Risk – A Possible Reason for Changes in Early Mesolithic Microlith Assemblages

Published: 2013-01-01 | DOI: 10.54799/SMHP7484


»Microlithisation« is generally understood as the proceeding reduction of size of flint artefacts in the early Holocene. This process has been stated continuously in German research, but without considering or discussing possible causes. Four competing hypotheses that have been employed to changes among ethnographically described hunter-gatherer assemblages will be presented in this article. A comparative analysis of these hypotheses yielded that risk is the most important factor for changes in the analyzed hunter-gatherer assemblages. In order to make the hypothesis applicable to archaeological assemblages, the measures for complexity and diversity of toolkits have been adjusted in terms of the Middle Range Th eory. Some Mesolithic assemblages of Northern and Southern Germany have been analyzed against the background of the risk hypothesis. The analyses of the archaeological material matched with the predictions of the risk hypothesis – this is why »microlithisation« can be seen as reaction to an increasing risk in terms of resource failure, especially during the Early Mesolithic.

How to Cite

Blessing, Matthias. 2013. “Risk – A Possible Reason for Changes in Early Mesolithic Microlith Assemblages”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 54 (1/2):29-48. https://doi.org/10.54799/SMHP7484.
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2013, 54. Volume
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2013, 54. Volume
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