Stone Age Occupation of the Northern Netherlands: Time, Space, Location and Subsistence
E-mail: M.J.L.T.Niekus rug.nl
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. D.C.M. Raemaekers
Period of employment: 1 September 2001 – 1 July 2007
Financed by: Faculty of Arts
This project is concerned with the Mesolithic occupation (c. 9600-5900 BP) in the Northern Netherlands, namely the area above the major river systems of Rhine and Meuse. There is considerable variation in the size, location and content (types of artifacts, features etc.) of Mesolithic sites, but what this variation actually indicates in terms of behavior of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups is still misunderstood. Therefore, one of the main aims of this study will be to establish a framework which can explain the observed variability in Mesolithic sites.
In order to achieve this goal three major research questions, relating to different aspects of the Mesolithic occupation, were formulated. These are:
- How many types of Mesolithic sites/settlements can be identified based on the analyses of a number of metric and non-metric attributes?
- Is it possible to define the structuring principles, for example chronology, function, land-use or a combination of these, underlying or determining this settlement system?
- How can we describe Mesolithic settlement patterns and land-use in the study area and is it possible to observe changes through time? If so, why did these occur?
These questions will be addressed by studying a.o. typology/technology of flint artefacts and the location of sites in relation to soil types, raw materials, height (a.s.l.) and distance to sources of water. An important part of the research will deal with the chronological and geographical distribution of more than 400 radiocarbon dates.
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