Ur- und frühgeschichtliche Knochenreste des Bibers, Castor fiber L., aus den östlichen Bundesländern Deutschlands


  • Manfred Teichert


TEICHERT, M.: Prehistoric and early historic bone remains of the beaver Castor fiber L. from eastern Germany. - Hercynia N. F. 32 (1999): 99-109.

In the sampling area were identified altogether 66 sites yielding beaver bones from prehistoric and early historic times. They were almost uniformly distributed over all eastern parts of Germany except for mountainous regions. Age determinations revealed that already I 000 000 years ago beaver had lived on the southern regions of Eastern Germany, that is exclusively during interglacial periods.

The gradual warming up in the Pleistocene led to a retreat of the glaciers followed by the encroachment of the beaver on the younger moraine landscapes of northern Germany even up to the Baltic Sea coast. Although not each period and region can be documented by bone evidence, it may be suggested that
from the Mesolithic till the late Middle Ages beavers were common in all biotopes suitable for this animal species. Missing evidence has tobe regarded as research gaps. The decline of beaver populations in the sampling area since the late Middle Ages goes back to anthropogenic influence. Protective measures are urgently required for the conservation of the species.

Keywords: Archaeozoology, prehistoric and early historic bone remains of the beaver, eastern parts of Germany