Advertisement

The Mesolithic

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Wild Boar Stone Tool Grave Good Bone Tool Mesolithic Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aaris-Sorenson, K., 1984, Uroksen fra Prejlerup, Et Arkaeozoologisk Fund. Copenhagen, Zoologisk Museum.Google Scholar
  2. Albrethsen, S., and Brinch Petersen, E., 1976, Excavation of a Mesolithic cemetery at Vedbaek, Denmark. Acta Archaeologica (Copenhagen) 47:1–28.Google Scholar
  3. Andersen, S., 1985, Tybrind Vig: A preliminary report of a submerged Ertebølle settlement on the west coast of Fyn. Journal of Danish Archaeology 4:52–67.Google Scholar
  4. Andersen, S.H., 1995, Coastal adaptation and marine exploitation in late Mesolithic Denmark – with special emphasis on the Limfjord region, in A. Fischer, ed., Man and Sea in the Mesolithic. Coastal Settlement above and below Present Sea Level, pp. 41–66. Oxford, Oxbow.Google Scholar
  5. Andersen, S., and Johansen, E., 1986, Ertebolle revisited. Journal of Danish Archaeology 5:31–61.Google Scholar
  6. Beltran, A., 1982, Rock Art of the Spanish Levant. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Biagi, P., and Maggi, R., 1984, Aspects of mesolithic age in Liguria. Preistoria Alpina 19:159–168.Google Scholar
  8. Binder, D., 2000, Mesolithic and Neolithic interaction in southern France and northern Italy: New data and current hypotheses, in T. Price, ed., Europe’s First Farmers, pp. 117–143. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bintz, P., 1999, L’Aulp-du-Seuil, un Site d’Altitude du Mésolithique et du Nélithique Ancien (Saint-Bernard-du-Touvet, Isèrre): Etudes Préliminaires, in A. Thévenin, ed., L’Europe des Derniers Chasseurs, pp. 611–616. Paris, Éditions du CTHS.Google Scholar
  10. Bocherens, H., Grupe, G., Marioti, A., and Turban-Just, S., 1997, Molecular preservation and isotopy of Mesolithic human finds from the Ofnet cave (Bavaria, Germany). Anthropologischer Anzeiger 55:121–129.Google Scholar
  11. Bokelmann, K., 1981, Duvensee, Wohnplatz 8. Offa 38:21–40.Google Scholar
  12. Bradley, R., 1985, A preliminary microwear analysis of a small sample of Mesolithic struck flints from 13-24 Castle Street, Inverness, in, J. Wordsworth, ed., The Excavation of a Mesolithic Horizon at 13-24 Castle Street, Inverness, pp. 24–31. Edinburgh, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland 115.Google Scholar
  13. Brinch Petersen, E., 1971, Svaerdborg II: A Maglemose hut from svaerdborg bog, Zealand, Denmark. Acta Archaeologica (Copenhagen) 42:343–377.Google Scholar
  14. Brinch Petersen, E., 1973, A survey of the late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Denmark, in S. Kozlowski, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 77–129. Warsaw, University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Brinch Petersen, E., 1988, Ein Mesolithiscnes Grab mit Acht Personen von Stroby Egede, Seeland. Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 18:121–125.Google Scholar
  16. Brinch Petersen, E., 1990, Vaenget Nord: Excavation, documentation and interpretation of a Mesolithic site at Vedbaek, Denmark, in C. Bonsall, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 325–330. Edinburgh, John Donald Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Broglio, A., 1992, Mountain sites in the context of the north-east Italian upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. Preistoria Alpina 28(1):293–310.Google Scholar
  18. Burov, G., 1990, Die Holzgeräte der Siedlungsplatzes Vis I als Grundlage für die Periodisierung des Mesolithikums im Norden des Europäischen Teils der UdSSR, in P. Vermeersch and P. Van Peer, eds., Contributions to the Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 335–344. Leuven, UISPP Mesolithic Commission, Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Clark, J.G.D., 1954, Excavations at Star Carr. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Clark, J.G.D., 1975, The Earlier Stone Age Settlement of Scandinavia. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Clark, G., and Neeley, M., 1987, Social differentiation in European Mesolithic burial data, in P. Rowley-Conwy, M. Zvelebil, and H. Blankholm, eds., Mesolithic Northwest Europe: Recent Trends, pp. 121–127. Sheffield, Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
