Horse, always on the menu

Like many Magdalenians, the hunter-gatherers of central Rhineland and Thuringia had a particular taste for horse meat, a resource available to them throughout the year. At some sites, such as Teufelsbrücke and Oelknitz, we can even say they specialised in the hunting of horses. Birds and fish completed the menu, otherwise dominated by large mammals. Certain species, such as the Arctic fox, were probably hunted for their fur.

Game as a raw material

Like at Étiolles, for the inhabitants of the Rhineland and Thuringia, game was not only a source of food but also an essential raw material. It was a Magdalenian tradition to extract sticks from the antlers of reindeer using double-grooving and transform them into sagaie points. These points were also made from mammoth ivory, collected in a subfossil state and therefore soft enough to be worked. Reindeer antler was also used to make perforated batons and barbed points, unknown in the Paris Basin but common during the Magdalenian in Switzerland and south-west France. These points were considered as weapons for hunting, rather than as harpoons for fishing.

Bone, another strong but flexible material, was also used to make eyed needles, awls and retouchers. While no traces remain, we can suppose that Magdalenian hunter-gatherers also took parts of the hides and tendons of hunted animals to make clothes and their dwellings.

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