More about the reindeer hunters

Man came to Denmark approximately 14,200 years ago. The reindeer hunters belonged to a hunter-stone-age culture called “the Hamburg Culture”. It is named after some famous findings of settlements north of the city of Hamburg.

The hunters of the Hamburg culture were very mobile. They walked over great distances with their weapons, tents, and tools in pursuit of food. The reindeer hunters probably used bows made of pinewood. They brought the tools and weapons made of wood from Germany, since pine did not grow in Denmark at the time. The arrow shafts consisted of two pieces of wood. One heavier, short front-piece with the arrow head, and one lighter longer back-piece with steering feathers. The back piece required a lot more work and a long straight piece of wood to make sure that the rearmost part was constructed to break off, when the arrow hit; in order to save wood and spare their work.


Scientific name: Homo sapiens

Foto: Neanderthal (to the left) og Homo sapiens (to the right)

Height: The men were almost as tall as Danish men are today, where the average is 180,6 cm. (2005) The women were a bit lower than Danish women are today, which in average are 167cm. (2005)

Weight: Unknown, but they were probably muscular and in good shape, since they walked long distances. Today the average in Denmark is 83,1 kg for men and 68 kg for women.

Food Source: Especially reindeer but also mountain hare, birds, fish, and berries.

Distribution: Settlements of the Hamburg Culture are found in Germany, Netherlands, France, and Poland. Few findings from Denmark. Settlements have been excavated in Southern Jutland and on Lolland.

Status: It was probably only few families on visits in Denmark fra Germany in the spring or autumn and only for a short period of years before they disappeared again. Denmark was maybe such a tough place to be that this culture never really got a foothold.