  22. Constandse-Westermann, T., and Newell, R., 1988, Patterns of extraterritorial ornaments dispersion: An approach to the measurement of Mesolithic exogamy. Supplemento della Rivista di Antropologia 66:75–126.Google Scholar
  23. Constantini, L., 1989, Plant exploitation at Grotta dell’Uzzo, Sicily: New evidence for the transition from Mesolithic to Neolithic subsistence in southern Europe, in D. Harris and G. Hillman, eds., Foraging and Farming, pp. 197–206. London, Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  24. Crotti, P., and Pignat, G., 1992, L’utilisation des étages montagnards durant le Mésolithque dans les Alpes suisses. Preistoria Alpina 28:275–284.Google Scholar
  25. Cziesla, E., 1998, Die Mittlere Steinzeit im Südlichen Rheinland-Pfalz, in N. Conard, ed., Aktuelle Forschungen zum Mesolithikum/Current Mesolithic Research, pp. 111–120. Tübingen, Mo Vince Verlag.Google Scholar
  26. Demars, P., 1996, Demographie et occupation de l’espace au Paléolithique Supérieur et au Msolithique en France. Préhistoire Européenne 8:3–26.Google Scholar
  27. Dumont, J., 1988, A Microwear Analysis of Selected Artifact Types from the Mesolithic Sites of Star Carr and Mount Sandel. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, British Series 187.Google Scholar
  28. Eerkens, J., 1998, Reliable and maintainable technologies: Artifact standardization and the early to later Mesolithic transition in northern England. Lithic Technology 23:42–53.Google Scholar
  29. Escalon de Fonton, M., 1976, Les civilizations de l’Epipaleolithique et du Mésolithique en Languedoc Oriental, in H. de Lumley, ed., La Préhistoire Française, pp. 1383–1389. Paris, Éditions du CNRS.Google Scholar
  30. Fedele, F. 1999, Circulation humaine pres du Splugenpass au Preboreal-Boreal et contexte du peuplement Alpin, in A. Thévenin, ed., L’Europe des Derniers Chasseurs, pp. 473–482. Paris, Éditions du CTHS, Actes du 5e Colloque International UISPP, Commission XII.Google Scholar
  31. Ferembach, D., 1974, Le Gisement Mésolithique de Moita do Sebastiao, Muge, Portugal. Il Anthropologie. Lisboa, Publicacoes do Instituto de Alta Cultura.Google Scholar
  32. Findlayson, B., 1990, The function of microliths: Evidence from Smittons and Starr, SW Scotland. Mesolithic Miscellany 11:2–6.Google Scholar
  33. Fischer, A., 1982, Trade in Danubian shaft-hole axes and the introduction of Neolithic in Denmark. Journal of Danish Archaeology 1:7–12.Google Scholar
  34. Frayer, D., 1997, Perspectives on Neanderthals as ancestors, in G. Clark and C. Willermet, eds., Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research, pp. 220–234. New York, NY, Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  35. Geddes, D., 1985, Mesolithic domestic sheep in west Mediterranean Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 12:25–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gendel, P., 1984, Mesolithic Social Territories in Northwestern Europe. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 218.Google Scholar
  37. Grøn, O., 1983, Social behavior and settlement structure. Preliminary results of a distribution analysis on sites of the Maglemose culture. Journal of Danish Archaeology 2:32–42.Google Scholar
  38. Grøn, O., 1988, Seasonal variation in Maglemosian group size and structure. Current Anthropology 28:303–317.Google Scholar
  39. Hahn, J., and Scheer, A., 1983, Das Helga-Abri am Hohlenfelsen bei Schelklingen: Eine Mesolithische und Jungpaläolithische Schichtenfolge. Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 13:19–28.Google Scholar
