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Title: The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain
Author: Campbell, John B.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1794 9843
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1972
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This thesis presents a co-ordinated study of the chronology, environment, and material culture of the Upper Palaeolithic in Britain, based upon a re-evaluation of extant old evidence and on the results of the author's specially undertaken excavations. A chronological scheme is proposed for the British Upper Palaeolithic, based on a new correlation of the stratigraphic and radiocarbon evidence. Two main divisions of the period are recognized, an Earlier phase and a Later one, which can be shown to be separated by the maximum ice advances of the Full Last Glacial (c. 20,00 to 15,000 years B.P.). Dates are available for the Earlier Upper Palaeolithic ranging from c. 29,000 to 18,000 B.P., which period covers the latter half of the Middle Last Glacial. Granulometric, pollen and faunal evidence suggest a Sub-Arctic to Arctic environment. The Later Upper Palaeolithic appears to date from c. 14,500 to 10,000 B.P., occupying most of the Late Last Glacial, and is associated with a varying Boreal to Sub-Arctic environment. The question of the relationship of Britain to the continent of Europe in terms of land-bridges is considered in some detail. The faunal analysis for both phases includes an assessment of the principal and preferred sources of meat for the human population. The distribution of Upper Palaeolithic sites is carefully considered, and the question of home bases and the strategy for exploiting the food resources of the various areas of Britain is discussed whenever the evidence permits. The study of these aspects is supported by a specially prepared series of maps. The typological range of the Earlier and Later Upper Palaeolithic tool-kits is studied and described on the basis of the author's own scheme, which has a simple ranked structure. Clear and important typological differences exist between the two phases. A number of simple metrical and statistical tests are employed, principally for comparison of individual stone tool assemblages within each stage, on the basis of which the question of sub-division is discussed. A large series of new artifact illustrations is presented to cover most of the British assemblages. A series of gazetteers list all the definite, possible and claimed British Upper Palaeolithic sites and the artifacts from them. Other aspects of the industries, such as the use of different raw materials, are also considered. The archaeological relationships between the British and continental Upper Palaeolithic assemblages are briefly discussed, but no firm conclusions can be offered until an exhaustive study of certain relevant continental material has been undertaken. A few suggestions are offered for future research in this and other fields, and the question of what terminology is most appropriate for the British Upper Palaeolithic is considered in the light of the author's research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Paleoecology ; Paleolithic period ; Antiquities ; Great Britain