CAHO Seminar Series

Walking in a winter wonderland? Mid-latitude seasonal mobility options in the Lower Palaeolithic

Date: 08.03.2013

Speaker: Dr. Rob Hosfield, University of Reading

Dr. Rob Hosfield

Any occupation of northern Europe by Lower Palaeolithic hominins (H. heidelbergensis/proto-Neanderthals, and H. erectus and/or antecessor?) must have addressed the challenges of marked seasonality and cold winters, primarily during ‘interglacial’ MIS. Solutions to this ‘winter problem’ can essentially be characterised as a ‘stick or twist’ choice: i.e. year-round presence on a local scale vs. extensive seasonal mobility. However both of these potential solutions, and the ‘interim’ strategies that lie between these extremes, raise a host of practical problems. This seminar paper explores these challenges and seeks to evaluate the feasibility of different winter survival strategies within a Lower Palaeolithic context, with reference to what is (and isn’t) currently known from the archaeological record.