Neanderthals Among Mammoths

    SubTitle

    Excavations at Lynford Quarry, Norfolk
    Neanderthals Among Mammoths large image 1
        Hardback

        Publication Date

        14 Mar 2012

        Summary

        In spring 2002 mammoth bones and associated Mousterian stone tools were found in situ at Lynford Quarry, Norfolk, UK. The Lynford finds give a rare opportunity to study the socioecology of Neanderthals and the relationship between their social structure and the distribution of resources in the landscape during the last cold stage of Ice Age Europe.
        9920461
        9920461

        Main Summary

          In spring 2002 mammoth bones and associated Mousterian stone tools were found in situ at Lynford Quarry, near Munford village, Norfolk, UK. The finds were within the organic sediments of a palaeochannel.

          Excavation was undertaken with support from Ayton Asphalte, the quarry owners, and English Heritage, funded through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ASLF). These finds are a rare example of British Middle Palaeolithic tools, associated with the Neanderthal occupation of what was then a peninsula of north-west Europe. The excavation recovered exceptionally well-preserved archaeological and palaeoenvironmental information.

          The association of woolly mammoth bones with bout- coupé handaxes (bifaces) and this wealth of palaeoenvironmental data provided a unique opportunity to investigate questions of diet, land use and habitat from deposits within a small geological feature. The palaeoenvironmental evidence and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating show that the site was occupied c 65–57ka, at the transition between Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 4 and 3. The plant and invertebrate remains indicate open conditions dominated by grasses, sedges and low-growing herbaceous communities, with small stands of birch or scrub, and areas of acid heath or bog, and a mild climate.

          Finds included 1,365 identified bones, of which 91 per cent are woolly mammoth; and 2,720 lithic pieces, including 41 complete and 6 broken handaxes, and 20 flake tools. In addition, an associated sandstone block bears use traces made by a softer material, possibly wood, and was possibly used as a fire striker.

          The Lynford finds give a rare opportunity to study the socioecology of Neanderthals and the relationship between their social structure and the distribution of resources in the landscape during the last cold stage of Ice Age Europe.

          Additional Information

          Author

          Clive Gamble
          Fiona Coward
          William A. Boismier

          Publishing Status

          Active

          Size

          276mm

          Number of Illustrations

          162

          Number of Pages

          549

          ISBN

          9781848020634

          Contents

            Contributors

            Figures

            Tables

            Acknowledgements

            Illustration credits

            Summary

            Résumé

            Zusammenfassung

            1. The Lynford Middle Paleolithic site

            2. Stratigraphy, Association B and dating

            3. Environmental evidence

            4. Deposit and assemblage formation

            5. The archeological assemblages of animals and lithics

            6. The Lynford Neanderthals

            Appendices

            Glossary

            References

            Index

            Reviews

              This is an edited monograph of significant importance ... Neanderthals Among Mammoths certainly earns a place on the bookshelves of any student of the Palaeolithic and sets a high benchmark against which publications of this nature will be measured for some time to come.
              James Cole
              Archaeological Journal, Vol 169, published September 2013