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Antlerworking Practices in Mesolithic Britain

Elliott, Benjamin (2012) Antlerworking Practices in Mesolithic Britain. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis aims to characterise the use of antler in the British Mesolithic, and to place this within the broader context of human and deer relations during the period. It uses traceological analysis to study worked antler from Mesolithic Britain, building up a picture of the ways in which the chaîne opératoire for the treatment of antler artefacts varied across time and space during the period. This marks the first large-scale application of this method to material from the British archaeological record, resulting in the analysis of 516 pieces of worked antler. In doing so, it extends the current understanding of technological variation within the British Mesolithic further than the previous comparisons between Early Mesolithic sites in North Yorkshire and Final Mesolithic sites in Western Scotland, by including material from 39 sites across England, Scotland and Wales. New artefact types are defined and previously undocumented patterns of re-use and repair of antler materials are identified within specific archaeological contexts. Additionally, this thesis considers variations and consistencies within the treatment of antler as a material, in relation to the dynamic and changing relationship between people and deer during the period. This relationship has become the focus of academic discussion in recent years, following shifts in theoretical thinking within Mesolithic Studies. Several authors have used the treatment of deer remains to argue for variations in the perception of animals within the British Mesolithic, although these have been restricted to a limited number of archaeological sites. This thesis considers the analysis of antler technology within the context of a wider pattern of human/deer encounters and interactions, and draws out subtle differences in the relationships between people, red deer, roe deer and elk during the period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.570132
Depositing User: Mr Benjamin Elliott
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 09:11
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3831

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