AuthorRockman, Marcia H.
AdvisorKuhn, Steven L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSituations in which human groups have lacked both direct knowledge of the distribution of natural resources of a region and access to previously acquired knowledge about that distribution have occurred many times in the past. The term "landscape learning process" is proposed to refer to both the means by which and the time period during which natural resource knowledge is gathered anew. This dissertation considers the anthropological and archaeological implications of the landscape learning process and tests for evidence of it in the case example of the hunter-gatherer recolonization of Great Britain at the end of the last Ice Age. The collected and developed evidence suggests that landscape learning is a useful explanation for the patterns of lithic resource use in late glacial Britain. The archaeological record of Britain indicates that the British Isles were abandoned for up to 8,000 years during the last Ice Age, which peaked at approximately 18,000 B.P. Hunter-gatherers returned to Britain by approximately 13,000 B.P., most likely from the direction of northern France. Flint is an important lithic raw material in late glacial hunter-gatherer groups of northwestern Europe, and therefore identification and use of new sources of flint during recolonization would have been crucial components of environmental familiarization. Flint occurs in deposits across southern, eastern, and northeastern England, but trace element analysis of flint sources and artifacts suggest that hunter-gatherers do not seem to have extensively used the first flint resources that they came across. Rather, southwestern England, particularly the northern Salisbury Plain region, appears to have been a key lithic source area for the Creswellian occupation of late glacial Britain. The Salisbury Plain flint source region is topographically both the most learnable of the studied regions of Britain and the most similar to the probable colonization source area of the Paris Basin. Radiocarbon dates suggest that southwestern England remained a primary source area for several hundred years, suggesting the continuing development of social knowledge of lithic resources. Therefore, it can be suggested that landscape learning can be seen in and shown to have affected the archaeology of the late glacial recolonization of Britain.
Degree ProgramGraduate College