A Middle Paleolithic artefact scatter, and a few younger finds, from near Mander NW of Ootmarsum (Province of Overijssel, the Netherlands)


  • D. Stapert


(pp. 31-32)

In this article a Middle Paleolithic site at Mander (province of Overijssel) is described. The site lies almost at the bottom of the western slope of the ice-pushed ridge of Ootmarsum (see figs. 1 -3). Here we are concerned with surface-material, from the ploughed topsoil of a fairly large field (fig. 4), in which also many erratics of northern origin are present. In addition to several hundred younger artefacts (presumably dating from the Late Neolithic and/or Early Bronze Age) so far a total of 26 Middle Paleolithic artefacts have been collected: 1 biface subtriangulaire (made out of a flake), 1 disque, 1 Levallois core for flakes, 1 Levallois core for blades, 1 half-finished Levallois core for flakes that went wrong, 1 core fragment, 1 borer-like tool, 2 couteaux a dos naturels (one atypical), 4 fragments of possible Levallois flakes, 2 Levallois-like flakes. 11 flakes (hard percussion).

Notably the typology of the hand-axe indicates that the site belongs to the Mousterien de tradition acheuleenne (MTA) of Bordes, probably to the MTA type A.

The finds are relatively intensely weathered and patinated (see table 1). Almost always present are phenomena such as wind-gloss and features that are the result of periglacial soil movements like cryoturbation. Moreover many specimens have been fragmented due to secondary frost-splitting.

The areal extent of the site (see fig. 4) makes it clear that the finds have shifted downhill, probably over a distance in the order ofmagnitude of 0.5 km), as a result of solifluction processes during some tens of thousands of years. From a geological viewpoint it is virtually impossible that any material primarily in situ could still be present at the original site. An excavation wouldt herefore be senseless. Moreover it is not possible to date the finds exactly. Comparison with finds in other countries makes it probable that the site dates from the Early Glacial of the last ice age.

At the end of the article (under 6.) a secondhand-axe find from the same region is discussed (found at the Molen van Bels). On the basis of the fact that this specimen is hardly weathered, compared with the material from Mander, it is concluded that this handaxe must date from the Holocene (presumably the Neolithic).

Apart from the material from Mander also a few other (isolated) finds from both the Northern and Southern Netherlands can be placed typologically in the MTA, so the presence of this tradition in the Netherlands now appears to be very probable.