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6 Site typology in the core region of Venray

In the core region of Venray there are enough clean sites from the late Mesolithic, the Michelsberg phase and the Beaker period to execute a site-typological analysis. The distribution of the sites from these three phases exhibits a marked shift. In the late Mesolithic two concentrations are visible, one in the west on the transition from moor to coversand and one in the east on the transition from coversand to Meuse Valley. In the Michelsberg phase there are considerably fewer sites in the western part of the research area, and in the Beaker period it is completely deserted.

Of the 35 late Mesolithic sites, dated on the basis of the presence of trapezia, only 14 can be used for the site-typological analysis. Apart from three small sites, most of the late Mesolithic sites are relatively extensive and have a wide range of artefact types. Two sites stand out in size, but it is the relative uniformity in particular which is remarkable, even in the MDS analysis. Sometimes scrapers are absent or there is a little less production debris, but there is relatively little typological variation. It seems reasonable to interpret these large and medium-sized sites with many different artefact types as base camps. There is only one other group, represented by two sites only at present, consisting of a limited number of arrowheads with some production debris. They indicate the existence of hunting camps. The predominance of the relatively uniform 'domestic' base camps indicates a settlement system in line with the model for residential mobility: regular relocations over short distances (Binford 1980).

Fig. 13 The late Mesolithic sites in Venray: segment diagrams on the distribution map
(click on the clusters of segment diagrams on the map to see more details)
[Late Mesolithic sites in Venray]
 

From the analysis provided above (Chapter 5), we have concluded that three different types of settlements can be distinguished from the 23 clean Michelsberg sites. Firstly, a group of sites with a limited number of tools (pointed blades or other macrolithic artefacts), appearing to indicate special activity sites. Secondly, a group of large and medium-sized sites with a wide range of artefacts and much production debris: the domestic sites. Finally, a group of isolated arrowheads could represent lost hunting gear or be an indication of hunting camps. Contrary to the low degree of site differentiation in the late Mesolithic there are relatively large differences in the Michelsberg phase. A logistical organization with task groups dispatched for special purposes from more permanent settlements would fit this pattern.

Fig. 14 The Michelsberg sites in Venray: segment diagrams on the distribution map
(click on the clusters of segment diagrams on the map to see more details)
[Michelsberg sites in Venray]

less detail

more details about:

Distribution patterns

Late Mesolithic sites

Late Mesolithic: segment diagrams

Late Mesolithic: Multi Dimensional Scaling

Late Mesolithic: conclusions

Michelsberg phase: conclusions

The sites from the Beaker period

Beaker period: segment diagrams

Beaker period: Multi Dimensional Scaling

Beaker period: conclusions

There are 20 clean sites from the Beaker period, with little or no admixture of other guide artefacts than the Beaker pottery, battle axes and/or three types of arrowheads with complete surface retouch. In almost all sites the distinctive pottery is present, and in general few other types of artefacts. The number of artefacts on the various sites is low as well. Only one site is larger and has a wider variation, and there are two sites consisting of a single arrowhead. All large and medium-sized sites with the predominance of pottery and the production debris are concentrated in a cluster near the Meuse. We suspect these are small agrarian settlements (single farmsteads), relocating over a small area. The sites with the arrowheads are all outside this concentration.

[The sites from the Beaker period in Venray]
Fig. 15 The sites from the Beaker period in Venray: segment diagrams on the distribution map (click on the cluster of segment diagrams on the map to see more details)

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