Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Research Station Schöningen

SENCKENBERG CENTRE FOR HUMAN EVOLUTION AND PALAEOENVIRONMENT (HEP): RESEARCH STATION SCHÖNINGEN

Schoeningen

Thanks to the excellent preservation of its organic finds, the Lower Paleolithic archeological site Schöningen offers a unique insight into the time period around 300,000 years ago in Central Europe. Sediments, pollen, wood, the remains of small and large mammals, fishes, birds and insects enable a detailed reconstruction of the environment and climate during an interglacial period between the Elster and the Saale glaciations. Stone scrapers shaped by humans (see illustration), bone and wood artifacts as well as numerous bones with cut and/or impact marks lead to entirely new insights about the culture of the prehistoric humans at that time.

Schoeningen

The excavation and research project was initiated in the early 1980s by Dr. Hartmut Thieme of the Lower Saxony State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments in Hanover (NLD). In 1992, site 12 II-1 in Schöningen revealed the first processed pieces of wood, which were interpreted as potential clamping stems for stone artifacts. In the fall of 1994, a throwing stick was found at Schöningen site 13 II-4, followed by the discovery of 10 spears  and additional processed wood pieces in 1995 and 1996.

Schoeningen

In June 2008, a cooperation was established between the University of Tübingen and the NLD. Since June 2013, the most significant discoveries are being displayed in a modern research and adventure center, the so-called palaeon. In August 2016, the State of Lower Saxony officially commissioned the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) to conduct the research at Schöningen.
The Senckenberg Research Station Schöningen is led by Professor Nicholas Conard (HEP and University of Tübingen). The research laboratories are located in the palaeon, which puts them at a linear distance of only 300 m from the ongoing archeological digs.

Schoeningen

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