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Lithic armatures have been widely noted as key evidence for interpreting the role of indigenous Mesolithic traditions in the spread of the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK) culture, and therefore early agriculture, across temperate Europe. Their role as evidence for the continuity of Mesolithic ‘identities’ has been emphasized without the use of a unified, systematic recording methodology of armatures from both Late–Final Mesolithic (LM–FM) and LBK sites that places armatures in their broader context as part of projectile technologies of late hunter-gatherers and early farmers. In this paper, we present the results of recent research in the southern North Sea basin that utilized a systematic and unified recording methodology to analyse armature assemblages from LM–FM and LBK sites on an inter-regional scale. We report that there is much more inter-regional variability in armature assemblages during the LM than traditionally considered in efforts to interpret similarities and possible cultural transmission processes between Mesolithic and LBK populations. This paper calls for a reassessment of inter-regional LM variability in the construction of Mesolithic-LBK contact models and a focus that places armatures in their broader social and technological contexts.
The site of Doel lies beside the Schelde, close to Antwerp. Excavations have uncovered the remains of two prehistoric zones, one from the Final Mesolithic and one from the Neolithic. Preliminary study suggests that current theories of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in northern Belgium require revision.
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