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6.6 Michelsberg phase: conclusions

The analytical results of the Michelsberg phase have previously been used to illustrate the methodical choices for the site-typological analysis. On the basis of the artefact composition, as displayed in the form of Table 8, segment diagrams (Fig. 41, 5.3) and MDS-graph (Fig. 45, 5.8) we have decided to distinguish three different types of settlement for this Neolithic phase:

  • a group of sites consisting of a limited number of tools, such as pointed blades and/or other macrolithic artefacts, but without production debris. These are small in size and appear to indicate special activity sites, although a functional interpretation is difficult.
  • a group of large to very large sites with a wide range of artefact types and a large percentage of flint production debris. An interpretation of these as domestic sites is clearly a reasonable assumption. Sites which are much smaller in size but display great similarities with the larger domestic sites because of the relatively wide range of artefacts should, we feel, be included in this group.
  • a group of sites with isolated arrowheads: lost hunting gear or an indication of a hunting camp.
Whereas there was a very slight site differentiation in the late Mesolithic, there appears to be a settlement system in the Michelsberg phase with sites demonstrating greater differences. The two large domestic sites are in the eastern part of the research area, near the Meuse river. The small domestic sites and the single tool sites are distributed over the surrounding countryside. The arrowhead sites appear linked to a brook called the Lollebeek. In spite of the strong site differentiation, the settlement systems do not yet appear to be completely focused on one or two permanent settlements. After all, there are still small base-camp-like sites all over the area. The special activity sites do demonstrate that task groups were sent out from more permanent settlements.

[Michelsberg sites in Venray]
Fig. 53 The Michelsberg sites in Venray: segment diagrams on the distribution map (click on the cluster of segment diagrams on the map to see more details)


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Last updated: Wed Feb 25 1998