Neanderthals Among Mammoths
Product Code: 51546
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In spring 2002 mammoth bones and associated Mousterian stone tools were found in situ at Lynford Quarry, near Munford village, Norfolk, UK. The finds were within the organic sediments of a palaeochannel.
Excavation was undertaken with support from Ayton Asphalte, the quarry owners, and English Heritage, funded through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ASLF). These finds are a rare example of British Middle Palaeolithic tools, associated with the Neanderthal occupation of what was then a peninsula of north-west Europe. The excavation recovered exceptionally well-preserved archaeological and palaeoenvironmental information. The association of woolly mammoth bones with bout- coupé hand axes (bifaces) and this wealth of palaeoenvironmental data provided a unique opportunity to investigate questions of diet, land use and habitat from deposits within a small geological feature. The palaeoenvironmental evidence and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating show that the site was occupied c 65–57ka, at the transition between Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 4 and 3. The plant and invertebrate remains indicate open conditions dominated by grasses, sedges and low-growing herbaceous communities, with small stands of birch or scrub, and areas of acid heath or bog, and a mild climate.
Finds included 1,365 identified bones, of which 91 per cent are woolly mammoth; and 2,720 lithic pieces, including 41 complete and 6 broken hand-axes, and 20 flake tools. In addition, an associated sandstone block bears use traces made by a softer material, possibly wood, and was possibly used as a fire striker.
The Lynford finds give a rare opportunity to study the socio-ecology of Neanderthals and the relationship between their social structure and the distribution of resources in the landscape during the last cold stage of Ice Age Europe.
- 549 pages
- Published in 2012
Size: Approx. 219 mm (w) x 276 mm (h)
Author: William A Boismier
Author 2: Clive Gamble and Fiona Coward
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