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Title: Investigating mesolithic hunter-gatherer mobility through chert exploitation in Northern England : an application for the non-destructive technique of LA-ICP-MS for sourcing Pennine chert to investigate mesolithic hunter-gatherer mobility strategies in Northern England
Author: Wolframm, Yvonne Bianca
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis investigates hunter-gatherer mobility in the Mesolithic landscape of northern England through their exploitation of chert. The principal aim of this study is to evaluate two hypotheses of hunter-gatherer movement: 1) huntergatherers would primarily move between the lowlands and uplands with no extensive movement along the interior of the uplands and 2) hunter-gatherers would primarily move along the interior of the uplands. The chert content of the lithic assemblages present at Malham Tarn Site A (northern Pennines) and Lismore Fields (southern Pennines) would differ according to the manner of movement practiced by the huntergatherers, thereby resulting in different frequency distributions of local and non-local cherts. Hunter-gatherer mobility is important in understanding hunter-gatherer subsistence, trade/exchange and colonisation, but mobility does not leave direct evidence in the archaeological record. Improved understanding of lithic raw material movement across the landscape provides another dimension in examining hunter-gatherer mobility. The principal 'tool' used in this study to investigate potential hunter-gatherer mobility during the Mesolithic in northern England is geochemical sourcing of cheli by LA-ICPMS. Geochemical characterisation is increasingly being embraced by archaeologists, but had not yet been applied to chert in northern England. Geological sources were first sampled and analysed using LA-ICP-MS with limited success in differentiating sources. Combined with other techniques it was possible to differentiate most cherts and apply the resulting "key" to the archaeological sites. The results support the first hypothesis indicating that hunter-gatherers were primarily moving between the lowlands and uplands with little direct movement between the interior upland regions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available