Gönnersdorf Concentration III: Investigating the possibility of multiple occupations


  • D. Stapert
  • T. Terberger


In any attempt to understand the settlement structures at the Upper Palaeolithic site of Gönnersdorf, a cardinal problem is the question of multiple, superimposed phases of occupation. This is the case also with Concentration III. In this paper the problem of multiple occupations is investigated in two different ways.

Our first step will be to describe the settlement features in a 'traditional' way. Because six different raw materials were used at Concentration III, some further interesting phenomena could be investigated: firstly, differences between the raw materials in the proportions of stone artefacts in pits; secondly, differences in the tool assemblages, and thirdly, differences in the spatial distributions of tools according to type of raw material.

The second part will deal with two related methods of spatial analysis, the ring and sector methods, bringing out on the one hand differences between the raw materials in the distributions of tools in rings 0.5 m wide around the 'centre' of the concentration, and on the other, differences between the raw materials in the distribution of tools in eight sectors around the 'centre' of the concentration.

One conclusion is that we are dealing with at least two, but possibly three or more phases of occupation: an early one characterized by the use of four raw materials (Süsswasserquarzit (sarsen), Chalcedony, Brown flint and North European flint) and associated with a tent, and one or two later phases, during which West European flint and Kieselschiefer (lydite) were used in the open air.