Chronology of the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic in NW Europe: developer-funded investigations at Dunbridge, Hampshire, southern England

Harding, Phil, Bridgland, David R., Allen, Peter, Bradley, Philippa, Grant, Michael J., Peat, David, Schwenninger, Jean-Luc, Scott, Rebecca, Westaway, Rob and White, Tom S. (2012) Chronology of the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic in NW Europe: developer-funded investigations at Dunbridge, Hampshire, southern England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 123(4), pp. 584-607. ISSN (print) 0016-7878

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Abstract

This paper reports important findings relating to the chronology of Palaeolithic occupation, artefact typology and Quaternary fluvial deposits from a geoarchaeological watching brief undertaken over 17 years at Kimbridge Farm Quarry, Dunbridge, Hampshire. Sections were recorded and sampled and 198 artefacts, principally hand axes, were collected, with the primary aim of enhancing understanding of the geological context of the richest Lower Palaeolithic assemblage from Hampshire. Digital terrain modelling was used to characterize the three-dimensional form of the fluvial geology. Two gravel terraces have been confirmed: an upper Belbin Formation, which contained most of the archaeological artefacts, and a lower Mottisfont Formation. Results of specific note included recovery of artefacts demonstrating elements of ‘proto-Levallois’ technology from within the Belbin Gravel deposition. Fully developed Levallois technology was present across both the Belbin Gravel and the Mottisfont Formation at Dunbridge, the latter having an otherwise relatively sparse Palaeolithic content. Previously published OSL dating, supplemented by new data, has been combined with uplift modelling to suggest dates of MIS 9b and MIS 8, respectively, for these two gravels. This fits well with evidence from other sites in England and the near Continent for the timing of the earliest Levallois at around MIS 9. The results from the Dunbridge watching brief have demonstrated that this response provides a relatively cost effective method by which important scientific data can be salvaged from commercial quarrying.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Archaeology
Earth systems and environmental sciences
Geography and environmental studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (until 2017) > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Michael Grant
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2013 08:37
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2013 08:37
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.03.003
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/22753

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