Session Proposal for the 8th International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe,
Santander, Spain 13-17 September 2010.
Mesolithic lithic scatters: method, theory and protection
Dr. Clive Jonathon Bond
Department of Archaeology
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Winchester
Stone artefacts, or lithic scatters, recovered from the surface of ploughed fields have long
contributed to our distribution maps of Mesolithic Europe. These types of site have long
been regarded as damaged archaeology, less important than excavated well stratified and
radiocarbon dated assemblages. However, do such sites offer other opportunities? What
can they offer for understanding Mesolithic regional settlement patterns, rather than the
excavator’s small window into one part of a site?
The following points may arise from the session:
The Value of Mesolithic Lithic Scatters: What are the limits and potential to lithic
Field Methods and Techniques for Lithic Scatters: What are the best field methods
and techniques for assessing Mesolithic lithic scatters?
Social Theory and Lithic Scatters: What of theory – how can we start to rethink
Mesolithic settlement in terms of social theory?
Interpretation of Lithic Scatters: How should Mesolithic lithic scatters be
Regional Survey, a Contribution to the Mesolithic: After more than thirty years of
regional field survey across Europe, what have we learnt about Mesolithic
European Heritage Protection and Mesolithic Lithic Scatters: Mesolithic lithic
scatters, are they worth preserving?
The session aims to draw archaeologists together from across Europe, to compare and
contrast different methods, theories and approaches towards lithic scatter archaeology.
New approaches towards field techniques, assemblage analysis and attempts to reconstruct
Mesolithic social identities, will be discussed. The study of lithic scatters across regional
and national boundaries holds the potential to map hunter-gatherer societies across Europe.
With the advent of new information technologies, Geographic Information Systems and
databases, all can aid analysis and mapping. What can be done to realise the potential of
this undervalued heritage asset?