Data copyright © Dr Robert Hosfield, Jenni Chambers, Dr Phil Toms unless otherwise stated
Department of Archaeology, School of Human and Environmental Science
University of Reading
PO Box 227
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Robert Hosfield, Jenni Chambers, Phil Toms (2007) The Archaeological Potential of Secondary Contexts [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] (doi:10.5284/1000291)
The project assesses the Palaeolithic stone tool assemblages recovered from the flood deposits of Middle and Late Pleistocene (787-11,000 BP) rivers in the UK (described as archaeological secondary contexts). The stone tool assemblages are distributed across southern Britain, while Pleistocene flood (fluvial) deposits are distributed throughout the UK. The stone tool assemblages and their associated fluvial deposits vary in age from at least 700,000 years old to the end of the Paleolithic period (c. 11,000 years BP). The importance of archaeological secondary contexts therefore stems from their widespread geographical distribution and extensive chronological coverage.
This project assesses the value of the archaeological secondary context resource in terms of the unique spatio-temporal structure of the data, assemblage taphonomy, appropriate analytical frameworks and the potential of the resource for current and future understanding of the Palaeolithic period. The project report discusses a series of key themes and case studies. Key results are summarised below:
The project demonstrates that archaeological secondary contexts are a critical archaeological resource. It presents new methodologies for modelling the unique spatio-temporal scales associated with the resource, and for interpreting the data contained within archaeological secondary contexts.