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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Archaeology

Mammoths and Neanderthals in the Thames Valley Excavations at Stanton Harcourt Oxfordshire

By: Katharine Scott(Author), Christine M Buckingham(Author)
251 pages, 133 colour photos and colour & b/w illustrations, 55 tables
Publisher: Archaeopress
Mammoths and Neanderthals in the Thames Valley
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  • Mammoths and Neanderthals in the Thames Valley ISBN: 9781789699647 Paperback Jul 2021 In stock
Price: £44.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Today the Upper Thames Valley is a region of green pastures and well-managed farmland, interspersed with pretty villages and intersected by a meandering river. The discovery in 1989 of a mammoth tusk in river gravels at Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, revealed the very different ancient past of this landscape. Here, some 200,000 years ago, mammoths, straight-tusked elephants, lions, and other animals roamed across grasslands with scattered trees, occasionally disturbed by small bands of Neanderthals. The pit where the tusk was discovered, destined to become a waste disposal site, provided a rare opportunity to conduct intensive excavations that extended over a period of 10 years. This work resulted in the recording and recovery of more than 1500 vertebrate fossils and an abundance of other biological material, including insects, molluscs, and plant remains, together with 36 stone artefacts attributable to Neanderthals. The well-preserved plant remains include leaves, nuts, twigs and large oak logs. Vertebrate remains notably include the most comprehensive known assemblage of a distinctive small form of the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, that is characteristic of an interglacial period equated with marine isotope stage 7 (MIS 7). Richly illustrated throughout, Mammoths and Neanderthals in the Thames Valley offers a detailed account of all these finds and will be of interest to Quaternary specialists and students alike.


List of Figures
List of Tables

      The excavations
      Geological context of the Stanton Harcourt Channel
Evidence for the Contemporaneity of Bones, Wood, Molluscs and Artefacts
      Stratigraphy and sedimentology
      Bones assemblages at their death sites
      The context of wood, fresh-water molluscs and other environmental material at the excavation site
      The presence of hominins
Dating The Stanton Harcourt Channel Deposits
      Absolute dating
The Mammoths
      The compostion of the mammoth assemblage
      The sex of the Stanton Harcourt mammoths
      Interpreting the mammoth remains: death, carcass dispersal and the effect of the river
      Population structure of the Stanton Harcourt mammoth assemblage
Large Vertebrates other than Mammoths at Stanton Harcourt
      The carnivores
      The herbivores
      Small vertebrates
The Climatic and Environmental Evidence
      Wood and other vegetation as climatic indicators
      Climatic interpretation of the molluscs
      Large vertebrates as climatic indicators
      The local environment - wood and other vegetation
      Insects and the environment
      Molluscs and the local environment
      Vertebrates and the environment
The Artefacts
      Descriptions of the artefacts
      Artefacts from the wider context near Stanton Harcourt
      The Stanton Harcourt artefacts and other British assemblages
Neanderthals in the Thames Valley


Customer Reviews


Katharine Scott is internationally recognised for her work on Middle and Upper Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Her fieldwork at various Upper Thames Quaternary sites concentrated especially on the 10-year excavation of 200,000-year-old fossiliferous deposits at Stanton Harcourt near Oxford. This now comprises the largest collection of excavated mammoths in Britain. She is an Emeritus Fellow of St Cross College Oxford and an Honorary Associate of the Oxford University Museum.

Christine Buckingham was born and educated in Oxford. Between 1989 and 1999, Christine was co-director of the excavations at Stanton Harcourt with overall responsibility for recording the geology and stratigraphy and also carried out fieldwork at several other Upper Thames sites. Christine graduated with a DPhil from Oxford Brookes University (in collaboration with the Donald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre, Oxford University) in 2004. She is an Honorary Associate of the Oxford University Museum.

By: Katharine Scott(Author), Christine M Buckingham(Author)
251 pages, 133 colour photos and colour & b/w illustrations, 55 tables
Publisher: Archaeopress
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