William Davies

William Davies
University of Southampton · Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins

PhD, MA

About

54
Publications
20,644
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,473
Citations
Citations since 2017
7 Research Items
840 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
I work at the Dept of Archaeology, University of Southampton. My research focuses on palaeoanthropology, particularly the socio-ecological lives of Upper Pleistocene foragers in western Eurasia: their interactions, technological innovations (including the transfer of techniques from one material to another), palaeoenvironmental conditions, population movements and structures. These approaches combine Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and Palaeoclimatology.
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - December 2023
University of Southampton
Position
  • Professor
Education
October 1992 - June 1999
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Palaeolithic Archaeology
October 1989 - June 1992
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Archaeology & Anthropology

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
A new timescale has recently been established for human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages, making mtDNA at present the most informative genetic marker system for studying European prehistory. Here, we review the new chronology and compare mtDNA with Y-chromosome patterns, in order to summarize what we have learnt from archaeogenetics concerning fi...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents the initial results from the S2AGES data base of calibrated radiocarbon estimates from western Europe in the period 25,000–10,000 years ago. Our aim is to present a population history of this sub-continental region by providing a chronologically-secure framework for the interpretation of data from genetics and archaeology. In...
Chapter
Full-text available
Predictability and abundance of resources is key to the spatio-temporal and social organisation of hunter-gatherer groups. In this paper I test the hypothesis that socio-economic inequalities were difficult to sustain in the European Upper Palaeolithic (~45.0-11.5 thousand years ago), with its often unreliable food resource availability. The genera...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper presents the first results from a new research project that focuses on the emergence of ceramic technologies across Paleolithic Europe. Pavlovian ceramics from Moravia provide the earliest known evidence of these technologies, with one of the largest assemblages from the site of Pavlov I. This paper presents new analyses of both the figu...
Article
Full-text available
This is the first part of a special issue on the impact of Upper Pleistocene climatic and environmental change on hominin occupations and landscape use. In this part there are six contributions: • Davies, W., and Nigst, P.R.: An Introduction to Part 1 of the Special Issue • Maier, A., Ludwig, P., Zimmermann, A., and Schmidt, I.: The sunny side of t...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the first attempt to establish a Mid and Late Upper Palaeolithic absolute chronology of the Adriatic basin, including both eastern and western Adriatic coasts and their hinterlands. The proposed chronology for Gravettian, Early and Late Epigravettian techno-complexes is based on statistical analysis of 278 ¹⁴C dates from 66 arch...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the assemblages of Upper Palaeolithic ceramic figurines and figurine fragments from Czech Republic (“Pavlovian”) and Croatia, which are some of the first iterations of this material and technological innovation in Europe. Using chaîne opératoire methodology, this paper compares both the technologies and gestures involved in the...
Article
Bar-Yosef Ofer & Meignen Liliane (ed.). Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel: the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic archaeology. Part I (American School of Prehistoric Research Bulletin 49). xxviii+288 pages, 216 b&w & colour illustrations, 48 tables. 2007. Cambridge (MA): Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University; 978-0-87365-553-8 pa...
Article
Roebroeks Wil , Mussi Margherita , Svoboda Juří & Fennema Kelly (ed.). Hunters of the Golden Age: the mid Upper palaeolithic of Eurasia 30,000-20-000-BP. iv+410 pages, 103 figures, 63 tables. 2000. Leiden: University of Leiden; 90-73368-15-4 hardback. - Volume 75 Issue 290 - William Davies
Article
Review of Ian Tattersall's "The Ricketty Cossack" (2015).
Article
The application of improved radiocarbon-dating techniques to samples from archaeological sites ranging from Russia to Spain has redefined the timing of the final disappearance of Neanderthals from Europe. See Letter p.306
Article
Full-text available
It is now three decades since Waterbolk introduced evaluation criteria to 14C chronology. Despite this, and other subsequent attempts to introduce quality control in the use of 14C data, no systematic procedure has been adopted by the archaeological community. As a result, our databases may be significantly weakened by questionable dates and/or que...
Article
Full-text available
Marked changes in human dispersal and development during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition have been attributed to massive volcanic eruption and/or severe climatic deterioration. We test this concept using new records of volcanic ash layers of the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption, dated to c. 40,000 years ago (40 ka BP). The distribution...
Chapter
This paper evaluates the degree to which Neanderthal creativity and innovation can be analysed like that of Homo sapiens. Ethnographic data (modern Homo sapiens) and heuristic models are proposed for testing against the Neanderthal record, and the key role of mobility in the generation and spread of novel traits is examined in detail. It is argued...
Article
Full-text available
Marked changes in human dispersal and development during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition have been attributed to massive volcanic eruption and/or severe climatic deterioration. We test this concept using records of volcanic ash layers of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption dated to ca. 40,000 y ago (40 ka B.P.). The distribution of the Cam...
Article
Human populations, along with those of many other species, are thought to have contracted into a number of refuge areas at the height of the last Ice Age. European populations are believed to be, to a large extent, the descendants of the inhabitants of these refugia, and some extant mtDNA lineages can be traced to refugia in Franco-Cantabria (haplo...
Article
Full-text available
