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Valuable Flints

Research strategies for the study of early prehistoric remains from the pleistocene soils of the Northern Netherlands

Bjørn Ivar Smit

Series: Groningen Archaeological Studies 11

ISBN-13: 9789077922682

Publication year: 2010

Publication type: Book

Pages: VII, 177

Cover: Softcover

Format: 210 x 297 x 10 mm; 1000 g; b. & w. + full colour ill.

Price excl. VAT: €29.00

Price incl. VAT: €31.61

This book addresses the problems concerning the research of Stone Age surface scatters in the Northern Netherlands (provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland). Research methods are presented which can be used to assess these scatters within the realm of archaeological heritage management and suggestions are made with regard to knowledge hiatus and future research opportunities.

Due to the large number of scatters, poor conservation, lack of visibility in the landscape and disturbed context these sites can often be overlooked. Nowadays, the majority of archaeological research is performed within the context of archaeological heritage management where, besides scientific, socio-economic motives also play a role. A major part of this book is focused on ways in which these scatters can be investigated within the context of archaeological heritage management.

In this thesis the use of a landscape approach is advocated for an effective study of early prehistoric communities. This means that the intrinsic characteristics of the surface scatters should be supplemented with information on landforms and palaeo-ecological data from the surrounding areas. By using such an approach a more thorough image of Stone Age communities can be presented.

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1 Surface scatters in the Northern Netherlands 1
1.1 Setting the stage 1
1.2 Research history 8
1.3 Occupation history of the study area 11

2 Research of early prehistoric sites in Dutch archaeology 18
2.1 Introduction 18
2.2 The Archaeological Heritage Management cycle 19
2.3 Problems with surface scatters 23
2.4 Unfamiliarity with the nature of the archaeological remains 27
2.5 AHM cycle: problems 30
2.6 AHM cycle: opportunities 34
2.7 Conclusions 43

3 From flint scatters to meaningful categories 46
3.1 Introduction 46
3.2 The classification of surface scatters 46
3.3 The search for acceptable sample size 54
3.4 Dating of surface scatters: problems and solutions 62
3.5 Case studies 69
3.6 Conclusions 72

4 Regional or site-orientated research 73
4.1 Introduction 73
4.2 Key concepts in the study of prehistoric hunter- gatherer land-use 79
4.3 Conclusions: the use of the landscape 85

5 The use wear of past landscapes 86
5.1 Introduction 86
5.2 Contexts and their transformations 87
5.3 Three types of transformations 89
5.4 The use wear of five landscape zones 98
5.5 Early prehistoric remains to be expected on the Pleistocene soils 104
5.6 Discussion 107

6 Synthesis 108
6.1 Introduction 108
6.3 Scatters and patches of early prehistoric remains: conclusions 108
6.4 Surface scatters: suggestions for future research 118
6.5 The landscape approach: conclusions 119
6.6 The landscape approach: suggestions for future research 127
6.7 Final remarks 130

Appendix I: The external integration within the BBO-process 133
Appendix II: Minimum Demands on collections 141
Appendix III: Research of Mesolithic ploughzone sites (Method Ten Anscher) 142
Appendix IV: Simulation procedure 143
Appendix V: Multiple Contingency Table Analyses on samples 144
Appendix VI: Scatter plots simulations 146
Appendix VII: The collection of Hagens 149
Appendix VIII: Bailey’s five types of palimpsests 150

References 151
Glossary 166
Dutch Summary 168
Dankwoord 177