Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe

Hardcover | November 30, 2007

EditorAlasdair Whittle, Vicki Cummings

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The processes involved in the transformation of society from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to Neolithic farmers were complex. They involved changes not only in subsistence but also in how people thought about themselves and their worlds, from their pasts to their animals. Two sets of protagonists have often been lined up in the long-running debates about these processes: on the one hand incoming farmers and on the other indigenous hunter-gatherers. Both have found advocates as the dominant force in the transitions to a new way of life. North-west Europe presents avery rich data set for this fundamental change, and recent research has both extended and deepened our knowledge of regional sequences, from the sixth to the fourth millennia cal BC. One of the most striking results is the evident diversity from northern Spain to southern Scandinavia. No one regionis quite like another; hunter-gatherers and early farmers alike were also varied and the old labels of Mesolithic and Neolithic are increasingly inadequate to capture the diversity of human agency and belief.Surveys of the most recent evidence presented here also strongly suggest a diversity of transformations. Some cases of colonisation on the one hand, and indigenous adoption on the other, can still be argued but many situations now seem to involve complex fusions and mixtures. This wide-ranging setof papers by leading specialists offers a comprehensive and authoritative overview of this fundamental transition.

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The processes involved in the transformation of society from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to Neolithic farmers were complex. They involved changes not only in subsistence but also in how people thought about themselves and their worlds, from their pasts to their animals. Two sets of protagonists have often been lined up in the long-runn...

Alasdair Whittle is a Distinguished Research Professor, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University; Fellow of the British Academy. Vicki Cummings is a Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.54 inPublished:November 30, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019726414X

ISBN - 13:9780197264140

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Table of Contents

Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings: Introduction: transitions and transformationsAlan Barnard: From Mesolithic to Neolithic modes of thoughtJean Guilaine and Claire Manen: From Mesolithic to Early Neolithic in the western MediterraneanPablo Arias: Neighbours but diverse: social change in north-west Iberia during the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic (5500-4000 cal BC)Detlef Gronenborn: Beyond the models: 'Neolithisation' in Central EuropeJohn Robb and Preston Miracle: Beyond 'migration' versus 'acculturation': new models for the spread of agricultureAlex Bentley: Mobility, specialisation and community diversity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotopic evidence from the skeletonsRichard P. Evershed: Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transitionRuth Bollongino and Joachim Burger: Neolithic cattle domestication as seen from ancient DNAAnne Tresset and Jean-Denis Vigne: Substitution of species, techniques and symbols at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western EuropePierre Allard: The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Paris Basin: a reviewGregor Marchand: Neolithic fragrances : Mesolithic-Neolithic interactions in western FranceChris Scarre: Changing places: monuments and the Neolithic transition in western FrancePhilippe Crombe and Bart Vanmontfort: The neolithisation of the Scheldt basin in western BelgiumLeendert P. Louwe Kooijmans: The gradual transition to farming in the Lower Rhine BasinGraeme Warren: Mesolithic mythsChris Tilley: The Neolithic sensory revolution: monumentality and the experience of landscapeRichard Bradley: Houses, bodies and tombsAmy Bogaard and Glynis Jones: Neolithic farming in Britain and central Europe: contrast or continuity?Alasdair Whittle: The temporality of transformation: dating the early development of the southern British NeolithicGill Hey and Alistair Barclay: The Thames Valley in the late fifth and early fourth millennium cal BC: the appearance of domestication and the evidence for changeJulian Thomas: Mesolithic-Neolithic transitions in Britain: from essence to inhabitationAlison Sheridan: From Picardie to Pickering and Pencraig Hill? New information on the 'Carinated Bowl Neolithic' in northern BritainVicki Cummings: From midden to megalith? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western BritainSteven Mithen, Anne Pirie, Sam Smith and Karen Wicks: The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from TireeGabriel Cooney: Parallel worlds or multi-stranded identities? Considering the process of 'going over' in Ireland and the Irish Sea zoneSonke Hartz, Harald Lubke and Thomas Terberger: From fish and seal to sheep and cattle: new research into the process of neolithisation in northern GermanyLars Larsson: Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern ScandinaviaAlasdair Whittle: Going over: people and their times