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Neolithic Britain (Shire Archaeology) Paperback – 1 Sep 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd (1 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747803536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747803539
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 0.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Byrnes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are 8 chapters:
- Introduction
- Making A Living
- Material Culture
- Monuments
- Dealings with the Dead
- Times of Change
- Places to Visit
- Further Reading.
There is also an index.

The introduction opens with the vexed subject of how the British Neolithic came about and how it is defined. At around 6000 years ago a major change took place int eh way in which human communities managed the procurement of food. This changed the face of the UK forever as the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was abandoned in favour of farming, accompanied by new social and funerary traditions. Pollard looks at how we define the "Neolithic" and how the perception of this period has changed over the last few decades. He then goes on to examine how and when the principal components that make up the British Neolithic actually occurred, and asks why they occurred. Finally he explains that the remainder of the book is designed to be a brief descriptive and interpretive account of the period, and that the discussion excludes Ireland.

"Making a Living" looks at how the economy of the period operated, beginning with a highly mobile way of tackling land and herds before becoming more sedentary towards the end of the Neolithic. He looks at how the landscape was altered and how even with the introduction of domesticates from overseas the indigenous population still supplemented their diet with wild resources. The evidence for settlement is discussed (remarkably little, probably due to the practice of swidden horticulture). He concludes with a look at social organization and evidence for conflict.

"Material Culture" provides an overview of everyday materials which were used to make items: pottery, stone, antler, wood and bone.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By psyrps@stjames.leeds.ac.uk on 6 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
The neolithic period is associated with the introduction of agriculture , widespread use of ceramics and ground tools. .The account covers Britain but not Ireland which the author recognises as having distinctive features . Countries of the north-west european Atlantic seaboard are characterised by the construction of megalithic monuments and a large part of the book is concerned with 'enclosures', barrows , chambered tombs and cursus monuments ; the nature of all of which is illustrated by clear diagrams . Society appears to have been a mobile one [swidden cultivation]. There is scant evidence of permament settlements but a few individual , and also communal , dwelling places have been uncovered . There is evidence of widespread dissemination of goods , for instance certain styles of ceramic and tools made from material mined in particular localities . A major digging tool was the reindeer horn and where these have been deposited alongside the construction site they have provided useful contribution to carbon dating . There is little evidence of a hewirarchical development in society nor of the plague of widespread warfare . It is toward the end of the 'Beaker period' that particular prominence is attributed to certain individuals . The most astounding feature is the construction of megalithic monuments . The manner of interrment of bodies is another peculiar feature since the body was usually allowed to decompse before burial . Alongside this book I read Hengeworld by Mike Pitts which may also be recommended
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction. A good summary and overview. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get acquainted with the subject prior to spending money on other much more expensive texts.
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By James Williams on 9 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rather lightweight booklet that flips through subjects. OK as an introduction, but not for serious study.
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