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Fluvial deposits as an archive of early human activity

Mishra, Sheila and White, Mark J. and Beaumont, Peter and Antoine, P. and Bridgland, David R. and Limondin-Lozouet, Nicole and Santisteban , Juan I. and Schreve, D.C. and Shaw, A.D. and Wenban-Smith, F.F. and Westaway, R.W.C. and White, T.S. (2007) Fluvial deposits as an archive of early human activity. Quaternary science review, 26 . pp. 2996-3016. ISSN 0277-3791

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Abstract

River terraces are well established as an important source of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic artefacts in Europe, large collections
having been assembled there during the years of manual gravel extraction. Now that many terrace sequences can be reliably dated and
correlated with the oceanic record, potentially useful patterns can be recognized in the distribution of artefacts. The earliest appearance
of artefacts in terrace staircases, marking the arrival of the first tool-making hominins in the region in question, is the first of several
archaeological markers within fluvial sequences. The Lower to Middle Palaeolithic transition, with the appearance of Levallois, is
another. Others may be more regional in significance: the occurrences of Clactonian (Mode 1) industry, twisted ovate handaxes and bout
coupe´ handaxes, for example. IGCP Project no. 449 instigated the compilation of fluvial records from all over the ‘old world’.
Comparison between British and Central European sequences confirms the established view that there is a demarcation between handaxe
making in the west and flake/core industries in the east. Other centres of activity reported here have been in the Middle East (Syria),
South Africa and India. Data from such areas will be key in deciphering the story of the earlier ‘out-of-Africa’ migration, that by pre-
Homo sapiens people. There is clear evidence for diachroneity between the first appearances of different industries, in keeping with the
well-established idea of northward migration.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Human activity; Fluvial deposits
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
ID Code:12462
Deposited On:28 Mar 2011 11:24
Last Modified:28 Mar 2011 11:24

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