Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

Matthias Blessing

Adress:

Abteilung Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie
Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters
Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen
Burgsteige 11, Schloss Hohentübingen
D-72070 Tübingen

 

Research Project

Research on microliths was for a long time mainly associated with the Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Europe and the Near East. Over the past three decades it became obvious that microlithic technologies have been developed in various areas all over the world. Sometimes there appear to be two or even more techno-complexes that carry microliths in the same area, but at different times. One of these regions is South Africa where we can find microlithic technology during the Howiesons Poort (or even earlier), but evidence for microliths in later MSA seems to be scarce before they reappear in the Later Stone Age Robberg complex. Based on the literature the (re-)appearances of microlithic technologies at different times seem to be a phenomenon of convergent evolution. In the case of South Africa this is a highly problematic conclusion, because especially the later MSA and the MSA/LSA transition are not very well defined in terms of lithic technology and typology – even more so when it comes to the microlithic components within the technological systems. With the rich sequences of Umbeli Belli Rockshelter and Sibudu Cave (both KwaZulu-Natal), where the former comprises layers from both the LSA and MSA and the latter forming one of the most detailed stratigraphy for the MSA after the Howiesons Poort, my projects focuses on microlithic artefacts from both sites, in order to answer the question whether or not microlithic technology in the MSA and LSA of eastern South Africa is a convergent phenomenon. My thesis will use a detailed lithic analysis approach of microliths from MSA and LSA layers of Umbeli Belli and Sibudu. It aims to contribute to a better understanding and definition of the changes within the lithic technological systems of post-Howiesons Poort MSA and MSA/LSA transition and the underlying cultural mechanisms of these changes.

 

Education and Employments

2019 September - 2020 May

University of Connecticut/Universität Tübingen

 
Since 2019 University of Tübingen  
2018 University of Tübingen  
2015 University of Leipzig  

2015 May –

2015 July

DFG-Project Eythra (University of Leipzig/Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony)  

2014October–

2015 February

University of Leipzig  

2014 May -

December 2014

DFG-Project Eythra (University of Leipzig/Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony)  

2012 April –

2013 July

DFG-Project Eythra (University of Leipzig/Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony)  

Excavations and fieldworks:

February 2019 -

April 2019

University of Tübingen  

2018 May -

2018 December

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2018 February -

2018 April

University of Tübingen  
2017 October University of Tübingen  

2017 August -

2017 September

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2017 March -

2017 April

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2016 March -

2016 October

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2015 August -

2015 October

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony Sachsen  

2015 March -

2015 April

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2014 September -

2014 October

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2014 September -

2014 October

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2013 September -

2014 February

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2013 August -

2013 September

University of Leipzig  

2013 March -

2013 July

Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony  

2012 September -

2012October

University of Leipzig  

Posters and presentations

Palaeolithic Mesolithic

Conference in London

(25-26 October 2018)

In between the worlds? - Getting started with research on the Upper
Lusatian Mesolithic (Saxony, Germany).

UISPP XVIII World Congress
in Paris

(4-9 June 2018)

Lost in Sand - The Upper Lusatian Mesolithic at the open-air site
Reichwalde 6/4.

59th Annual Meeting of the
Hugo Obermaier Society in
Aurich

(18-22 April 2017)

Into the wild - The Mesolithic in the remote region of Upper Lusatia.

Tage der Landesarchäologie
Sachsen in Dresden

(4-5 November 2016)

HAS-99 - Eine mesolithische Großfundstelle aus dem Tagebauvorfed
Reichwalde (Ldkr. Görlitz, Sachsen).

24th Annual Meeting of the
AG Mesolithikum in
Rotenburg a.d. Wümme

(19-22 March 2015)

M. Blessing, Mikrolithen und Risikomanagement im Frühmesolithikum
Nord- und Süddeutschlands.

Publicationen

2019 in prep. M. Blessing, WW-17 - Die älteste mesolithische Besiedlung aus dem
Tagebaugebiet Reichwalde Nochten. Arbeits- und Forschungsberichte der
sächsischen Bodendenkmalpflege 59/60 (2017/2018).
2019 P. Schmidt, M. Blessing, M. Rageot, Radu Iovita, J. Pfleging, K. G. Nickel, L. Righetti, C. Tennie. Birch tar production does not prove Neanderthal behavioral complexity. PNAS 116/36, 17707 - 17711.
2018 A. Renno & M. Blessing, Geoarchäologische Untersuchungen um den Koppenteich im Hammerstädter Teichgebiet (Tagebauvorfeld Reichwalde). Archäologie in Sachsen 6. Arbeits- und Forschungsberichte der sächsischen Bodendenkmalpflege, Beiheft 33, 7-15.
2016 M. Blessing, Mikrolithen und Risikomanagement im Frühmesolithikum Nord- und Süddeutschland. In: Neue Forschungen zum Mesolithikum. Archäologische Berichte des Landkreises Rotenburg (Wümme) 20, 7-36.
[2016] 2013 M. Blessing, Risiko - Eine mögliche Ursache für Veränderungen innerhalb frühmesolithischer Mikrolithinventare. Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift 54, 29- 48.