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Department of Archaeology

Staff

Mr James Walker

(email at j.w.p.walker@durham.ac.uk)

Research Topic

Rethinking the significance of the microlith for hunting practices in the terminal Pleistocene / Holocene: A comparative study.

Abstract

My AHRC funded studentship seeks to reassess the significance of microlith (small stone armatures) based hunting strategies as one of the adaptations to the changing environments inhabited during the climatic fluctuations associated with the Pleistocene / Holocene transition.

Although commonly associated with the European Mesolithic, microlithic technology was widely spread around the world, appearing in a variety of environmental and social contexts.  Insular attitudes in the study of the European Mesolithic is just one of several problems with the rise of normative thinking that has popularised a simplistic, broad-brush view of microlith based hunting.  My research will provide a regional comparison of areas within both Europe and North America, utilising and integrating multiple sources of evidence, to generate a new perspective.  This higher resolution of regional differences and similarities will substantially alter our understanding of life at the end of the last ice age.

Is supervised by