Burns, Martina P
Is there anybody there? An Archaeology of Empty
Places in the Mesolithic Neolithic Transition of England.
Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.
The nature of the mechanisms surrounding the transition to a Neolithic way of life is still much debated in archaeology. Despite the vast volume of research undertaken, we still do not have def initive proof whether or not this cultural change occurred due to the colonisation of these islands. Within the period, there
are areas of Britain that appear to be apparently empty. Is it possible that a closer examination of these areas could help to solve this debate? Historic changes in the theoretical approaches archaeologists apply to their data have involved the embrace of more scientific enquiry, followed by a move away from it; favouring a more social approach. Is it possible that by using a
multi-disciplinary approach we may achieve a more complete understanding of this period?
This study concentrates on the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition of the British Isles. Drawing on palynological evidence from published sources, the apparent 'empty' areas are examined for palaeoecological evidence for past activity. In order to minimise the effects of investigator bias, all communities will be considered equally, regardless of whether they are considered to be Mesolithic or Neolithic in nature.
Iconclude that by examining the palynological evidence
from areas that are either apparently empty, and from those with a more secure and established archaeological record, we are able to identify potential new sites and areas with previously unrecognised archaeological activity
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