Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mesolithic people adapted their environment in Severn Estuary

Mesolithic footprint from Goldcliff. Image: Reading University

New and exciting evidence has been found at a threatened archaeological site on the Severn Estuary that seems to show Mesolithic  people knew how to adapt their environment to suit their needs.

Encouraging specific plants

Researchers from the University of Reading found 7500 year-old worked flint tools, bones, charcoal and hazelnut shells while working at Goldcliff, near Newport, south Wales, in September 2012.

Charcoal remains discovered on the site suggest these people used fire to encourage the growth of particular plants, such as hazelnuts, crab apples and raspberries. This evidence may indicate that Mesolithic people were deliberately manipulating the environment to increase their resources, thousands of years before farming began.

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