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The Mesolithic landscape of the Southern North Sea
Fitch, S. (2011). The Mesolithic landscape of the Southern North Sea. PhD Thesis. University of Birmingham: Birmingham. 508 + appx. pp.

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Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
Author keywords
    Mesolithic

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  • Fitch, S.

Abstract
    The submerged landscape of the North Sea has long been known by archaeologists as an area of Mesolithic occupation, and it has even been argued that it was the ‘heartland’ of the Mesolithic in North Western Europe. Despite knowledge of the potential significance of the marine archaeological record, it has always been a great challenge to explore this largely inaccessible landscape and in many ways it remained a hypothetical construct. However, recent research in the Southern North Sea has recently permitted the mapping of parts of this landscape, revealing the scale and diversity of submerged Mesolithic environments. This research represents a “first pass" study that has produced an initial model of the carrying capacity of the landscape and its associated demography. This model seeks to explore the impacts of sea level driven landscape change upon the Mesolithic population. The model reveals the diversity of resources present in this landscape and the potential these have to buffer subsistence resources from the effects of marine inundation. As such the model provides new insights into the nature of the impacts upon human occupation within the region and highlights 8,500BP as a crucial time in the evolution of the Mesolithic in north western Europe.

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