Source/Archive record SSF56333 - Understanding Late Middle Palaeolithic Neandertal Landscape-use during Short-Term Occupations in Britain

Title Understanding Late Middle Palaeolithic Neandertal Landscape-use during Short-Term Occupations in Britain
Date/Year 2013


The goal of this research was to study a “snapshot” of Neandertal (Middle Palaeolithic) landscape-use and mobility within Britain during Marine Isotope Stage three (MIS3) (c. 60- 30ka BP) under short lived climatic conditions at the extent of their Northern range. Following a creation of a definitive gazetteer of all relevant sites and find-spots, a new method for analysing the 2D shape similarity of handaxes was used. Using the pixel counts of non-overlapping regions of overlaid handaxe silhouettes, a single numerical value can be obtained to describe the difference in shape between two handaxes. This avoids the problem of determining a variable derived from dimensions to adequately represent “shape” for handaxe analysis. In conjunction with cluster analysis it can be shown that despite handaxes in the British Late Middle Palaeolithic being highly variable, there are recurring “styles” as well as examples that have an almost identical 2D shape to one another. From this, definable degrees of similarity are available for the typological dating of the context-lacking isolated finds of British Late Middle Palaeolithic handaxes. When find-spots are plotted using a GIS, regularity of distribution can be observed, as can regional shape divisions. This may tentatively permit the visualisation of the movements of specific Neandertal groups or even individuals in the landscape. Location attribute analysis of find-spots was less successful but was still able to show a tendency for handaxes to be found close to rivers both vertically and horizontally, regardless of method of discovery suggesting their use as route ways and living environment of Neandertals.


Understanding Late Middle Palaeolithic Neandertal Landscape-use during Short- Term Occupations in Britain Hannah Cutler Corpus Christi College Thesis submitted for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge June 2013


Referenced Monuments (21)

  • (Former) Electric Power Station, Constantine Road, Ipswich, (IAS 9604). (Monument)
  • Baldings Hill, Brandon (Poorly Located Find Spot)
  • Brandon Fields; Brandon Down; Gravel Hill, Brandon, (Palaeolithic). (Monument)
  • Brundon Pit; Jordans Pit, Sudbury, (Palaeolithic). (Monument)
  • Caudle Farm, (Or Caudle Common?), Lakenheath, (Palaeolithic) (Monument)
  • Cross Bank, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic) (Find Spot)
  • Devil's Wood Pit, Sproughton, (Palaeolithic-Mesolithic) (Monument)
  • Elveden Brickyard, Elveden, (Palaeolithic) (Monument)
  • Eriswell General, 4, (Palaeolithic). (Poorly Located Find Spot)
  • Greenwich Farm, Ipswich. (Monument)
  • Greenwich Farm, Ipswich. (Monument)
  • Hadleigh Road (Industrial Estate), Ipswich, (Palaeolithic). (Monument)
  • High Lodge, Mildenhall (Monument)
  • Hill Farm, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic) (Find Spot)
  • Icklingham Heath/Warren, (Palaeolithic) (Poorly Located Find Spot)
  • Little Lodge Farm Gravel Pits, Including White's pit, Santon Downham, (Palaeolithic) (Monument)
  • Sicklesmere Gravel Pit, Sicklesmere, (Palaeolithic) (Monument)
  • Stone Pit Hill, Town Pit, Rampart Field, Rampart Hill, Icklingham, (Palaeolithic) (Monument)
  • Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic). (Find Spot)
  • Warren Livingstone Pit, Bramford Road, (Sproughton Road), Ipswich, (IAS 7905). (Monument)
  • West of Gittens Farm, Wortham (Find Spot)

Referenced Events (4)

  • Casual Observation(s)? Cross Bank, Mildenhall
  • Casual Observation, Devil's Wood Pit, Sproughton (Ref: LMP Handaxe)
  • Casual Observation? (Former) Electric Power Station, Constantine Road, Ipswich, (IAS 9604).
  • Casual Observation? Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall,

Record last edited

Oct 9 2020 2:16PM

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