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Integrating Lithic Microwear and sourcing to improve understanding of socioeconomic behaviour in the British Mesolithic

Author(s): Randolph Donahue ; Adrian Evans ; Antony Dickson ; Anne Clarke ; Fraser Brown

Year: 2017

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We present the results of an integrated study of lithic microwear analysis and lithic sourcing at the large Mesolithic site of Stainton West. Microwear analysis helped to understand why the site was so large and how the occupants supported themselves while at the site. Microwear analysis of 700 artefacts led to 49% identification of use. There is much diversity in tool use: hide working, butchery (meat/fish), impact, antler/bone working, wood working, and plant working. Various patterns were detected between tool use and tool technology. Many of the numerous microliths, showed impact damage, but are attributed to fishing rather than hunting. This conforms to the riverside location of the site on the River Eden. Hide working was primarily limited to dry hide, which supports the hypothesis that hunting was not the primary procurement activity and is also suggestive of a residential site, which is further supported by the diverse set of tools and wide range of activities represented. The sourcing study shows that raw material was procured from long distances in all directions. We conclude that the site was likely an aggregation site where many bands came together to exploit an abundant but temporary fish resource.

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Integrating Lithic Microwear and sourcing to improve understanding of socioeconomic behaviour in the British Mesolithic. Randolph Donahue, Adrian Evans, Antony Dickson, Anne Clarke, Fraser Brown. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428972)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16694

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America