A world famous midden
The trash heaps of the Ertebølle Culture have been discovered at the bottom of the Liim Fjord in north-western Himmerland. Major excavations in 1893-97 and 1980-84 turned up one of Europe's largest shell heaps. Measuring 140 metres long, 20 metres wide and as…
The end of the Mesolithic Period
The shell piles were definitively dated to the Stone Age in 1850. The discussion then emerged about whether they had been created by people living specifically in the Mesolithic Period. In 1893, a cross-disciplinary group known as the Second Kitchen Midden Commission solved the question during an excavation of Ertebølle. Their discoveries made it possible to divide the Stone Age into an earlier Mesolithic and a later Neolithic phase. Meanwhile, newly discovered historical items were being used to describe the phases as well as to place them on the timeline of natural development. Originally the Ertebølle midden was classified as belonging to the Period of the Rubbish Sorters. But in 1917 it played a key role in identifying the end of the Mesolithic Period. Later excavations have managed too narrow down the dates of the midden to between 5100 and 4100 BC.
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