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Title: Patterns of choice and constraint in Lower and Middle Palaeolithic microlithic assemblages in central Europe
Author: Glaesslein, Iris Irmaliisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 8222
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2010
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The big question raised in this thesis is one of choice: To what extent did the makers of microlithic tool kits during the Lower Palaeolithic merely respond to environmental pressures and to what extent did they choose to shape their environment, by means of their toolkits, according to their needs? Assuming a certain degree of choice, a selection of Lower Palaeolithic microlithic assemblages was analysed to investigate possible patterns within the material with regards to raw material selection, tool shape and size. The emerging pattern will be viewed against the backdrop of ecological variables, i.e. climate, environment, potential resources and the archaeological evidence of actually exploited resources. The impact of smallness is then explored in areas such as subsistence and lifestyle, hafting, learning and focus of attention. A further aspect to be considered in this investigation concerns the recurrence of microlithic assemblages during the Middle Palaeolithic in the form of the Taubachian and the question of continuation of a technological tradition over a long period of time. I have analysed data collected from microlithic assemblages from Poland (Trzebnica 2d, Trzebnica 2g, Rusko 33, Rusko 42) and Germany (Mauer, Bilzingsleben, Ehringsdorf Lower Horizon, Taubach) with the help of the statistic software package PASW17. The results indicate that early human populations in central Europe had far greater opportunities to shape their subsistence strategies and choose their lifestyles than was previously assumed. Environmental pressures and restrictions are partly but not solely responsible for the chosen strategies. Raw material availability had an influence but was not always the determining factor in artefact size, shape and technological strategies. As for the question of recurrence versus continuation of small tool traditions into the Middle Palaeolithic: The results suggest that there was no continuation, which may be unsurprising given the long periods of time involved. Instead similar strategies were chosen in similar environmental and climatic conditions, but with morphologically and technologically varying toolkits.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available