Craft specialisation in the Mesolithic


Recent excavations at  sites in Northern Britain have added to the repertoire of coarse stone tools known to have been in use during the Mesolithic. By analysing the distinctive wear traces on all the coarse stone tools from a site and by examining their context of deposition it has been possible to identify areas on site where specific activities were being carried out. Coarse stone tools appear to have been subject to some form of structured use and deposition and this appears in the archaeological record in three ways: by the dominance or single use of a particular tool type;  by the presence of discrete deposits of tools; or by a combination of both.  The evidence suggests that some sites were used for specific craft or processing activities over time, whilst other sites were used for multiple activities, perhaps related to repeated visits.

The full article is published as:

 Clarke, A 2009 ‘Craft specialisation in the Mesolithic of Northern Britain: the evidence from the coarse stone tools’, in N Finlay; S McCarten; N Milner and CR Wickham-Jones 2009 From Bann Flakes to Bushmills, Oxbow and can be downloaded here: