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Settlement and economy in a changing prehistoric lowland landscape: an East Yorkshire (UK) case study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2017

Peter Halkon
Affiliation:
University of Hull, UK
Jim Innes
Affiliation:
Durham University, UK

Abstract

This article assesses the major changes in landscape and coastline, which took place in an area adjacent to the northern shore of the inner estuary of the river Humber, in East Yorkshire, UK, from the beginning of the Holocene to the Iron Age. It considers the effect of these changes on material culture as represented by artefact distributions, including flint assemblages and polished stone tools located during field survey. The conclusions presented here derive from a continuing programme of research in this study area and they are placed in the context of the wider Humber region and the North Sea Basin. This article advocates a restoration of balance with regard to geographical determinism – a new pragmatism – accepting that environmental factors have a great importance in determining the nature and location of certain activities in the past, though cannot be used to explain them all.

Cet article est une évaluation des majeurs changements survenus du début de l'Holocène jusqu'à l'âge du Fer dans le paysage et le littoral d'une région adjacente au rivage nord de l'estuaire intérieur du fleuve Humber dans le Yorkshire oriental, Grande-Bretagne. On considère les effets de ces changements sur la culture matérielle telle que représentée par la répartition d'artefacts, y compris les séries de silex et d'outils en pierre polie récupérées lors de relèvements sur le terrain. Les conclusions ici présentées proviennent d'un projet de recherche permanent dans ce domaine et se placent dans le contexte plus large de la région du Humber et du Bassin de la mer du Nord. Cet article préconise un rétablissement de l'équilibre par rapport à un déterminisme géographique – un nouvel pragmatisme – qui admet que les facteurs environnementaux ont une grande influence dans la détermination de la nature et de la localisation de certaines activités du passé, bien que ces facteurs ne sauront pas les expliquer toutes.

Zusammenfassung

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Aufsatz bewertet die wesentlichen Veränderungen der Landschaft und der Küstenlinie, die vom Beginn des Holozäns an bis zur Eisenzeit in einem Gebiet stattfanden, das dem Nordufer des Ästuariums des Flusses Humber in Ost-Yorkshire, UK, benachbart ist. Er untersucht den Effekt dieser Veränderungen auf die materielle Kultur, wie er durch Artefaktverteilungen, z. B. von Flintinventaren und polierten Steingeräten, die bei Feldbegehungen entdeckt wurden, widergespiegelt wird. Die Zusammenfassungen, die hier präsentiert werden, stammen aus einem kontinuierlichen Programm von Studien in diesem Forschungsgebiet, und sie werden in den Kontext des weiteren Humber-Gebietes und des Nordsee-Beckens gesetzt. Dieser Beitrag unterstützt eine Wiederherstellung der Balance unter Berücksichtigung geographischer Determinismen, ein neuer Pragmatismus, der akzeptiert, dass Umweltfaktoren eine große Bedeutung für die Beeinflussung der Natur und der Orte bestimmter Aktivitäten in der Vergangenheit hatten – auch wenn diese nicht zur Erklärung aller Phänomene herangezogen werden können.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Sage Publications 

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