Higham et al (2010) published a large series of new dates from the key French Palaeolithic site of the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure. The site is important because it is one of only two sites in Europe in which Châtelperronian lithic remains co-occur with Neanderthal human remains. A large series of dates from the Mousterian, Châtelperronian, Au...
Article
Full-text available
Hublin et al (2012) have published a new series of AMS determinations from the site of the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure, one of the key sites in discussions regarding late Neanderthal behavior and adaptation. The site is well known as one of the very few Châtelperronian sites that appear to contain evidence for the range of ornaments and object...
Article
Higham et al (2010) published a large series of new dates from the key French Palaeolithic site of the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure. The site is important because it is one of only two sites in Europe in which Châtelperronian lithic remains co-occur with Neanderthal human remains. A large series of dates from the Mousterian, Châtelperronian, Au...
Article
Full-text available
There is extensive debate concerning the cognitive and behavioral adaptation of Neanderthals, especially in the period when the earliest anatomically modern humans dispersed into Western Europe, around 35,000-40,000 B.P. The site of the Grotte du Renne (at Arcy-sur-Cure) is of great importance because it provides the most persuasive evidence for be...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the considerable contributions made to the development of Palaeolithic archaeology by the Abbé Henri Breuil. It is argued here that Breuil developed pre-existing currents of thought in Francophone archaeology and made them globally-applicable for the first time. His concerns with Palaeolithic art and the chronological and techn...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens or anatomically modern humans (AMH) primarily from the archaeological perspective. It analyses the emergence of anatomical and behavioural modernity of humans based on evidence from Africa, Europe, and the Near East. It explains that the trait lists of behavioural modernity have commonly e...
Article
New radiometric data are reported from the recent excavation of the type locality of the Early Upper Palaeolithic entity of the Bohunician. Recently obtained radiocarbon (14C) data on charcoal are compared with new Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of sediment. OSL ages were determined on sediment from the archaeological occupation at...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the application of new dating strategies and protocols to the temporal position of Szeleta Cave, the Szeletian itself, and the Aurignacian of the Bükk mountains. In particular, it is advocated that the confusing chronological patterning seen for the Early Upper Palaeolithic of the Bükk mountains is largely the result of dating...
Conference Paper
Perspectives on the Aurignacian have altered somewhat since the 1987 Cambridge conference (Mellars & Stringer 1989; Mellars 1990), influenced by a gradual diminution of its direct association with modern human skeletal remains (Churchill & Smith 2000; Conard et al. 2004; Wild et al. 2005). Such a diminution does not necessarily discount the widespr...
Chapter
Full-text available
west spread of modern humans across Europe and on the prevalence of 'pull' rather than 'push' factors in dispersal (Table 22.2), can be sustained on current evidence. Essentially, we can treat it as our null hy-pothesis (H 0 : Table 22.3). As discussed elsewhere (Davies 2001), the two-phase dispersal model aimed to consider the as-semblage variabil...
Article
Full-text available
Chronometric attention in the Late Glacial of Western Europe is turning from the dating of archaeological cultures to studying how the continent was re-populated at the end of the last ice age. We present results from a survey of all available radiocarbon determinations (the S2AGES database) which show that when calibrated, and compared to the GRIP...
Article
Full-text available
A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro-evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with...
Article
Full-text available
Article
A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro-evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with...
Chapter
Full-text available
3 project's chrono-archaeological data base and used as proxies for human presence (Chapter 4: van Andel et al. 2003b); and 2) high-resolution simulations of the main states (end members) of the glacial climate in Europe between 70 and 20 ka BP. 1 We use the Greenland GISP2 ice-core record, divided into tem-poral climate phases (Fig. 8.1; Table 8.1...
Chapter
Full-text available
For the past seven years a team of international experts have worked together to provide a detailed study of the world occupied by the European Neanderthals 60,000 - 25,000 years ago (Oxygen Isotope Stage 3). The new chronological and archaeological datab For the past seven years a team of international experts have worked together to provide a det...
Article
It is now three decades since Waterbolk introduced evaluation criteria to 14C chronology. Despite this, and other subsequent attempts to introduce quality control in the use of 14C data, no systematic procedure has been adopted by the archaeological community. As a result, our databases may be significantly weakened by questionable dates and/or que...
Article
Full-text available
This paper accepts the position that the European Aurignacian should be seen as a reflection of behaviour connected to a modern human dispersal. A two-phase dispersal model (‘Pioneer’ and ‘Developed’ fades) is proposed to explain the variations in artefactual diversity and spatio-temporal patterning, enacted by directional, rapid movement across th...
Article
The 'how, where and when' of possible Neanderthal coexistence with Cro-Magnons, and their extinction, continue to exercise a varied community of researchers. The latest interpretations of the fossil and archaeological records were aired at two meetings.

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
PALAEOARTEAST examines a number of cave art sites in the Balkans, an area important for understanding the arrival of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in Europe and the origins of Pleistocene art and symbolism in this continent. It mainly focuses on the sites of Romualdova pecina and Badanj, the two first cave sites where archaeologists discovered palaeolithic images in SE Europe, which becomes PALAEOARTEAST a natural continuation of our previous project: BALKARTS. Additionally, we study of other Eastern European cave art sites, such as Kapova (southern Urals, Russia) with the aim of comparing and linking the symbolic behaviour of these populations. The project is led from the University of Southampton and majorly funded by the British Academy in the context of the Newton International Fellowships program.