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Project

MesoMag: a geophysical perspective on Mesolithic land use in complex environments.

MesoMag aims to expand understanding of the Mesolithic beyond commonly researched wetlands. By combining environmental magnetism, archaeological prospection, and environmental archaeology, the project will develop novel survey approaches to study hunter-gatherer land use and impact in challenging dryland and mountainous upland settings. Focus will be on detecting fireplaces and fire events, which persistently influence magnetic soil properties. After characterizing the magnetic signal of Mesolithic activities at two references sites in Britain, we will prospect for hunter-gatherer traces across the wider landscape. Combining survey outcomes with magnetic proxy and charcoal analysis, MesoMag will estimate the Mesolithic presence, as well as the impact, intensity, and chronology of fires. Alongside fundamental and methodological research outcomes, it will be evaluated how such data can support modelling spatiotemporal land-use changes during the Mesolithic in future research programmes.

Date:1 Oct 2023 →  Today
Keywords:prehistory, landscape archaeology, applied geophysics, geoarchaeology, environmental magnetism, mesolithic
Disciplines:Geoarchaeology, Landscape archaeology, Methods in archaeology, Prehistoric archaeology, Geophysics not elsewhere classified, Magnetism and palaeomagnetism