  40. Hayden, B., and Gargett, R., 1988, Specialization in the Paleolithic. Lithic Technology 17:12–18.Google Scholar
  41. Henriksen, B., 1976, Svaerdborg I, Excavations 1943–44. Copenhagen, Akademisk Forlag.Google Scholar
  42. Jacobsen, T., 1981, Franchthi cave and the beginning of settled village life in Greece. Hesperia 50:303–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jochim, M., 1976, Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence and Settlement: A Predictive Model. New York, NY, Academic.Google Scholar
  44. Jochim, M., 1998, A Hunter-Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. New York, NY, Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jochim, M., Glass, M., Fisher, L., and McCartney, P., 1998, Mapping the stone age: An interim report on the South German survey project, in N. Conard, ed., Aktuelle Forschungen zum Mesolithikum/Current Mesolithic Research, pp. 121–132. Tübingen, Mo Vince Verlag.Google Scholar
  46. Kind, C., 1992, Der Freilandfundplatz Henauhof Nord II am Federsee und die “Buchauer Gruppe” des Endmesolithikums. Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 22:341–353.Google Scholar
  47. Kind, C., 1995, Eine Weitere Frühmesolithische Feuerstelle in Rottenburg Siebenlinden III. Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg 1994, pp. 30–34.Google Scholar
  48. Kozłowski, S., 1973, Introduction to the history of Europe in early holocene, in S. Kozlowski, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 331–366. Warsaw, University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Kvamme, K., and Jochim, M., 1990, The environmental basis of Mesolithic settlement, in C. Bonsall, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 1–12. Edinburgh, John Donald Publishers.Google Scholar
  50. Larsson, L., 1978, Ageröd I:B-Ageröd I:D: A Study of Early Atlantic Settlement in Scania. Lund, Acta Archaeologica Lundensia 4, 12.Google Scholar
  51. Larsson, L., 1984, The Skateholm Project: A Late Mesolithic Settlement and Cemetery Complex at a South Swedish Bay. Papers of the Archaeological Institute, University of Lund, 1983–1984, pp. 5–38.Google Scholar
  52. Larsson, L., 1988, A Construction for Ceremonial Activities from the Late Mesolithic. Papers of the Archaeological Institute, University of Lund, 1987–1988, pp. 5–18.Google Scholar
  53. Larsson, L., 1990, The Mesolithic of southern Scandinavia. Journal of World Prehistory 4:257–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Larsson, L., 1995, Man and sea in southern Scandinavia during the late Mesolithic. The role of cemeteries in the view of society, in A. Fischer, ed., Man and Sea in the Mesolithic, pp. 95–104. Exeter, Oxbow Monograph 53.Google Scholar
  55. Larsson, L., 2000, Expressions of art in the Mesolithic society of Scandinavia, in A. Butrimas, ed., Prehistoric Art in the Baltic Region, pp. 31–61. Vilnius, Lithuania, Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts.Google Scholar
  56. Leitner, W., 1988–1989, Ein mesolithisches Jägerlager auf dem Hirschbichl, Gem. St. Jakob in Defereggen, Osttirol. Archaeologica Austriaca 82–83:65–102.Google Scholar
  57. Leotard, J., Straus, L., and Otte, M., 1999, L’Abri du Pape. Liège, ERAUL 88.Google Scholar
  58. Lubell, D., Jackes, M., Schwarcz, H., Knyf, M., and Meiklejohn, C., 1994, The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Portugal: Isotopic and dental evidence of diet. Journal of Archaeological Science 21:201–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Meiklejohn, C., and Key, P., 1984, Socioeconomic change and patterns of Pathology and variation in the Mesolithic and Neolithic of western Europe: Some suggestions, in M. Cohen and G. Armelagos, eds., Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture, pp. 75–100. Orlando, FL, Academic.Google Scholar
