The Art & Archaeology of Gönnersdorf & Andernach

Why do we study plaquettes from Gönnersdorf & Andernach?

The period of the Magdalenian in the Central Rhineland of Germany is perhaps best showcased at the open air sites Gönnersdorf and Andernach-Martinsberg. View the spread of other Magdalenian sites in the slideshow below.

Both sites were protected from later erosion by the thick cover of the Late Glacial eruptiva of the nearby “Laacher See volcano“ and are therefore extraordinarily well preserved. This gives us plenty of insights and ideas on how people interacted with and made use of their environments.

Both sites are located on opposing banks of the river Rhine, closely linked to the narrow passage of the “Andernach Gate,” an area in which the path of the river changes from the open landscape of the Neuwied Basin into the narrower Rhine Gorge. Both areas of investigations are therefore in line of sight of each other and only about 2km apart (as the crow flies).

Discover the locations of Gönnersdorf & Andernach in the map tool here:

Also note their close vicinity to the river Rhine

The overgrown site of Gönnersdorf nowadays.

Are the sites of Gönnersdorf & Andernach contemporaneous?

It has now been established that the composition of the Magdalenian assemblages and specific features of the settlements at both sites are extremely similar, suggesting that the living floors are clearly distinct in location but otherwise penecontemporaneous, representing the activities of the same group(s) of people (Street 1998).

At both sites, major concentrations arranged of rocks and other stones can be identified. It is here where most of the archaeological materials including the engraved plaquettes are found

Below are a few excavation impressions from the days of the plaquettes’ first ever discovery:

Discover the the site of Gönnersdorf through a photo archive of the original excavations:

Discover the the site of Andernach through a photo archive of the original excavations:

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This project is made possible through the following partners:

AHRC DFG Research Grant (AH/V002899/1)