Coastal Shell Middens and Agricultural Origins in Atlantic Europe
Coastal Shell Middens and Agricultural Origins in Atlantic Europe   Limpet


Session at EAA conference

We recently organised a session at the 2004 EAA conference, in Lyon 8-12th September:

European Coastlines: Marginal or Central?

Session Organisers: Oliver Craig and Nicky Milner

The drivers for social change throughout the world prehistory are commonly attributed to the advent of land based economies; hunting, gathering, animal domestication and plant cultivation. Marine and aquatic resources fit uneasily into this sequence of social and economic development, and societies strongly dependent on them have often been regarded as relatively late in the sequence, geographically marginal or anomalous. In Europe at least, chemical analysis of human bone indicates that marine resources were not consistently exploited through time. Nevertheless, coastlines are economically very productive, they offer strategic locations for settlements and easily attainable and nutritious foods. For these reasons, should we re-examine our traditionally held perception of coastlines as marginal zones? Were coastlines important centres for population growth, social interaction and for human dispersals?

For further details please see:

Papers at SAA conference

Further work on pottery residues (Oliver) and the history of marine exploitation in the North Sea (Geoff, Nicky, James Barrett) will be presented at the next SAA conference in Salt Lake City.

For details see:

Papers at the Meso 2005 conference

Aspects of our work will be presented next September at Mesolithic 2005, Belfast

For details see:


We aim to hold a symposium on European shell middens in the summer of 2005. Further details from Nicky.

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