  60. Meiklejohn, C., and Zvelebil, M., 1991, Health status of European populations at the agricultural transition and the implications for the adoption of farming, in H. Bush and M. Zvelebil, eds., Health in Past Societies, pp. 129–145. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 567.Google Scholar
  61. Mellars, P., 1978, Excavation and economic analysis of Mesolithic shell middens on the island of Oronsay (Inner Hebrides), in P. Mellars, ed., The Early Postglacial Settlement of Northern Europe, pp. 371–396. London, Duckworth.Google Scholar
  62. Mellars, P., and Dark, P., 1998, Star Carr in Context. Cambridge, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University.Google Scholar
  63. Naber, F., 1970, Untersuchungen an Industrien Postglazialer Jägerkulturen. Bayerische Vorgeschichtsblätter 35:1–68.Google Scholar
  64. Newell, R., Kielman, D., Constandse-Westermann, T., Van der Sanden, W., and Van Gijn, A., 1990, An Inquiry into the Ethnic Resolution of Mesolithic Regional Groups. Leiden, E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  65. Nielsen, E., 1996, Untersuchung einer Alt- und Mittelsteinzeitlichen Funcstelle in Wauwil-Obermoos. Heimatkunde des Wiggertals 54:47–65.Google Scholar
  66. Nielsen, E., 1997, Die Späteiszeitliche Fundstelle Sxhötz-Fischerhäusern (Station 1). Heimatkunde des Wiggertals 55:161–183.Google Scholar
  67. Noe-Nygaard, N., 1983, The importance of aquatic resources to Mesolithic man at inland sites in Denmark, in C. Grigson and J. Clutton-Brock, eds., Animals and Archaeology: 2. Shell Middens, Fishes and Birds, pp. 125–142. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 183.Google Scholar
  68. Noe-Nygaard, N., 1988, ∂13 C-values of dog bones reveal the nature of changes in man’s food resources at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, Denmark. Chemical Geology (Isotope Geoscience Section) 73:87–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Notini, P., and Tozzi, C., 1999, L’Épigravettien Final et le Mésolithique de l’Apennin Tosco-Émilien et de la Vallée du Serchio (Toscane Septentrionale), in A. Thévenin, ed., L’Europe des Derniers Chasseurs, pp. 483–488. Paris, Éditions du CTHS, Actes du 5e Colloque International UISPP, Commission XII.Google Scholar
  70. Nygaard, S., 1989, The stone age of northern Scandinavia: A review. Journal of World Prehistory 3:71–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Orschiedt, J., 1998, Ergebnisse einer Neuen Untersuchung der Spätmesolithischen Kopfbestattungen aus Süddeutschland, in N. Conard, ed., Aktuelle Forschungen zum Mesolithikum/Current Mesolithic Research, pp. 147–160. Tübingen, Mo Vince Verlag.Google Scholar
  72. O’Shea, J., and Zvelebil, M., 1984, Oleneostrovski mogilnik: Reconstructing the social and economic organization of prehistoric foragers in northern Russia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 3:1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Pequart, M., and Pequart, S., 1954, Hoëdic, Deuxieme Station-Necropole Mésolithique Cotier Armoricain. Antwerp, De Sikka.Google Scholar
  74. Pequart, M., Pequart, S., Boule, M., and Valois, H., 1937, Téviec. Station-Necropole Mésolithique du Morbihan. Paris, Archives de l’Institut de Paléontologie Humaine.Google Scholar
  75. Price, T.D., 1981, Regional approaches to human adaptation in the Mesolithic of the north European plain, in B. Gramsch, ed., Mesolithikum in Europa, pp. 217–234. Potsdam, Museum for Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Veröffentlichungen 15.Google Scholar
  76. Price, T.D., 1985, Affluent foragers of Mesolithic southern Scandinavia, in T.D. Price and J.A. Brown, eds., Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers: The Emergence of Cultural Complexity, pp. 341–364. Orlando, FL, Academic.Google Scholar
