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Research project

C Gamble - Seasonality, Mobility and Storage in Palaeolithic hunting societies

Project overview

Clive Gamble and Alistair Pike were awarded a grant of £163,228 from the Leverhulme Trust to investigate "Seasonality, mobility and storage in Palaeolithic hunting societies". This three year project examines one of the tipping points in deep human history, the first appearance of stored foods. The appearance of this ability in human history transformed the peripatetic lifestyles of people living by hunting and gathering. Storing food also opened up the way to domesticating plants and animals by enabling the capture of food via an annual harvest. This development created a whole new lifestyle that turned food into economic power.

The storage of food will be studied by using sequences of seasonal varying oxygen isotopes along with Sr isotopes measured by laser ablation to understand the seasonal availability of prey species. Coupled with season of kill determined from cementum, and season of felling for timber for fuel, we aim to tringulate the periods of site occupation from upper Paleolithic sites in East and Northeast Europe. Year round occupation but with seasonal availbility of prey species will provide strong evidence for food storage.


Lead researcher
Other researchers

Professor Alistair Pike

Professor in Archaeological Science

Research interests

  • U-Th dating
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Reconstruction of mobility using Sr and O isotopes, including time resolved measurements by laser ablation
Connect with Alistair

Research outputs