Hello, thanks for visiting. I’m Spence and I am passionate about Mesolithic archaeology, a lifelong interest in broken stones. I set up this informal blog in May 2012 to share news, debate, useful resources and some updates on my own activities.
microburin | “a characteristic waste product from the manufacture of lithic tools by creating a notch in a blade and breaking obliquely at the notch to produce a blade segment, sometimes confused with an authentic burin, which is characteristic of the Mesolithic” | » see how it’s done (YouTube)
About my passion
The Middle Stone Age spanned the thousands of years between the last ice age and the pesky monument-builder “farmers” of the Neolithic—say 9500 to 4000 BC. Our hunter-gatherer-fisher brethren pottered around at a time of significant change: rapid warming and changes to the landscape; rising sea levels; the disappearance of Doggerland that joined Britain to Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France; a cold snap around 6200 BC. Perhaps the Scottish-Norwegian tsunami, the Storrega slide, around 6100 BC didn’t help much—several waves would have been 20m high and finished off what the rising seas had achieved. Not good.
Born in North Yorkshire in the liberating 60s (nylon and polyester), I studied archaeology at Durham when Emeritus Prof. Dame Rosemary Cramp led the way—the Saddler Street department is now the Varsity pub-diner and my office corner, where I drew up excavation sections, is now a roof terrace serving any drink of your choice. And an 80 bob beer in the Shakespeare, the archaeologists’ pub of old, costs a great deal more today!
Research interests | Honorary Research Fellow in Department of Archaeology, Durham University
Since the 1980s I’ve been involved in extensive fieldwork, survey, excavation and post-excavation activities—academic, commercial and community—as an accomplished supervisor and trainer. Specific interests and activities include:
- Mesolithic Period | Human-environmental interactions, landscapes, mobility, raw material exploitation, with a focus in northern England and North-east Yorkshire
- Lithics Analysis and Education | Technology, chaînes opératoires, best-practice recording, interpretation, curation and dissemination
- Transitions | Epi-Palaeolithic-Early/Late Mesolithic and Mesolithic-Neolithic continuity and change
- Community and Public Archaeology | Interfaces between academic, public and commercial stakeholders in a digital world
- Social Media and Web 2.0+ | Relevance, adoption and future potential in the archaeological and heritage sectors