mesolithic

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Mesolithic maritime discovery at Bouldnor Cliff

A rare wooden platform has been found at Bouldnor Cliff – a Mesolithic site that lies 11m underwater in the Solent, just east of the Isle of Wight. With around 60 pieces making up the structure, this discovery – along with other pieces of timber from the site – more than doubles the amount of worked wood recovered from this period in Britain.

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Investigating the isotopes of the Blick Mead dog

In 2016, a single canine tooth was found at Blick Mead – a major Mesolithic site 2km from Stonehenge. Now further isotopic analyses have revealed a complicated picture of the dog’s diet and possible migration patterns.

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Review – A Survival Story: prehistoric life at Star Carr

An exhibition at Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology brings together artefacts from early excavations at Star Carr, the latest finds from the celebrated site, and more, to conjure up what Mesolithic life was like beside Lake Flixton. Lucia Marchini went along to take a look.

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Current Archaeology 349

Three of our features this month focus on finds recently declared ‘Treasure’ according to the 1996 Treasure Act – legislation that has helped museums acquire many important artefacts for public display. The Heritage Minister has now proposed a number of revisions to the Act, and has launched a public consultation on them. See p.16 of […]

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Review – Blick Mead: exploring the ‘first place’ in the Stonehenge landscape

This is a well-rounded and readable account of research undertaken at Blick Mead, and one that undeniably establishes the site’s importance in adding to our understanding of the British Mesolithic, and of the wider Stonehenge landscape. Recollections from some of the project volunteers, which are printed at the start of each chapter, are a fitting tribute to the team’s community involvement and how many people have given their time to help investigate the site. But this monograph also serves as a timely reminder of the site’s significance at a time when the spring and its ancient contents are reportedly threatened by plans for the forthcoming Stonehenge tunnel.

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Time-honoured places: Defining the Neolithic sense of history

The latest contribution to our understanding of Neolithic lifestyles in the British Isles comes in the form of a wide-ranging book by Keith Ray and Julian Thomas. In it, they demonstrate that many Mesolithic sites of gathering continued to be regarded as special places throughout the Neolithic. This deliberate commemoration of the past gives important insights into the minds of the first farmers. Chris Catling investigates.

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Current Archaeology 347

I hope you had a wonderful festive period – but even as we look forward to what 2019 might bring, the past still has plenty to reveal. This month’s cover feature takes us deep into the Neolithic, where we consider evidence for whether sites that were monumentalised during this period were also considered ‘special’ during […]

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Neolithic hearth found in Jersey?

A well-preserved prehistoric hearth has been discovered 5ft below the surface during a commercial watching brief on a pipe trench in St Clement, southeast Jersey, which was carried out by the Société Jersiaise’s Field Archaeologist Robert Waterhouse.

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Highland housing in the Mesolithic

Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha, a previously identified Mesolithic site in the Cairngorm Mountains of the Scottish Highlands, have revealed evidence of a possible small structure surrounding a central hearth – an intriguing find, as the identification of Mesolithic buildings is quite rare. The dig was part of the first phase of the Upper Dee Tributaries Project (UDTP), through which an interdisciplinary team from institutions across the UK and Ireland is exploring the early prehistory of Mar Lodge Estate – owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

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Face to face with Cheddar Man

The nearly 10,000-year-old skeleton who came to be known as ‘Cheddar Man’ was found in 1903, in Gough’s Cave at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. In more recent times, his remains have been on display in the Human Origins Hall at the Natural History Museum. Despite his fame, until recently little was known about this individual. Now a team from UCL and the Natural History Museum has successfully sequenced his DNA for the first time, revealing a wealth of details about his physical appearance – with dramatic implications for our understanding of how inhabitants of Mesolithic Britain looked.

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