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Durham e-Theses
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The Purfleet Interglacial: An examination of change and complexity in core and flake technology during the final Lower Palaeolithic

RAWLINSON, AARON,ANDREW (2021) The Purfleet Interglacial: An examination of change and complexity in core and flake technology during the final Lower Palaeolithic. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Despite major advances in the understanding of the British Lower-Middle Palaeolithic over the last 25 years including an enhanced chronological framework, detailed excavations and re evaluations of older sites, Marine Isotope Stage 9 (MIS 9) remains under-researched. MIS 9 represents the final interglacial of the Lower Palaeolithic and while handaxes remain predominant, other technological trends including non handaxe assemblages, increases in the importance of flake tools and the beginnings of Levallois have been argued to characterise the period. Drawing on previous work on MIS 9 and wider debates regarding the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic, this thesis offers a new analysis of the core and flake component from over 20 sites correlated to MIS 9.

Evidence for a non-handaxe signature at the beginning of the interglacial is upheld, but no new sites can be identified. The non-handaxe signature represents a separate but comparable occurrence to the Clactonian of MIS 11 with parallels observed in mainland Europe. There is no evidence for an increase in flake tools during MIS 9, or any connection to Prepared Core Technology (PCT). Nevertheless, there is evidence that well-made flake tools relate to Group I assemblages during MIS 9. Additionally, well-made flake tools are related to other periods of handaxe manufacture in both Britain and Europe. Evidence for early PCT can be found outside of Purfleet in smaller amounts related to the Acheulean of MIS 9. However, some sites correlate to the later occurrence of full Levallois during MIS 8/7. The evidence from Britain fits within the wider global context, displaying multiple origins for PCT based on its immanence within the Acheulean. The results of this study are used to both characterise the archaeology of MIS 9 and define the position of the interglacial within the British Palaeolithic and its wider context.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Levallois; Lower Palaeolithic; Middle Palaeolithic; MIS 9; Clactonian; Flake tools; Acheulean; Britain
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Sep 2021 10:39

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