Mesolithic hearth-pits in the Veenkoloniën (prov. Groningen, the Netherlands), defining a specific use of fire in the Mesolithic

  • H.A. Groenendijk


The principles of construction and use of Mesolithic hearth-pits are examined in the Groningen part of the Veenkoloniën, a peat reclamation district where a uniform 'Mesolithic' landscape came to light when the peat beds were dug away. Put in a broader context, these Mesolithic hearth-pits seem to have been'designed' for food-processing mainly and used in specific areas within the settlements. They are tentatively compared with Late Palaeolithic hearths from adjacent areas, in an attempt to demonstrate that a new type of hearth emerged at the beginning of the Mesolithic. Post-glacial environmental adaptation may be reflected in these hearth-pits according to the 'form follows function' principle.