Josie Mills

Tracking the Hunters: Geochemical Profiling of Neanderthal Stone Tools as a means to Reconstruct Movement, Landscape Use, and Social Interaction in the Middle Palaeolithic English Channel

This project aims to explore Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal landscape use and raw material acquisition in the La Manche region of the English Channel through geochemical analysis of flint tools and geological flint sources. Archaeological work will focus on artefacts from three stone tool assemblages in the region; La Cotte de St. Brelade (Jersey), Le Rozel (Normandy), and Mont Dol (Brittany), which are well dated to the Weichselian glacial (110,000 kya), thus temporally comparable. It will observe these assemblages within their regional setting using macroscopic analysis and geochemical profiling tools, such as portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF), in order to establish an understanding of where raw materials were sourced. This will unlock key information about Neanderthal raw material acquisition patterns potentially revealing aspects of their social dynamics and interaction with the complex Channel landscape located at the far western reaches of their known world. 

Funding organisation

  • AHRC


 Educational background

  • MSc, Palaeolithic Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology, UCL 2014
  • BSc, Archaeology, UCL 2013
  • An example of a large flint nodule found offshore to the north of the Channel Islands
  • Weichselian artefacts from La Cotte de St. Brelade grouped by raw material
  • Research area in context of England and France (A), Mainland France (B) and Channel Islands (C), marked are Le Rozel (1), La Cotte à la Chèvre (2), La Cotte de St. Brelade (3) and Mont Dol (4).

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