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Chronology of Wetland Hydrological Dynamics and the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition along the Lower Scheldt: A Bayesian Approach

  • Jeroen Verhegge (a1), Tine Missiaen (a2), Mark van Strydonck (a3) and Philippe Crombé (a1)


The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the wetland margins of the southern North Sea basin occurred well over a millennium after the transition in neighboring loess regions. This article investigates the possible role of hydrological dynamics in the presence of the last hunter-gatherer-fishermen in these wetland regions. A Bayesian modeling approach is used to integrate stratigraphic information and radiocarbon dates both from accurately datable archaeological remains and key horizons in peat sequences in the Scheldt floodplain of northwestern Belgium. This study tests whether the Swifterbant occupation of the study area was contemporaneous with hiatuses in peat growth caused by organic clastic sedimentation due to increased tidal influences and local groundwater rise. The results suggest that the appearance of this culture followed shortly after the emergence of a brackish tidal mudflat landscape replacing a freshwater marsh.


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Chronology of Wetland Hydrological Dynamics and the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition along the Lower Scheldt: A Bayesian Approach

  • Jeroen Verhegge (a1), Tine Missiaen (a2), Mark van Strydonck (a3) and Philippe Crombé (a1)


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