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Picture of Chronology and Evolution within the Mesolithic of North-West Europe

Chronology and Evolution within the Mesolithic of North-West Europe

Proceedings of an International Meeting, Brussels, May 30th-June 1st 2007

Editor(s): Philippe Crombé, Joris Sergant, Mark Van Strydonck
Contributors: Sonke Hartz, Caroline Hanson, Christopher Meiklejohn, Mathieu Boudin, Mara-Julia Weber, Graeme Warren,

Book Description

Since its development in 1949, radiocarbon dating has increasingly been used in prehistoric research in order to get a better grip on the chronology of sites, cultures and environmental changes. Refinement of the dating, sampling and calibration methods has continuously created new and challenging perspectives for absolute dating.

In these proceedings the focus lies on the contribution of carbon-14 dates in current Mesolithic research in North-West Europe. Altogether 40 papers dealing with radiocarbon dates from 15 different countries are presented. Major themes are the typo-technological evolution of lithic and bone industries, changes in settlement patterns, burial practices, demography and subsistence, human impact on the Mesolithic environment and the neolithisation process. Some papers also deal with more methodological aspects of carbon-14 dating (e.g. calculation of various reservoir effects, the use of cumulative calibrated probability distributions), and related techniques (e.g. stable isotope analysis for palaeodiet reconstruction).


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1421-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1421-0
Date of Publication: 01/12/2009
Pages / Size: 847 / A5
Price: £64.99


Philippe Crombé, Joris Sergant and Machteld Bats belong to the Archaeology department of Ghent University. They have all been involved for many years in Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic research, including field-work (survey and large-scale salvage excavations), and laboratory work (techno-typological analysis, GIS, spatial analysis, etc), mainly in the sandy lowlands and wetlands of NW Belgium, but occasionally also in the Netherlands.

Mark Van Strydonck and Mathieu Boudin belong to the radiocarbon laboratory of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels. Radiocarbon dating for archaeology and the history of the arts is the main objective of this laboratory, founded in the 1960s. One of the main fields of research in this laboratory is the study of the relationship between the sample and the event (sample selection, integrity and quality on the one hand, event analysis on the other hand).

There exists a long established and close collaboration between the two institutes, which has resulted in joint research projects on dating of Mesolithic pottery food-crusts, antler mattocks, and cremated bones.