Coast-inland dynamics in Prehistory

The initial phase of the PrehCOAST research group (« Coast-inland dynamics in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies ») involves researchers from Spain (Santander), France (Bordeaux, Brest, La Rochelle, Paris, Rennes, Toulouse), Latvia (Riga) and Norway (Oslo). It integrates archaeologists, palaeo-environmentalists and archeobiologists involved in the exploration of coastal societies of Prehistoric hunter-gatherers (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic). It aims to overcome certain national divisions in the assessment of cultural or environmental processes on a continental scale, but also to help develop archaeology adapted to similar parameters and constraints. This concerns the very nature of these prehistoric societies whose subsistence is based on maritime resources, but also the concepts necessary to renew their study. Working in both marine and continental environments implies the use of geophysical prospecting methods or very particular excavations.

The Latvian Coast (@Valdis Bērziņš)

Similar programs have been conducted on submerged prehistoric remains (Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf / SPLASHCOS / 2009-2013). It seems to us opportune to shift the questioning towards the relations between coastline and continent, which structure the modes of existence of these human communities. The inclusion of human beings in the multiple cycles of these environments and their mobility practices are at the heart of these approaches. But it is also important to take an interest in the historical role of coastlines as a privileged means of circulation, whether for exchanges or migrations, in order to write a connected European prehistory.

The Latvian Coast (@Valdis Bērziņš)

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