Mesolithic (c.10,000BC – c.4300BC)
The Mesolithic period was characterised by the development of sophisticated hunting and gathering strategies that evolved to cope with increasing amounts of woodland cover as temperatures rose. The handaxes and heavy chopping tools of the Palaeolithic, based on core technologies, were replaced by new technologies based on blades and microliths. The Mesolithic is generally elusive in the archaeological record. Few in situ settlement sites are known in Kent, with the exception of rock shelters such as High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells, and low-lying river valley sites such as Lower Halstow. Further similar sites within river valleys probably lie buried beneath later alluvial deposits. Most sites of the period are represented by concentrations of flintwork, often forming clusters that may correspond to discrete activity zones. Much of the known evidence is found in coastal marshlands, areas of high resource potential, and much of the available coastal plain now lies submerged beneath the outer estuary.
Source: R.S.P.B/Archaeology South-East