Born just 20 min away from the Neandertal, living now close to the site where stone age man Ötzi (“Frozen Fritz”) was found, it is not too surprising that I developed a strong interest in our prehistoric ancestors.

It happened that our neighbours in the university did research about the paleolithic. So I took my chance and participated in lectures and exercises by Dieter Schäfer, an enthusiastic scientist and teacher. Amongst other things, we learned to recognize artefacts. With awe, we held 300.000 yr old pieces of Neanderthal equipment, flint tools and “garbage” (little pieces of flint), in our hands. (Using this knowledge, to my delight I later even found a genuine stone-age artefact in Southern France.)

We learned to distinguish between just “stones” and stones that had been treated by humans to serve as tools or that remained during the toolmaking process.

Additionally, one of the most important mesolithic excavations in Austria is situated very close to my home village Birgitz, in the Fotscher Tal, to the SW of Innsbruck. I ended up contributing to a monograph (sorry, link only in German) about this excavation.

 more info about the excavation coming soon…