General Information

Name: Ochtendung 4 - faunal assemblage

Overall Number of Objects: 10 002

First Description: Justus 2000


Property Status:

Copyright Holder(s):

Curator(s): Axel von Berg

Cultural Attribution: no cultural attribution

Geochronological Attribution:


Age Determination

Dating Abstract: With geological dating probably early stage of the second last Ice Age, the Saale-Glaciation.

Dating Association: Relative Dating

Dating Analysis:



Large Mammals

Overall Number of Bones and Teeth: 281

MNI: 13


Small Mammals

Overall Number of Bones and Teeth:

MNI: 2


Other Animals

Overall Number of Bones and Teeth:




Evidence of Human or Carnivore Activity

Human Activity: no signs

Carnivore Activity: Yes


Linked Files / Pages

Collection Item(s):

Bibliography: Justus 2000

Multimedia Files:

Linked Pages:



Additional Content

Animal bones are numerous (n = 1 002) and of good general preservation, due to rapid sedimentation. 281 bone fragments could be specified: horse, Equus sp. (n=83); rhinoceros, Coelodonta antiquitatis (n=157), and red deer, Cervus elaphus (n=31). They belong to several individuals. One to three bone fragments each belong to reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), wolf (Canis lupus), badger (Meles meles), elephant (Mammutus sp.), and a bovide (Bos/Bison sp.).
Bones from horse and red deer show specific selection patterns, different from these of rhinoceros. Natural and human taphonomic processes can be distinguished. For the adult horse remains (MNI=3), the cranial parts lack nearly completely. The author (Justus 2000: 249 f.) interprets this as an indication for human hunting activities. The cranial parts having been deposited in a non-excavated area nearby. Whether or not the juvenile individuals (MNI=3) represent hunting pray could not be determined. The scattered repartition of horse bones in the north western part of the excavation shows no specific patterns than few extremity parts in anatomical connection. The juvenile rhinoceros-bones (MNI=2) are almost exclusively represented through cranial parts, while for the adult rhinoceros (MNI=3) all skeleton parts are present in equal proportions. Carnivore gnawing and weathering are responsible for damages on the bones, mainly epiphyses. The repartition of rhinoceros is concentrated mainly in an area of six square meters. One special feature of piled up bones (pelvis, mandibula and scapula) could be observed. Red deer is represented through fragments of bone and antler from a juvenile (MNI=1) and adult animals (MNI=2). Only cranial parts and bones from the hind legs are preserved.

Archaeological interpretation/conclusion: For the fauna assemblage, natural and human taphonomic processes and selection patterns can be distinguished. Horse-hunting of at least 3 adult animals is probable, also is hunting of red deer and adult and juvenile rhinoceros.



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