Portable Rock Art / Figure Stones in 

Germany

 
 

The Venus of Pampau - Ursel Benekendorff Find

The Venus of Pampau

Artificially Flaked Flint Nodule

Recovered by Ursel Benekendorff from deep in glacial till

at Gross Pampau,1980s-1990s

Click HERE to read a laboratory assessment of this artifact.

 
 

Mrs. Ursel Benekendorff, German Figure Stones Researcher

Ursel Benekendorff at her home in Geesthacht near Hamburg,

with two Gross Pampau artifacts - same form, different sizes.

 

Since 1984 Ursel Benekendorff has devoted much of her life to the recovery, preservation, and analysis of artifacts from glacial till far beneath the current terrain surface at the Ohle (now Ohle & Lau) gravel quarry by Gross Pampau near Hamburg.  Initially looking only for fossils, she began to notice obvious flint tools of ancient typology, as well as artifacts of a clearly iconistic nature.  For several years she visited the site as often as possible, and with the kind permission of Mr. Ohle stood or crouched hours-long by the conveyor belt transporting stones to the rock crusher, rescuing thousands of them.

In 2015 I photographed a few of her Acheulean handaxes and Figure Stones, several of which have now been conclusively confirmed as artifacts by pro- fessional archaeologists and by Dr. Eric Law, petrologist and professor of geology, who examined the flint "Venus" figure at Muskingum University in Ohio. 

To see some of the artifacts photographed in 2015 and 2017

click on the image below:

Groß Pampau Flint Artifacts, Ursel Benekendorff Finds

 

Mrs. Benekendorff's own website is schafftwissen.de

Flint Figure, Groß Pampau archaeological site, Germany - Ursel Benekendorff Collection

 

In the Geosciences Dept. of Akron University in Ohio, the strange zoomorphic- looking flint shown below, with tooth-like pebbles wedged into a crevice, has been determined by XRF/EDS spectroscopy (Prof. Thomas Quick) to have been artificially colored with red ochre, both powdered and in a paste-like matrix of not-yet-determined composition:

Flint Artifact with Red Ochre Powder and Paste, Groß Pampau

Click image for closer photos and spectrum charts.

In 2017 I returned to Germany and photographed several more of the artifacts, concentrating on tools and physical evidence of human manufacture, both in the tools and in the Figure Stones.  These photos are in the (slow) process of being added to those from 2015.

Groß Pampau Quarry, Palaeolithic Archaeological Site

Groß Pampau Quarry, Palaeolithic Archaeological Site

Above, the find site in the 1980s.

Below, the find site in 2015.

Judging from currently available geostratigraphic data and varying professional opinions, Mrs. Benekendorff's artifact material, retrieved from seven to eighteen meters (23'-60') down in a quarried gravel pit, is currently hypothesized to likely be from both Saalian and Elsterian glacial till along with some end-stage Weichselian solifluction soil in the upper stratum.  And all this overlies or has intruded into fossil-bearing Miocene micaceous clay, from about 11 million years ago.  Quite remarkably, the whole conglomeration has, over the millenia, been forced upward to a relatively accessible depth by the expansion of an underlying salt dome.  A more precise determination of the area's geostratigraphy (a bit of a mess) will require much further investigation and inquiry, depending on available time, resources, and interest.  Meanwhile there is the sketch below from fall 1983 of the quarry's east wall by Lewandowski for Dr. Hans-Jürgen Lierl (Univ. of Hamburg) apparently showing schematically, and not to scale, the stratigraphic components from Weichselian down to Miocene.  (Thanks to Dr. James Harrod for bringing this drawing to my attention.)

Doctorate-level European flint experts, looking at some of my high-resolution photos of the finds, have identified the flint material of which the artifacts were manufactured as having originated in Denmark, Sweden, and the Baltic Sea area.

Conservatively assuming the most recent artifact material to have been transported by the Weichselian ice sheet and mixed with that from the Saalian, it seems reasonable to think, at least tentatively, that the artifacts' age overall may range from early Middle Palaeolithic to Upper Palaeolithic, or very roughly 300,000 to 25,000 years BP.  The morphology/typology of confirmed artifacts in the assemblage seems reasonably consistent with this.  If some of the artifacts have been transported by the Elsterian ice sheet, these could be Lower Palaeolithic, or as old as 500,000 years.

Altogether, this has interesting implications for the long-held assumption that early humans and/or their predecessors did not venture as far north as Scandinavia prior to the last ice age.

No claim is made that this was a formal controlled archaeological dig, being more of a salvage operation (and a rather heroic one at that).  The evidence is simply presented for further consideration and investigation, which it clearly deserves.

Acheulean Handaxe, Groß Pampau, Ursel Benekendorff Find

Above, a verified Acheulean-style (Middle Palaeolithic?) handaxe from the site, made of flint likely having originated in southern Sweden.

Click HERE to see more of the artifacts.

 

 

Hamburg-Wittenbergen, putatively 200,000 years BP

(Photo by Prof. Walther Matthes)

http://www.originsnet.org/hambwitt2gallery

Note the common primal theme of one eye open, one eye closed or partly closed.  Below, compare the eyes and the shape of the mouth of the German figure with those on a sandstone petroglyph at Day's Knob:

 

 
 

 
Kurt Kocher in Hessen has, for many years, been collecting and assessing lithic material very similar to that presented on this website, notably from the Battenberg, Pfalz area.

His website is http://www.hekoverlag.de

 
 

 
Since 2004 Hans Grams in the Rheinland has been discovering artifact material of the kind presented on this website.  This is now shown on his website, along with his own interesting hypotheses.
 

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