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 region of South -Limburg (NL) and especially the most southern part is not known for its Mesolithic sites (1) at least not for those that are officially recognized ( after discovery by amateur -archaeologists) (2).
The Stainton West site, lying 2km north-west of Carlisle , comprised features and lithic scatters associated with a complex sequence of deposits within a palaeochannel, perched on an early Holocene terrace, above the present floodplain of the River Eden. The site was discovered by Oxford Archaeology North during construction work associated with building a new road and bridge over the Eden. A programme of archaeological analysis is presently ongoing, so only preliminary results are available.
Submerged landscape and settlement in the Solent, partly published, an ongoing project.
Work on an 8,000-year-old Stone Age settlement under the surface of the Solent in Hampshire is throwing up evidence of clear parallels of the modern "high street", archaeologists say.
After 30 years of excavating the area around Bouldnor Cliff, a boatyard was uncovered last summer, which teams have been working on ever since.
Since The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology spotted a swamped prehistoric forest in the 1980s, the Stone Age village was found by chance at the end of the last century.
Divers taking part in a routine survey spotted a lobster cleaning out its burrow on the seabed and to their surprise the animal was throwing out dozens of pieces of worked flint - which turned out to be the first sign of the village. Also see BBC News story and video at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-17046338
This project was funded by the AHRB from 2002-2005. It aimed to examine the role of marine resources and especially shellfish in the diet and economy of prehistoric hunters and gatherers living in Northwest Europe between about 8000 and 5000 years ago and the influence of these patterns on the spread and adoption of agriculture after about 5000 years ago.
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.
The results of small excavations carried out with OU students at Amesbury, Wiltshire, just over a mile from Stonehenge, between 2005 - 2011. Finds include over 12,000 Mesolithic flints and faunal remains including aurochs and boar.
Archaeologists from Tees Archaeology and the North York Moors National Parkhave teamed up with local volunteers to find out more about the Mesolithic period in their region and have set up the North East Yorkshire Mesolithic Project to help unearth new evidence.
Chantal Conneller, Nicky Milner, Barry Taylor and Maisie Taylor
The authors rewrite the character of Early Mesolithic settlement in Europe with their new research at one of its most famous sites. The picture of small mobile pioneering groups colonising new land is thrown into contention: far from being a small hunter-gatherer camp, Star Carr in 9000 cal BC extended for nearly 2ha and involved the construction of an estimated 30m of lakeside waterfront and at least one post-built house. With some justice, they suspect that the ‘small groups’ of Early Mesolithic Europe may have their rationale in the small excavations of archaeologists.
Which one is the microlith? Only one has shaved recently. This has been another weekend unusual for several kinds of weather in the space of a day. I've been in the meso-office again after an unusual week for lithic analysis.
Dear Microburins, "Pssst. This microlith has a symbolic message for you. It isn't an arrow armature. It's a hafted, encrypted social mediation between that tuber, your hand and dinner with the neighbours in an hour. Get a move on!"
The excavation work near Whitby didn't happen due to the late harvest and other complications—but field-walking, disciplinarian B&B landladies, Mesolithic pollen coring with professional palynologically qualified palaeo-ecologistical botanists, … ...
Mesolithic Miscellany Website. The only dedicated Mesolithic journal and news source in the world. Your first stop for news of Mesolithic archaeology, and other relevant information about prehistoric Europe.
Although the period was long we know relatively little about it. The North York Moors National Park and Tees Archaeology have teamed up to find out more and have set up a reserach project with funding from English Heritage.
Amateur archaeologists John Davies and Jim Hutchinson discovered Mesolithic flint artefacts erodingfrom a cliff-edge at Howick, Northumberland. This prompted a detailed investigation of the site by archaeologists from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the summers of 2000 and 2002. The remains of a Mesolithic hut were discovered revealing evidence of three distinct structural phases. Twenty-one radiocarbon dates taken from successive hearth features indicate that the hut was constructed c. 7,800 BC (cal). The Howick structure is therefore the earliest dated evidence for human settlement in Northumberland, and moreover, is one of only a few Stone Age dwellings known from the British Isles.
Over 18,000 pieces of flint were recovered during the excavations, as well as charred animal bone, charred hazelnut shells, red ochre and occasional shell fragments. All finds had their location recorded through the use of a Total Station, and all archaeological deposits were passed through a sieve and flotation tank to maximise recovery. As a result, the work at Howick represents one of the most detailed Mesolithic excavations hitherto undertaken anywhere in Europe.