Orkneyjar is an excellent heritage and archaeological news aggregation website, well worth a visit. News items are categorised by period such as Mesolithic »
Spencer Carter's insight:
Orkney is perhaps better known for its spectacular Neolithic, Bronze Age and Viking archaeology, with clear evidence for long-distance contact and seafaring from earliest times. However, there are more than hints that the islands were occupied in the Mesolithic period, 9000–4000 BC if not earlier, when sea levels were as much as 30m lower than today.
Discoveries through the noughties have included hazelnut shells dated to 6820-6660 Cal BC and diagnostic flints buried below Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments. There’s even earlier and extremely exciting evidence too, dating back perhaps to 11,000 BC.
The following article is an account of the re-creation of a working replica of the Meare Heath Bow, which was carried out using the tools, materials and technologies available to the indigenous Neolithic population of Somerset. Through the re-creation and testing of the bow, hypothesis and interpretations previously attributed to the bow, and consequently to Neolithic bow-making in general, are examined and re-appraised | Article courtesy of www.digitaldigging.net
Spencer Carter's insight:
It may be Neolithic, but we can image our Mesolithic ancestors had the same (or better) skills and craftsmanship in the preceding 5+ millenia after the thawing of the glaciers, plus composite "plug-and-replace" technology? The Neolithic folks became more sedentary, more reliant on domesticated plants and animals - and all the risk that involved - versus hunter-gatherer-fisher communities who exploited their wildscapes while always (or mostly) on-the-move through a heavily forested environment.
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