Chronological and cultural patterns among British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic artefacts

The presence of cultural patterns among artefact types has been a key topic among Palaeolithic archaeologists. Schemes based on typology and linear progression are now generally abandoned, in favor of process-driven explanations, incorporating raw material, tool use and resharpening. This is also the case for the British record, where especially river gravels have delivered a…

The oldest handaxe industry in northwest Europe?

The earliest occupation of Europe is generally seen as having had two main phases. The first one relates to sites with simple core and flake assemblages (Mode 1) with no handaxes or other bifacial technologies (e.g. Pakefield, Orce, Pirro-Nord). The second phase relates to the spread of the Acheulean handaxe technology, seen as having reached…

Varying levels of skill in biface production at Boxgrove?

New research, by Stout et al in the Journal of Archaeological Science, is seeking to challenge the idea of conservatism within the Acheulean. The authors focus exclusively on the large handaxe record from the British Lower Palaeolithic site of Boxgrove. They utilise experimental knappers with varying levels of experience (expert, novice, inexperienced) and compare their…