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date: 07 December 2019


  • Joachim Hahn


Group of eight sites in Wachau, Austria. These sites have yielded important remains of Upper Palaeolithic date (c. 40,000–c. 10,000 bp), including a famous figurine of a woman known as the Willendorf Venus ( see Prehistoric Europe, §II, 3, (i) ). The sites have been known since the mid-19th century, when collectors started to search them for bones and archaeological objects, but it was the construction of a railway between Mauthausen and Krems that prompted the official excavations, which started in 1908 under Josef Bayer and Hugo Obermaier and continued until 1955, when Fritz Felgenhauer was director. The material recovered from the excavations is held by the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. The best-explored area, Site II, had the longest stratigraphic sequence. The lower levels (1–4) were Aurignacian (c. 40,000–c. 25,000 bp), while the upper levels (5–9) belonged to the Gravettian culture (c. 30,000–c....

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