  77. Price, T.D., 1987, The Mesolithic of western Europe. Journal of World Prehistory 1(3):225–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Price, T., and Brinch Petersen, E., 1987, A Mesolithic camp in Denmark. Scientific American 255:112–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Prinz, B., 1987, Mesolithic Adaptations on the Lower Danube. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 330.Google Scholar
  80. Probst, E., 1991, Deutschland in der Steinzeit. Munich, Bertelsmann.Google Scholar
  81. Radovanović, I., 2000, Houses and burials at Lepenski Vir. European Journal of Archaeology 3:330–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rieder, K., and Tillman, A., 1989, Ein Beitrag zu den Spätpaläolithisch-Mesolithischen Fundstellen im Donaumoos, in K. Rieder, ed., Steinzeitliche Kulturen an Donau und Altmühl, pp. 125–127. Ingolstadt, Courier Druckhaus.Google Scholar
  83. Rimantienė, R., 1994, Die Steinzeit in Litauen. Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 75:26–68.Google Scholar
  84. Schäfer, D., Holdermann, C., Pawlik, A., Affolter, J., Ikinger, A., and Bertola, S., 2006, Mesolithic subsistence at Ullafelsen/Tyrol. Preliminary studies 1995–2002, in C.-J. Kind, ed., After the Ice Age. Settlements, Subsistence and Social Development in the Mesolithic of Central Europe, pp. 201–210. Stuttgart, Materialhefte zur Archäologie in Baden-Württemberg 78.Google Scholar
  85. Schönweiss, W., and Werner, H., 1977, Mesolithische Wohngrundrisse von Friesheim (Donau), in 75 Jahre Anthropologische Staatsammlung München 1902–1977, pp. 57–66. München.Google Scholar
  86. Srejović, D., 1972, Europe’s First Monumental Sculpture: New Discoveries at Lepenski Vir. New York, NY, Stein and Day.Google Scholar
  87. Straus, L., and Otte, M., 1999, Contributions au Mésolithique de la Belgique: Camps et Sépultres du Debut de l’Holocenė dans le Bassin de la Meuse au Nord-Ouest de l’Ardenne, in J. Leotard, L. Straus, and M. Otte, eds., L’Abri du Pape, pp. 333–349. Liège, ERAUL 88.Google Scholar
  88. Street, M., 1991, Bedburg-Konigshoven: A pre-boreal Mesolithic site in the lower Rhineland (Germany), in N. Barton, A. Roberts, and D. Roe, eds., The Late Glacial in North-West Europe, pp. 256–270. London, Council for British Archaeology, CBA Report 77.Google Scholar
  89. Stutz, L.N., Larsson, L., and Zagorska, I., 2008, More burials at Zvejnieki: Preliminary results from the 2007 excavation. Mesolithic Miscellany 19(1):12–16.Google Scholar
  90. Tarli, S., and Repetto, E., 1985, Diet, Dental Features, and Oral pathology in the Mesolithic Samples from Uzzo and Molara Caves (Sicily), in Papers in Italian Archaeology IV, C. Malone and S. Stoddart, eds., pp. 87–100. Oxford, British Archaeological Reports.Google Scholar
  91. Tauber, H., 1981, C13 evidence for dietary habits of prehistoric man in Denmark. Nature 292:332–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Tauber, H., 1986, Analysis of stable isotopes in prehistoric populations, in Innovative Trends in Prehistoric Anthropology, B, Hänsel and B. Hermann, eds., pp. 31–38. Berlin, Berliner Gesellschaft für.Google Scholar
  93. Vencl, S., 1991, On the importance of spatio-temporal differences in the intensity of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic settlement in central Europe. Antiquity 65:308–317.Google Scholar
  94. Woodman, P., 1981, A Mesolithic camp in Ireland. Scientific American 245:120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Zagorskis, F., 1973, Das Spätmesolithikum in Lettland, in S. Kozłowski, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 651–669. Warsaw, University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Zvelebil, M., 1986, Postglacial foraging in the forests of Europe. Scientific American 254:86–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Zvelebil, M., 1990, Economic intensification and postglacial hunter-gatherers in north temperate Europe, in C. Bonsall, ed., The Mesolithic in Europe, pp. 80–88. Edinburgh, John Donald Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations