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Lietzow Culture

(Translated and edited slightly from the Lietzow Chronicle)

 

There were already settlements here in prehistoric times. This is a widely known fact, both in Germany and around the world, owing to the historical interest of the discoveries made here. Certain research findings for the Mesolithic period take their name from this area and are known as “Lietzow Culture”.

[…]

 

In 1827, when the archaeologist Friedrich von Hagenow was near Semper taking measurements for his Rügen map [above], he stumbled upon a lot of similarly shaped flint objects. Describing the event later, he wrote: “In the space of two hours we found over 200 knives, some of which were intact, others broken, as well as at least 20 stone axes and many smaller and larger fragments of straight and sickle-shaped sacrificial knives. What I found particularly strange about the discovery was that not one of the pieces were complete. The battle axes and sacrificial knives are all very roughly hewn, so that it is only from a few of the shapes that you can see what they were actually intended to be.”

 

His conclusion was that they were unfinished Neolithic tools. This opinion was shared by Bergen’s then public prosecutor (Rosenberg) – whose wonderfully eclectic collection was bequeathed to the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg – and Rudolf Virchow. However, the founder and first director of the museum in Stralsund, Rudolf Baier, realised that archaeological finds from the Neolithic (New Stone) Age were not hewn from such crude pieces, so that this discovery pointed to a different culture. In his view, Hagenow’s finds belonged to an older period, the so-called Mesolithic (Middle Stone) Age.

 

It was the first period of settlement on Rügen after the ice melted (about 4-5000 – 2500 B.C.). Rügen was a group of islands at that time, not yet connected by alluvial land.

 

The first settlers probably came over from the Danish islands, hunting and fishing for their food in the island woods and waters. This can be deduced from similar finds made both on Rügen and in Denmark. Flint was available in such large quantities that they were able to make enough tools for their own needs and probably also, as excavations indicate, to trade with them on Rügen and along the coastal areas of Pomerania.

 

Friedrich von Hagenow found many of these tools in 1827, but it was Professor Dr. Alfred Haas who would find even more, over 20,000 objects, on Spitzer Ort [Lietzow] in 1897. All of these prehistoric tools, comprising knives, scrapers, axes, drills, spears, arrowheads, saws and chisels, were found here. Walking north to south at a right angle to the railway track, the site was recorded as being at a distance of 72 steps and located in the garden of a former inn, demolished in 1891.

 

The excavation pit measured 40 steps across; the topsoil was about six inches thick and covered in coarse gravel. Below the pit was brackish water. This whole area used to be above water but sank during the so-called Baltic depression [as the ice sheets melted and formed the then Littorina Sea].  

This is why it is possible to calculate when the people of that period lived here.

 

(Heimatchronik written by the teacher Wilhelm Wewetzer, File 1)

 

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