The 5,000 years following the
last ice age is the mesolithic – the middle stone age.
The mesolithic is the period following the retreat of the ice
about 10,000 years age. In general, recognised mesolithic
occupation sites are rare. Some mesolithic flints have been
found in the area - at Kings Caple and Fownhope, but the lack
of finds from this period is
likely to reflect the relative lack of archaeological activity
in the area.
latest retreat of the ice at the beginning of the present
interglacial was quite rapid. The outwash from the melting of
this glacier formed the gravel beds on which the centre of
Hereford is built. The retreat of the ice left behind a
treeless tundra landscape into which grazing animals and their
predators, including humans, migrated.
By about 7,500BC temperatures had risen to an average of
several degrees higher than today. The River Wye had
established something approaching its modern course and trees
began to appear in the central Herefordshire plain. There has
been a tendency to over-estimate the density of woodland in
this period; it seems likely that the thick forests of popular
imagination never existed and that there was always much open
evidence is extremely rare in the area with tools found at
only three sites before the beginning of the project.