The Mesolithic

  • Michael Jochim
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


The Mesolithic is the period of the last hunter-gatherers of Europe. By convention it begins with the onset of the Holocene, around 10,300 BP, when full postglacial climatic conditions began (Fig. 6.1). As discussed in the last chapter, however, the process of warming began much earlier and by the beginning of the Alleröd period, much of Europe was already reforested. Human adjustments to these new conditions, consequently, also began much earlier, transforming the economies, technology, social arrangements, and ritual life considerably. The Mesolithic continued these processes as the environmental changes progressed, but there is great continuity with the latest Paleolithic, particularly in southern Europe where the postglacial changes began earlier and proceeded more slowly.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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