1. The Site

The submerged site of Neustadt is situated in the Lübeck bay of the southern Baltic Sea in Northern Germany and was excavated between 2000 and 2006 by S. Hartz of the Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein (Hartz 2004). As a result of the rise in sea level over the last seven millennia, the site now lies 3 to 5m below sea level. The excavated area recovered a coastal dump of cultural debris, where the finds were deposited in a 0.20 to 0.50m deep mud layer beneath a thick sand layer, thus resulting in excellent preservation conditions (Hartz 2004). The site represents use over some 600 years, according to a number of 14C dates that fall between 4400 and 3800 cal BC (Glykou 2011b). Thus, the site of Neustadt covers the transition to the Neolithic, which occurred at the end of the 5th millennium BC (Hartz 2004; Hartz and Lübke 2006; Glykou 2011b). A stratigraphic division into different phases was not possible during the excavations and subsequent spatial analysis of refitted ceramics and bones has not been able to reveal any further detail (Glykou 2011b). According to palynological analysis (Hartz et al. 2011) the area underwent several periods of alternating drought and flood owing to successive changes in sea level, which resulted in a restricted soil accumulation. At the same time, the refuse zone also appears to have served as an activity area e.g. for the setting up of fishing nets. Consequently, human activity in the area might have contributed to a compression of already thin culture layers. The bones have all been analysed together because of the lack of stratigraphy (Glykou 2011a; 2011b).