1st Edition

Coastal Landscapes of the Mesolithic Human Engagement with the Coast from the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea

Edited By Almut Schülke Copyright 2020
    456 Pages 117 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    454 Pages 117 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Coastal Landscapes of the Mesolithic: Human Engagement with the Coast from the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea explores the character and significance of coastal landscapes in the Mesolithic – on different scales and with various theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches.

    Mesolithic people were strongly connected to the sea, with coastal areas vital for subsistence and communication across the water. This anthology includes case studies from Scandinavia, western Europe and the Baltic area, presented by key international researchers. Topics addressed include large-scale analyses of the archaeological and geological development of coastal areas, the exploration of coastal environments with interdisciplinary methods, the discussion of the character of coastal settlements and of their possible networks, social and economic practices along the coast, as well as perceptions and cosmological aspects of coastal areas. Together, these topics and approaches contribute in an innovative way to the understanding of the complexity of topographically changing coastal areas as both border zones between land and sea and as connecting landscapes.

    Providing novel insights into the study of the Mesolithic as well as coastal areas and landscapes in general, the book is an important resource for researchers of the Mesolithic and coastal archaeology.

    1. Coastal landscapes of the Mesolithic: Diversities, challenges and perspectives on humancoast relations between the Atlantic and the Baltic Sea

    Almut Schülke

    Part I: The significance of coastal areas

    2. The role of coastal exploitation in the Maglemose culture of southern Scandinavia – marginal or dominant?

    Peter Moe Astrup

    3. Mesolithic coastal landscapes: Demography, settlement patterns and subsistence economy in southeastern Norway

    Steinar Solheim

    4. 'They made no effort to explore the interior of the country': Coastal landscapes, hunter-gatherers and the islands of Ireland

    Grame Warren and Kieran Westley

    5. Transformations of coast and culture: a view from the Latvian shore of the Baltic

    Valdis Berzinš

    Part II: Coastal sites, mobility and networks

    6. Diachronic trends among Early Mesolithic site types? A study from the coast of central Norway

    Heidi Mjelva Breivik

    7. The Mesolithic coastal exploitation of western Scotland: The impacts of climate change and use of favoured locations

    Steven Mithen, Karen Wicks and Inger Marie Berg-Hansen

    8. Specialists facing climate change. The 8200 cal BP event and its impact on the coastal settlement in the inner Oslo fjord, southeast Norway

    Guro Fossum

    9. Mesolithic networks of Atlantic France: the two faces of Brittany (7th and 6th millennia cal BC).

    Grégor Marchand

    Part III: The resources of the sea and beyond

    10. Mesolithic fishing landscapes in western Norway

    Knut Andreas Bergsvik and Kenneth Ritchie

    11. Resource management in Late Mesolithic Eastern Norway? Fishing in the coastal, interior and mountain areas and its socio-economic implications

    Axel Mjærum and Anja Mansrud

    12. Seals on the ice: Integrating archaeology, zooarchaeology and isotopic studies to discuss some aspects of landscape use and subsistence choices in Stone Age coastal societies of the Baltic Sea

    Aikaterini Glykou

    13. The use of the Mesolithic coastal hinterland – an example from the palaeoecological investigations from Lake Skogstjern, Telemark, southeastern Norway

    Magdalena Wieckowska-Lüth and Wiebke Kierleis

    Part IV: The coastal zone: time depth, historicity and ritual practice

    14. Nodal points in a Mesolithic mobile coastal world: monumental quarries in south Norway

    Astrid J. Nyland

    15. First visit or revisit? Motivations of mobility and the use and reuse of sites in the changing coastal areas of Mesolithic southeastern Norway

    Almut Schülke

    16. Ritual depositions in the coastal zone: A case from Syltholm, Denmark

    Søren Anker Sørensen


    Almut Schülke is Associate Professor for Nordic Archaeology (Mesolithic and Neolithic periods) at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway. Her research interests include the study of social space and mobility in coastal and other environments, ritual and depositional practices and burial archaeology.



    "Coastal Landscapes of the Mesolithic is a valuable resource for understanding the lifestyle of Mesolithic societies within a dynamic coastal landscape. Densely filled with large quantities of archaeological data and statistics, as well as some basic terminology from the environmental sciences, it is suitable for a mature academic readership with an understanding of Northern European archaeological and paleo-environmental research."

    - Katarina Jerbic, Journal of Maritime Archaeology