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Taking microliths into account

  • Bart Vanmontfort (a1)

I thank Crombé et al. for their comment on an earlier paper (Vanmontfort 2008) and the editor of this journal for providing me with the opportunity to reply to their critique. They use two intensively surveyed and studied areas in the lower Scheldt region to compare the microlith-based method with a site-based approach. Actually this comparison nicely illustrates the potential of the method. My Figure 3 compares the calculated frequencies of sites and microliths – which is not quite the same as the 'Mesolithic use' of these regions – over the Mesolithic period for the two regions. The results correspond remarkably well. This agreement is perhaps not surprising, since the presence of microliths is also one of the most determining factors in the attribution of sites to each of the Mesolithic phases. However, the results from the two methods might easily have diverged from each other. Contrary to Crombé et al.'s expectation of correspondence, the distribution of a particular artefact type may offer different and complementary information to site-based data (Vanmontfort 2008: 250).

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