Coastal Landscapes of the Mesolithic : Human Engagement with the Coast from the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea book cover
1st Edition

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

Edited By

Almut Schülke

ISBN 9781032173788
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
456 Pages 117 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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 Bērziņš

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

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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