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In the sixth millennium the more open soils of France were peopled by Tardenoisian hunters and gatherers. In the north there were groups along the coasts, particularly in Picardy and Brittany, and inland on the sandy soils of the Plain of Flanders and the Ile de France and on the granitic soils of the Armorican massif. Such groups continued to exist alongside farming groups until well into the third millennium.
For some years it has been obvious that the new tree-ring-calibrated radiocarbon dates would necessitate a drastic revision in conventional time scales and in the whole structure of cultural relationships developed for the European Mesolithic and Neolithic. The full assessment of the new pattern, however, has to await the time when relative archaeological sequences, based on stratigraphy and supposed cross-datings, become supplemented with or replaced by approximately absolute chronologies covering each of the major cultural provinces of Europe.
The Pietroasa treasure is a late fourth-century hoard of jewellery and gold plate; it is normally associated with the Visigoths, and is thought to have been buried at the time of the advance of the Huns into Europe. The surviving pieces of the treasure were shown in the splendid exhibition of ‘Treasures from Romania’ in the British Museum last year; the objects were briefly described in the exhibition catalogue and many were illustrated, but there were no details of the finding or significance of the hoard, and the visitor was left to speculate on the very battered state of many of the pieces. In fact, when found, the treasure comprised 22 pieces and, by all accounts, all were in excellent condition; the poor state of the twelve survivors is due to an unhappy chain of events.
Aerial surveys of Picardy have brought to light numerous systems of graves and in-filled ditches, generally protohistoric, as well as Roman camps, and even some trench diggings in the historical period.
A very wide field of African rock art, both paintings and engravings, is covered in Burchard Brentjes: African rock art, with special reference to South Africa, Rhodesia, the Sahara, North Africa and Egypt. Because of the general nature of the book, there is little attempt to be comprehensive or conclusive, the aim being more to foster an appreciation and awareness of the art than to solve problems or place it in an archaeological context.
In recent years the important role that scientific research techniques can play in archaeological investigations has become increasingly recognized. An early major review on the whole subject of both physical and biological science in archaeology by D. Brothwell and E. S. Higgs was revised in 1967 and represents the major work in this field. More recently, much of the effort in physical sciences has also been admirably reviewed by Tite (1970). This present paper also seeks to outline the ways in which physical science has contributed to archaeological discovery, with particular emphasis on recent developments known to the author.