Tracing their Steps: Predictive Mapping of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology, Middle Kennet Valley, Berkshire

Author(s): Catherine Barnett, Martin Bell, Michael Grant

The project attempted to produce a model capable of predicting the occurrence of early prehistoric land surfaces and remains, using the Middle Kennet Valley, Berkshire as a case study. Work targeted deep Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic floodplain and wetland edge archaeology and associated sedimentary sequences. The key aims were to contribute, in conjunction with a number of other Historic England projects, towards the further advancement and implementation of the National Heritage Protection Plan for wetland regions throughout England generally; to raise awareness of the finite and significant Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology of the Middle Kennet Valley specifically; and to provide guidance to West Berkshire Council in identifying appropriate mitigation measures in response to development proposals. In fulfilment of these aims, the project produced a comprehensive database of all known Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology, lithology and palaeoenvironmental data in the Study Area, and a general predictive sedimentary model arising from that database. The model was tested and refined by targeted field investigations and dating at Thatcham and Victoria Park, Newbury, alongside case studies at Ufton Bridge and geoarchaeological investigations at Wawcott. A development control leaflet was produced, providing guidance on methodologies and approaches, based on the results of the model.

Report Number:
Research Report
Mesolithic Palaeolithic Radiocarbon Dating Palaeoenvironmental


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