Middle Palaeolithic dwellings: fact or fiction? Some applications of the ring and sector method


  • D. Stapert


Three Middle Palaeolithic sites are analysed by the ring and sector method. This is a simple method for intrasite spatial analysis, based on the use of rings and sectors around hearths. The main goal is to establish the presence or absence of dwellings, independently of structures évidentes. At Buhlen (Lower Site, Layer 4: Fiedler & Hilbert, 1987), a tent ring consisting of large stones was excavated, and the existence of a dwelling is confirmed by the ring and sector method. At Belvédère (Site C, Southern Concentration: Roebroeks, 1988), the analysis indicates that the hearth must have been in the open air. At Rheindahlen (Westwand, Northem Concentration: Bosinski, 1966) no hearth was present; here the existence of a dwelling ('Behausung 1') was postulated by Thieme (1983). Using the middle of this postulated dwelling as the 'centre' for the ring and sector method, it can be shown that this concentration must have originated in the open air.