The Birth of Neolithic Britain: An Interpretive Account

Hardcover | December 28, 2013

byJulian Thomas

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The beginning of the Neolithic in Britain is a topic of perennial interest in archaeology, marking the end of a hunter-gatherer way of life with the introduction of domesticated plants and animals, pottery, polished stone tools, and a range of new kinds of monuments, including earthen longbarrows and megalithic tombs. Every year, numerous new articles are published on different aspects of the topic, ranging from diet and subsistence economy to population movement, architecture, and seafaring. Thomas offers a treatment that synthesizes all of this material, presenting a coherentargument to explain the process of transition between the Mesolithic-Neolithic periods. Necessarily, the developments in Britain are put into the context of broader debates about the origins of agriculture in Europe, and the diversity of processes of change in different parts of the continent are explored. These are followed by a historiographic treatment of debates on the transitionin Britain. Chapters cover the Mesolithic background, processes of contact and interaction, monumental architecture and timber halls, portable artefacts, and plants and animals. The concluding argument is that developments in the economy and material culture must be understood as being related tofundamental social transformations.

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The beginning of the Neolithic in Britain is a topic of perennial interest in archaeology, marking the end of a hunter-gatherer way of life with the introduction of domesticated plants and animals, pottery, polished stone tools, and a range of new kinds of monuments, including earthen longbarrows and megalithic tombs. Every year, numer...

Julian Thomas is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:528 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:December 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199681961

ISBN - 13:9780199681969

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Introduction: The Problem2. The Neolithization of Southern Europe3. The Neolithization of Northern Europe4. The Neolithization of Europe: Themes5. The Neolithic Transition in Britain: A Critical Historiography6. Mesolithic Prelude?7. Times and Places8. Contact, Interaction and Seafaring9. Architecture: Halls and Houses10. Architecture: Timber Structures, Long Mounds and Megaliths11. Portable Artefacts: Tradition and Transmission12. Plants and Animals Diet and Social Capital13. Conclusion: A Model for the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in BritainBibliographyIndex