Living Mesolithic Project | Evocative images of life in 5000 BC

◊ Living Mesolithic Project | Frank Wiersema Photography with Chris Pallasch at Stone Age Park Dithmarschen in Albersdorf | 2015 Facebook (Images & video) Experimental archaeology

Mesolithic_FrankWiersema1In the summers of 2015-16 the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen in Albersdorf (Germany) organized a Stone Age Living Project in the area of the newly built 2014 “Mesolithic Settlement” site, in the form of both an educational programme and as an experiment. The activities and outputs (used tools and established structures) were scientifically documented by archaeologists from the Archaeological Department of the University of Exeter, England, as partner of the OpenArch-project. The scientific results will be published by Exeter, the detailed documentation will be published by the Stone Age Park in form of a magazine and a brochure.

Mesolithic_FrankWiersema2The aim of the project was to reconstruct the everyday life of hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Northern Europe around 5000 BC by doing an authentic as possible life experiment with skilled re-enactors and experimental archaeologists, in order to gain a new type of insight of how life might have been at that time.

Images © Frank Wiersema

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The Mesolithic Bogs are Drying | StoneAgeBogs Group Website

Mesolithic archaeology surviving in wetlands (bogs) is an increasingly rare resource, as evidenced in the rapidly deteriorating—drying and acidifying—remains at Star Carr since the original excavations in the 1940-50s.

StarCarr_trenchcomparison

Star Carr, North Yorkshire | Image comparison between 1950 and 2010 showing shrinkage of the peat due to land drainage. Source: StoneAgeBogs website.

The StoneAgeBogs group has been established

“with the intention of bringing together specialists who work on bog sites across Europe to discuss cutting-edge scientific methodologies and to evaluate the threats to this valuable cultural resource with a view to future action and collaboration.”

The website includes useful illustrated summaries and references for the most important sites across northern Europe and western Russia:

More UK sites and finds in the media »
Mesolithic Miscellany website »

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Submerged Prehistory and Palaeolandscapes of the British Isles | Free Paper until Jan 2016

Excellent open access paper (and bibliography) free to download until 30 January 2016
Bicket, A. and Tizzard, L. (2015) A Review of the Submerged Prehistory and Palaeolandscapes of the British Isles. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 126: 643–663.
DoggerlandImage | Doggerland inundation after Sturt, F., Garrow, D. and Bradley, S. (2013) New models of North West European Holocene palaeogeography and inundation. Journal of Archaeological Science 40 (11): 3963–3976.

 

WessexWessex Archaeology write:

Wessex Archaeology, Coastal & Marine and Geoservices divisions, have been developing market-leading expertise in submerged prehistory and palaeolandscapes research for well over a decade. As part of our remit to disseminate our work we have synthesised the results of the last 15 years of the many commercial investigations and research in this newly-published review for the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.

 

The paper summarises over a century of interest in submerged prehistoric landscapes under the North Sea and around all the coasts of the British Isles, from early theories trying to understand how our early prehistoric ancestors lived within now-flooded offshore landscapes to current high-tech survey methods for investigating sites and inundated river systems. The review provides a comprehensive bibliography and online resources (many open-access) to encapsulate the work to-date on this fascinating and rapidly developing discipline of submerged prehistoric archaeology.

 

We can share the article via this link until January 30, 2016, no sign up or registration is needed – just click and read! After this date the site provides an abstract and a login prompt.

 

Note | The download link above worked better in Internet Explorer than Mozilla Firefox.

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Swifterbant Stones | Two whopping volumes and a lithic analysis framework

◊ Dear Microburins,

SwifterbantIt’s big, it’s two whopping volumes, it’s got a full lithic typology and analysis protocol (vol 1 appendix) — we’re liking that already.

Swifterbant Stones: The Neolithic Stone and Flint Industry at Swifterbant (The Netherlands) by Izabel Devriendt (Groningen 2014).

“In this research the stone and flint artefacts of the site Swifterbant are analysed. Attention is focussed on the Neolithic occupation phase of the prehistoric creek system (c. 4300 – 4000 cal BC) where archaeological traces were found on several levee and river dune sites. This study shows that there is a larger variability in site types than originally presumed. It is established that these sites are all part of one settlement system in which they all had a different function. This thesis comprises a monograph on the research history of the site and the different aspects of the lithic research such as typological analysis, technological attribute analysis, raw material analysis and use-wear analysis, in combination with a detailed inventory (catalogue). All this leads to new insights into the use of lithic artefacts. The importance of stone tool morphology, the selective gathering of stone tool blanks or the use of two different fl­int production sequences are but a few of these interesting aspects. Other topics concern tool function, mobility, raw material access and use, cultural markers and social identity. In combining the results from this research with that of other Swifterbant sites a better understanding of the different aspects of prehistoric stone and fl­int industries is gained.”

Oxbow Books > Swifterbant Stones

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