The Mesolithic in Britain proposes a new division of the Mesolithic period into four parts, each with its distinct character.
The Mesolithic has previously been seen as timeless, where little changed over thousands of years. This new synthesis draws on advances in scientific dating to understand the Mesolithic inhabitation of Britain as a historical process. The period was, in fact, a time of profound change: houses, monuments, middens, long-term use of sites and regions, manipulation of the environment and the symbolic deposition of human and animal remains all emerged as significant practices in Britain for the first time. The book describes the lives of the first pioneers in the Early Mesolithic; the emergence of new modes of inhabitation in the Middle Mesolithic; the regionally diverse settlement of the Late Mesolithic; and the radical changes of the final millennium of the period. The first synthesis of Mesolithic Britain since 1932, it takes both a chronological and a regional approach.
This book will serve as an essential text for anyone studying the period: undergraduate and graduate students, specialists in the field and community archaeology groups.
Table of Contents
1. Hunting and gathering time: Chronological frameworks and key themes; 2. Pioneers in the North: Preboreal and early boreal settlement, 9500-8200BC; 3. The Early Mesolithic Colonisation of the South: Deepcar and the early Boreal Mesolithic, 9300 to 8200BC; 4. A New Way of Living: Pits, hazelnuts, places and the ancestors in the Middle Mesolithic, 8200-7000BC; 5. The Forgotten People: The Late Mesolithic, 7000-5000BC; 6. The Last Hunters: The Final Mesolithic, 5000-4000BC
Chantal Conneller is a Senior Lecturer in early prehistory at Newcastle University. She is author of An Archaeology of Materials (2012) and Star Carr: A Persistent Place in a Changing World (2018).
'Conneller’s research provides a wonderful and comprehensive primer that brings the Mesolithic across Britain to life. Essential reading for anyone interested in the hunter-gather-fisher communities who settled in Britain after the last Ice Age, it deserves pride of place on any archaeological bookshelf.'
Caroline Wickham-Jones, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
'This is a remarkable and outstanding book. It will change the way we understand the British Mesolithic for generations to come.'
Professor Graeme Warren, University College Dublin, Dublin
"It is difficult for me to overstate how important Conneller’s book is for our understanding of the British Mesolithic, the British prehistoric sequence and the Mesolithic across Europe. It is instantly a key textbook for those wanting to gain an overall understanding of the character and complexity of British Mesolithic archaeology. It is also essential reading for anyone wanting to understand changes in Mesolithic societies in a particular region of Britain."
Ben Elliott, British Archaeology