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Title: Transition and persistence : material culture in the Mesolithic landscape of North Yorkshire
Author: Chatterton, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 9764
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2005
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The aim of this thesis is to seek to gain an understanding of the technology of the Mesolithic period as it is evidenced within the landscape of north Yorkshire. It does not aim to investigate, detail and classify the assemblages of the whole area as this would not be feasible within the confines of a thesis, due to the vast amount of evidence of the period that has been gathered since the advent of interest in archaeology. The thesis will investigate in detail the landscape of two areas within north Yorkshire and, at times, move to larger scales of analysis in order to seek to understand themes which informed technology at the landscape level. Yorkshire has long attracted research into the Mesolithic period and, in many respects, the area remains unsurpassed in the level of attention it has received, the amount of evidence for the period recovered and the quality of that evidence. This depth of research and evidence has not been limited to one area but occurs across the county. For example, extensive and intensive research has been undertaken in the Pennines ever since the initial discoveries of Buckley (1924) and most recently by Spikins (1999,2003). Similar research, collection and excavation have been undertaken on the North Yorkshire Moors, with local archaeologists such as Raymond Hayes, Don Spratt and Geoffrey Taylor collecting from the area. Jacobi (1976,1978) also utilised evidence from the North Yorkshire Moors, obtained by collectors such as Taylor, within his analysis and in order to develop his theories. The archaeological research upon the North Yorkshire Moors was combined with intensive palaeoenvironmental reconstruction by Dimbleby (1961), Simmons (1969,1996) and PhD students of Simmons such as Jones (1976) and Cundill (1988). The northern dales, such as Teesdale, Swaledale and Wensleydale, have been researched over many years by keen enthusiasts such as Tim Laurie and Dennis Coggins (Coggins, Laurie and Young 1989) and the southern dales, such as Wharfedale, have been investigated by Cowling (Cowling 1946). More recently, investigations have been carried out in the southern Vale of York by Peter Halkon, which is as yet unpublished, and by the English Heritage funded Wetland Project (Van der Noort & Ellis 1999). The Mesolithic landscape of the Vale of Pickering has without doubt been the most intensively investigated landscape of the region and probably the whole country. Research and excavation has been undertaken by Moore (1950), Clark (1954) and the Vale of Pickering Research Trust (Schadla Hall and Lane forthcoming). Even within such an intensively researched landscape, there are still areas which have received less attention, and two of these areas were chosen for research in this programme of work: the northern Vale of York/ Vale of Mowbray and Upper Nidderdale. It was decided to research the Mesolithic of the Vale of York because the area had received little attention, often overlooked because it was presumed that any Mesolithic archaeology present had been buried by alluvium. Manby, commenting recently upon the Mesolithic period in Yorkshire, was forced to state that `the great extent of the central lowlands has few Mesolithic assemblages' (Manby 2003: 33). A paper on the prehistory of the Vale of York by Radley (1974) lists numerous finds of the Neolithic and Bronze Age, but in relation to earlier periods he states `No Palaeolithic tools are known from the Vale. Few Mesolithic sites have been found in an area which must have been attractive to hunters and fishermen. ' (ibid: 11). This apparent lacuna led both Jacobi (1978) and Myers (1987,1989) to draw their models of the early Mesolithic in terms of winter occupation of the Lincolnshire Wolds and adjacent areas and summer occupation of the Pennines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available