A geographically referenced 14C database for the Mesolithic and the early phase of the Swifterbant culture in the Northern Netherlands

M.J.L.TH. Niekus


In this paper a data set of more than 400 reliable 14C dates for the Mesolithic and the Early Swifterbant culture in the northern part of the Netherlands is described. These dates, covering the period between 9600 and 5600 BP, are analysed for chronological and spatial patterning. The results of these analyses suggest that major changes occurred in the geographical location of dated sites during these 4000 radiocarbon years. In the course of the eighth millennium BC, the 'centre of gravity' of 14C-dated sites gradually shifted from the higher Pleistocene interior in the eastern part of the study area to river valleys, lake-shores and other wetland zones. Several possible reasons fort hese patterns are briefly discussed. At the end of this article, a series of new 14C dates are presented.

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