Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 4-1 (October 2012)Leo Verhart: Contact in stone: adzes, Keile and Spitzhauen in the Lower Rhine Basin1
4 Spitzhauen

4.2 Description

A Spitzhaue is an axe-like artefact with a stocky oval shape, an hourglass-shaped shaft hole, located towards the butt, and a blunt pointed tip. (fig. 13).[22] They are made of natural pebbles that have been pecked into the right shape, particularly at the edge. Many specimens still display (parts of) the original pebble surface. In some instances traces of grinding have been found as well. The characteristic double-conical shaft hole has also been made by pecking, in the same technique as the identical perforations of the so-called Geröllkeulen. Rock types selected are predominantly quarzite and (quartzitic) sandstone, with a significant shift towards the softer sandstones in comparison to the raw material of Geröllkeulen (Hulst & Verlinde 1979, 200). In the province of Drenthe five out of eight specimens had been made of quartzitic sandstone (Beuker et al., 1992).[23] These stone types were commonly available in pebble deposits.


Figure 13 Two examples of Dutch Spitzhauen. Left: Deldenerbroek, Ambt Delden; right: Boekelo, Enschede. Scale 1: 2 (after Hulst & Verlinde 1979 , Abb. 5, 6).

The 16 Dutch Spitzhauen listed by Hulst & Verlinde (1979) range in length from 100 to 202 mm. The majority however have a length around 130-140 mm. The width ranges from 50 to 92 mm; the thickness from 30 to 55 mm (fig. 14-15).


Figure 14 Length of Spitzhauen in the Lower Rhine Basin.


Figure 15 Length/width ratio (above) and width/height ratio (below) of Spitzhauen in the Lower Rhine Basin.