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Red Barns Palaeolithic site

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Francis F. Wenban-Smith*
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, England, ffws@soton.ac.uk

Extract

The Lowed/Middle Palaeolithic site at Red Barns, Portchester, on the outskirts of Portsmouth (SU 608063), was re-investigated in summer 1999. Three test-pits succeeded in relocating and exposing the artefact-bearing horizon first discovered in 1973 by J.C. Draper of Fareham and last seen in 1975 when a rescue excavation took place. This excavation produced a massive (in every sense) lithic collection including seven sediment samples, 8678 flint artefacts, 2058 flint nodules and a staggering 18,423 thermally fractured flint pieces (Gamble & ApSimon 1986). Recent study of the 1975 material (Wenban Smith et al. forthcoming) has demonstrated that the site is older than previously thought, dating to at least 200,000 BP and probably to nearer 400,000 BP, and that lithic technology at the site was dominated by the production of pointed plano-convex handaxes. Study of the organizational structure of the lithic production gave an insight into the patterning of Archaic hominid behaviour, with the site serving as a locale were handaxes were regularly made, but from which they were normally removed before being used and abandoned elsewhere.

Type
News and Notes
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2000

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References

British Geological Survey. 1998. Fareham. England and Wales Sheet 316. Solid and Drift Geology. 1:50,000. Keyworth: British Geological Survey.Google Scholar
Gamble, C.S. & Apsimon, A.M.. 1986. Red Barns — Portchester, in Collcutt, S.N. (ed.), The Palaeolithic of Britain and its nearest neighbours: recent trends: 812. Sheffield: Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
Wenban-Smith, F.F., Gamble, C.S. & Apsimon, A.M.. Forthcoming. The Lower/Middle Palaeolithic site at Red Barns, Portchester, Hampshire, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 66.Google Scholar

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