There has been a tendency for the last decade or so to downplay the importance of the landscape in which stone tools were found, partly due to a swing away from a deterministic approach in explaining past human behaviour in favour of phenomenology and the idea of structured deposition as key factors (Bradley 1990; Tilley 1994; 2004) including stone tools (Bradley and Edmonds 1993). Various commentators (e.g. Brück 1999), however, have pointed out that actions interpreted by modern archaeologists as being motivated by ritual, may well have been viewed by prehistoric peoples as effective and practical; partly influenced by recent climate events there has also been a resurgence of interest in the role of the environment in explaining past human behavior (Halkon and Innes 2005). With its wide variety of soils and topography in a compact area, the Foulness valley, East Yorkshire, which has been the focus of a detailed archaeological survey since 1980, is an ideal setting for a reconsideration of the characteristics and distribution of stone axes and adzes in the landscape.
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Last updated: Wed Jul 1 2009