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The Palaeolithic occupation of Europe as revealed by evidence from the rivers: data from IGCP 449

Bridgland, David R. and Antoine, P. and Limondin-Lozouet, Nicole and Santisteban , Juan I. and Westaway, Rob and White, Mark J. (2006) The Palaeolithic occupation of Europe as revealed by evidence from the rivers: data from IGCP 449. JQS. Journal of quaternary science, 21 (5). pp. 437-455. ISSN 0267-8179

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Abstract

IGCP 449 (2000–2004), seeking to correlate fluvial records globally, has compiled a
dataset of archaeological records from Pleistocene fluvial sequences. Many terrace sequences can
now be reliably dated and correlated with marine oxygen isotope stages (MIS), allowing potentially
useful patterns in artefact distribution to be recognised. This review, based on evidence from
northwest European and German sequences (Thames, Somme, Ilm, Neckar and Wipper), makes
wider comparisons with rivers further east, particularly the Vltava, and with southern Europe,
especially Iberia. The northwest and southern areas have early assemblages dominated by handaxes,
in contrast with flake-core industries in Germany and further east. Fluvial sequences can provide
frameworks for correlation, based on markers within the Palaeolithic record. In northwest Europe the
first appearance of artefacts in terrace staircases, the earliest such marker, dates from the mid–late
Cromerian Complex. Flake-core industries may have significantly preceded handaxe industries in
southern Europe. An important technological innovation—Levallois technique—occurs at the
Lower-Middle Palaeolithic boundary, correlated with MIS 9–8. Humans deserted northern Europe
during MIS 6, apparently returning to central Germany and northern France (Somme valley) by MIS 5e
but not reaching southern England until the appearance of Mousterian culture during MIS 4–3.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Uncontrolled Keywords:Palaeolithic; fluvial; river terrace; Thames; Somme
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
ID Code:12436
Deposited On:17 Mar 2011 12:10
Last Modified:17 Mar 2011 12:10

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