Mesolithic Camps at Ludowice 6, Wąbrzeźno County, Western Habitation
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Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, ul. Szosa Bydgoska 44/48, 87-100 Toruń
Wydział Nauk o Ziemi Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, ul. Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń
Publication date: 2020-11-21
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2014;LXV(65):149–195
Ludowice 6 lies at the centre of the Chełmno Lake District (Fig. 1), on a slope of a hill with a maximum elevation of 100 m a.s.l. (Fig. 2A), on the contact zone of an outwash plain and a large kettle hole now filled by biogenic deposits (peat). The site was discovered during a surface survey made in 1985. Excavations were started here in 2009 on the behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and continued until 2013 investigating a total area of 756 m2 (Fig. 2B). The prehistoric materials were found within three concentrations. The present study reports on the results of a dynamic analysis of finds recovered from one of the investigated concentrations which owing to its location is described as “western habitation” (Fig. 2B). Geomorphological and paleopedology studies show that the Mesolithic materials discovered in the site had not been subject to any major dislocation and were found resting within their original context. The area of the western habitation is covered everywhere by regular rusty soil, its main substratum loose, yellow sand. The Mesolithic finds were found resting mostly in its uppermost level. The investigation of the habitation led to the discovery and recording of the remains of 19 sunken features and a rich assemblage of finds: 4026 flint artefacts, 353 non-flint stone objects and 230 bone fragments. The horizontal distribution pattern of the flint finds revealed the existence of two partly overlapping major flint scatters (recorded as nos. 1 and 2 – Fig. 10). Also identified was a series of smaller concentrations, described as “flint concentrations”. A vast majority of the analysed material was in Baltic erratic flint, so-called variant A. Only a handful flints were in Pomeranian flint. The working the flint resource near to the habitation area was a complex and multi-stage process. Irregular pebbles were used, not more than a few centimetres in size. The first stage was typically preparation. It is documented by precores present in the assemblage (Plate 5:2–4) and a large number of cortical flakes (Table 2). When the crest was situated in the area of the future flaking face core exploitation started with the removal of crested blades and partly crested blades (Plate 2:, 3:9.19.30–32, 8:1.2). The size of the cores discovered in the site ranges from 15 to 35 mm (Fig. 11). The prepared cores were intended mainly for the manufacture of blades (Table 4). Their vast majority are single platform forms with a cone-shaped flaking face positioned on a wider face of the core (Plate 1:5, 4:2, 5:5–10). Much more rare are narrow flaking surface atifacts (Plate 3:10, 4:1, 5:12.15, 6:1). Several bladelet forms were also present, presumably exploited using the pressure technique (Plate 1:4, 5:11, 6:2.4). It could happen that during working the flaking face of the blade core was made wider. This was done without any additional treatment or by preparing the face of the core and secondary crested blade removal (Table5, Plate 1:2, 2:5, 4:5, 8:3.4). After the deterioration of the angle of removal platform rejuvenation flakes or tablets were detached (Table, Plate 4:6, 8:5.6), alternately changes were made to the orientation of the core; in doing this an effort was made to keep the possibility of detachment of blade-sized blanks (Plate 1:6.7, 6:6–10, 7:1). Next to single platform cores and changed-orientation cores the assemblage includes a small number of double platform forms (Table, Plate 6:3.5). The blades recovered at Ludowice are a relatively uniform group. Most were struck from single platform cores (Table 4) and have a prepared butt or a punctate butt (Tab. 9). There were some microlithic blades, very small or small. Their width usually does not exceed 15 mm (Fig. 12). There is an observable substantial fragmentation of these blanks. Only 26.2% of all the blades are complete (Table 10). This most likely is a result of deliberate action (B. Knarrström 2001, p. 41; G. Osipowicz 2010, p. 211). Blades were intended mostly for the manufacture of insets and other backed forms, in which process a common method was microburin technique. The dimensions of the identified blade tools do not depart from what those typically observed in the unearthed cores and blanks (Fig. 13). During the final stages of working the blade cores were made into different flake cores which continued to be worked in the same way as cores worked for flakes from the beginning. A method of flaking rather special for the Mesolithic used on site was bipolar flaking technique. This situation is interesting because of the frequency of splinter pieces [łuszcznie], which makes the second largest group of cores (Table 3, Plate 1:3.33, 2:12, 5:13.14, 7:8–12). The assemblage includes 29 lithic artefacts recognizable as macrolithic tools (Table 12). These are mostly uncharacteristic morphological forms, i.e., stones with evidence of working or smoothing. Next to them there were hammerstones and rubbers of various size. Most of them were in quartz sandstone (Table 13). To a smaller extent use was made in the site of granitoids and – occasionally – of porphyry, quartzite and gneiss. The research yielded also an assemblage of 633 finds classified to a specific industry based on non-flint rock (Fig. 14). Most were in red quartz-porphyry, iron-rich quartz sandstone and red granitoid. The material and morphological structure of the assemblage recovered from the habitation area under analysis does not differ from that observed elsewhere in the site (Table 13; G. Osipowicz 2014, table 1). The finds assemblage from the western habitation includes 230 bone fragments. Species determination could be made for only ten of them (Table 14). They come from different animal species and in the main document exploitation of a forest environment. Also symptomatic is the presence of the remains of the European Pond Turtle, a species with a higher than average significance for Early Holocene communities which is observed already since the late Boreal Period (Pobiel 10, Góra County, Mszano 14, Brodnica County), but which found particularly favourable conditions during the period of the Atlantic optimum of the Holocene (D. Makowiecki, M. Rybacki 2001, pp. 99–100; D. Makowiecki 2003, p. 58). On the evidence of the technological and morphological analysis of the flints assemblage recovered at Ludowice it may be referred to the Komornica Culture and dated to the Atlantic Period. These conclusions were confirmed by a radiocarbon cross dating of charcoal samples taken from a hearth identified in the area of the flint scatter 1 (feature 10). The dates obtained from two different laboratories are very close: 6540±45BP (Poz-52082) and 6660±80BP (KML-1706) (Fig. 15) and place the described materials in a period immediately antedating the appearance in the Chełmno Lake District of early agrarian communities (R. Kirkowski 1994, p. 58). At the same time, they are analogous to the dating obtained for the technologically and morphologically highly similar Late Komornica materials from the not so distant Sąsieczno 4, Toruń County.