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Lower and early middle Palaeolithic of southern Britain: the evidence from the River Test

Davis, R., Ashton, N., Hatch, M., Hosfield, R. ORCID: and Lewis, S. G. (2021) Lower and early middle Palaeolithic of southern Britain: the evidence from the River Test. Journal of Palaeolithic Archaeology, 4. 23. ISSN 2520-8217

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s41982-021-00096-3


Fluvial terrace sequences of Pleistocene rivers provide a chronological framework for examining broad patterns of change in the Palaeolithic record. Collections of artefacts recovered from individual terraces represent a time-averaged sample of the range of lithic technology discarded in a river valley over thousands of years. These can be compared and contrasted with other terraces to identify the timing of the appearance of key technological innovations and chronological variation in lithic technology. In Britain, the punctuated nature of human presence during the Pleistocene means that archaeological variation across a river terrace sequence is likely to relate in part to successive phases of occupation by human groups derived from populations in mainland Europe. This paper presents an analysis of the Lower and early Middle Palaeolithic record of the River Test, Hampshire, which was a tributary river of the former River Solent. The timing of the first appearance of handaxes and Levallois technology is established, and chronological patterning in handaxe typology and technology is identified. The Test record is placed in its regional context, and its implications for understanding the human occupation history of northwest Europe during the Middle Pleistocene are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:98800


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