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The Earliest Europeans - A Year in the Life (Paperback)

Survival Strategies in the Lower Palaeolithic

Ancient History > Prehistory > Palaeolithic P&S History > Archaeology > Early Hominids & Human Evolution

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Pages: 416
Illustrations: b/w figures
ISBN: 9781785707612
Published: 1st May 2020
Casemate UK Academic



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The Earliest Europeans explores a fundamental question: how did Europe’s first hominin occupants cope with the year-round practical challenges of life. To do so, the book adopts a ‘year in the life’ perspective that draws on the increasingly rich and robust archaeological and Quaternary Science records for the European Lower Palaeolithic, combined with insights from modern ethnography and zoological studies. By exploring potential survival strategies and behaviours, Hosfield offers new insights into the character of Europe’s earliest occupations across more than 1 million years, and ultimately asks: what sorts of ‘humans’ were these hominins?


The innovative season-by-season structure of the book explores cyclical fluctuations in resources and weather conditions. From the depths of cold winters to the bountiful foods of late summer, it considers the implications of these variations for hominin behaviours. Hosfield draws on a range of supporting examples and evidence from Lower Palaeolithic sites across Europe, spanning technology, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, hominin life history, and plant and animal food resources. In doing so, The Earliest Europeans highlights both the current and future potential of Europe’s earliest archaeological record.

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