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The Mesolithic coastal exploitation of western Scotland The impacts of climate change and use of favoured locations

Mithen, S., Wicks, K. and Berg-Hansen, I. (2020) The Mesolithic coastal exploitation of western Scotland The impacts of climate change and use of favoured locations. In: Schülke, A. (ed.) Coastal Landscapes of the Mesolithic Human Engagement with the Coast from the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea. Routledge, London, pp. 147-178. ISBN 9780203730942

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4324/9780203730942

Abstract/Summary

The Mesolithic period provides archaeologists with an opportunity to explore long-term processes of social and economic change, while also reconstructing the short-term activities of hunter-gatherers as they respond to their social and cultural environments. We address both time frames within this review of Mesolithic coastal exploitation in western Scotland. By collating 163 radiocarbon dates from 33 Mesolithic sites and analyzing these for activity events, we are able to monitor the variation in the intensity of activity between the Pleistocene/Holocene transition at c. 11 650 cal BP and the appearance of the Neolithic at c. 5800 cal BP. We attribute the majority of the variation to changes in population density arising from the impact of climate change. We then select a number of Mesolithic sites which had been especially favoured locations and explore the nature of the activities that were undertaken, and how these contributed to an overall pattern of coastal exploitation. To begin this review, we provide a brief introduction to the history of Mesolithic research in western Scotland, the character of the archaeological record and the methodology of activity event analysis

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Social Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:89653
Publisher:Routledge

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