from Layer 3, however, was found to be significantly older with an age of about 150,000 years. It remains to be noted that this profile is located approximately 200 m northeast of the excavated areas and its stratigraphy is therefore not necessarily identical to the excavation site.

Poster

Poster

  • L. Moreau, Ch. Neugebauer-Maresch, M. Brandl, O. Schmitsberger:
    So fern und doch so nah! Die ortsfremden Rohmaterialien in Stratzing-Galgenberg, 56. Jahrestagung der Hugo Obermaier-Gesellschaft 2014, Braunschweig, Deutschland, April 2014.
  • L. Moreau, M. Brandl, O. Schmitsberger, Ch. Neugebauer-Maresch:
    Stratzing/Krems-Rehberg in its lithic landscape: Economic behaviour in the late Aurignacian of the Middle Danube region, European Society for the study of Human Evolution, ESHE, 3rd Annual Meeting, Vienna, Austria, September 2013 [pdf]

Publications

Publications

  • M. Brandl, L. Moreau, O. Schmitsberger, Ch. Neugebauer-Maresch, The Southern Moravian Cherts at the Aurignacian site of Stratzing-Galgenberg, Austria. Anthropologie – International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution 53/1-2 (Special Issue Karel Valoch; Eds. Martina Galetová & Alan Bilsborough), 2015, 181–202.
  • Ch. Neugebauer-Maresch, Galgenberg-Stratzing/Krems-Rehberg and its 32,000 years old female statuette, Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen aus dem Niederösterreichischen Landesmuseum 19, 2008, 119–128.
  • Ch. Neugebauer-Maresch, Statuette von Stratzing und das Aurignacien in Niederösterreich, in: Das Aurignacien und die Anfänge der Kunst in Europa, Aurignac 2007, 145–156.