|Hunter-gatherer responses to environmental change during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the southern North Sea basin: final Palaeolithic-Final Mesolithic land use in northwest Belgium|Crombé, P.; Sergant, J.; Robinson, E.; De Reu, J. (2011). Hunter-gatherer responses to environmental change during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the southern North Sea basin: final Palaeolithic-Final Mesolithic land use in northwest Belgium. J. Anthropol. Archaeol. 30(3): 454-471. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.jaa.2011.04.001
In: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Elsevier: San Diego. ISSN 0278-4165, more
Late Glacial; Mesolithic; Hunter–gatherer; Land use; Mobility; Palaeoenvironment; Chronology; North Sea basin; Northwest Europe; Belgium
Situated along the southern fringe of the North Sea basin, northwest Belgium holds great potential for understanding hunter–gatherer responses to environmental change at the Pleistocene–Holocene transition. Recent intensive fieldwork has yielded valuable data on the palaeoenvironment, chronology, and hunter–gatherer mobility and land use in this region. At the Late Glacial/Early Holocene transition this region was comprised of a landscape of coversand ridges and lakes that flanked the northern part of the Scheldt river basin. This landscape was highly productive for hunter–gatherer populations. As the landscape developed in response to the increasing water table caused by the inundation of the North Sea populations responded by changing their forms of mobility and land use. These changes are indicated by the reduction in the number and density of sites, as well as their geographical settings, from the Late Glacial (Federmesser) and Early Mesolithic to the Middle-Final Mesolithic. Late Glacial/Early Mesolithic sites indicate much higher mobility comprised of rapid displacements of camps and re-occupation of the same coversand ridges over long time-spans. Middle/Late Mesolithic sites indicate a reduction in mobility, increasing focus on prolonged riverside settlement, and a more rigid organization of residential sites.