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Prehistoric Britain (Routledge World Archaeology) [Kindle Edition]

Timothy Darvill
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Britain has been inhabited by humans for over half a million years, during which time there were a great many changes in lifestyles and in the surrounding landscape. This book, now in its second edition, examines the development of human societies in Britain from earliest times to the Roman conquest of AD 43, as revealed by archaeological evidence. Special attention is given to six themes which are traced through prehistory: subsistence, technology, ritual, trade, society, and population.

Prehistoric Britain begins by introducing the background to prehistoric studies in Britain, presenting it in terms of the development of interest in the subject and the changes wrought by new techniques such as radiocarbon dating, and new theories, such as the emphasis on social archaeology. The central sections trace the development of society from the hunter-gatherer groups of the last Ice Age, through the adoption of farming, the introduction of metalworking, and on to the rise of highly organized societies living on the fringes of the mighty Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Throughout, emphasis is given to documenting and explaining changes within these prehistoric communities, and to exploring the regional variations found in Britain. In this way the wealth of evidence that can be seen in the countryside and in our museums is placed firmly in its proper context. It concludes with a review of the effects of prehistoric communities on life today.

With over 120 illustrations, this is a unique review of Britain's ancient past as revealed by modern archaeology. The revisions and updates to Prehistoric Britain ensure that this will continue to be the most comprehensive and authoritative account of British prehistory for those students and interested readers studying the subject.

Product Description


"This is the first book for a decade in which Prehistoric Britain has been tackled by a single author with a single vision. It is readable throughout and has excellent and wide-ranging illustrations. This is an admirable guide for anyone who wishes to see the current state of prehistory in Britain."-Current Archaeology "Excellent and readable, and informed by a love of the land."-Financial Times

About the Author

Timothy Darvill is Professor of Archaeology in the School of Conservation Sciences at Bournemouth University. After completing a PhD at Southampton University on the Neolithic of Wales and the west of England, he worked for the Western Archaeological Trust and the Council for British Archaeology before establishing a private practice offering consultancy services in the field of archaeological resource management. He was appointed to the Chair of Archaeology in the newly-established archaeology department at Bournemouth University in October 1991, and since 2007 has been Director of the Centre for Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage. The author of over a dozen books, including Ancient Monuments in the Countryside (English Heritage. 1987), Prehistoric Britain from the air (Cambridge University Press. 1996), the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (Oxford University Press. 2002), and Stonehenge: the biography of a landscape (Tempus. 2006), he has served as Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists and was a Member of the Council of the National Trust. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of Cotswold Archaeology and a Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Current research interests focus on archaeological resource management and the Neolithic of northwest Europe.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13092 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (2 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #426,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to know more about Prehistoric Britain? 25 July 2001
By A Customer
Whilst studying archaeology, this book was indespensible. It is a little more than an entry level read on the subject of British Prehistory, but doesn't require the reader to know anything about the subject. The book starts with hunter gatherers, and goes on to explain all aspects of the prehistoric world. From the birth of farming in the Neolithic, through the discovery of metal during the Bronze Age, and onto Iron Age Britain. Subjects covered in the book include burial practice in prehistory along with their regional diferences, and the varying types of ritual monument, and their dispersal throughout the UK by region and time. Craft and industry in prehistory are covered and there are chapters on how climate changed life in Prehistoric Britain. Trade and Immigration are looked at, and how differing cultures brought new crafts and ideas to the Britian Isles. Other chapters cover social change in the various regions of Britian, and how the 'Wessex Culture' came to be predominant.
Radiocarbon dating as well as other dating techniques are covered, as are techniques employed in finding sites, such as aerial photography. This is a cracking read, packed with pictures, photographs, charts and tables and written to be accessable to everyone. Anyone interested in the prehistoric origins of Britain should have a copy. There is also a companion book called 'Prehistoric Britain From The Air', which delves further into the subject, picking out specific sites and areas, and explaining more about their origin and function. Both books are highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction 18 July 2013
By RobW
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A necessarily recurrent theme in several books about prehistory is just how much is not - and is never likely to be - known. Darvill describes reconstructing prehistory as being analogous to "piecing together lengths of the movie film with various portions missing and poorly focused frames". Nevertheless, this book is a thorough and wide-ranging introduction to the prehistory of Britain that, in the end, succeeds in making sense of the principal lines of known development.

There are some excellent and informative illustrations, together with tables that summarise key topics such as the main metalworking stages in Britain between 3000 BC and 600 BC.

I am looking forward to starting a course in Archaeology and Ancient History in the next few months. This is definitely a text to which I shall return either because it will provide sufficient information itself or because the section of bibliography and further reading, which is quite substantial, contains helpful guidance on where to go next on each specialist topic.

A vein of dry humour further enlivens this excellent introduction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prehistoric Britain Paperback 30 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written, clear and as up to date as can be expected for a 2010 publication. The integration of multiple disciplines in an easy to understand and engaging style makes this book a joy for anyone with an interest in British Prehistory and the working methods of archaeologists. It's nearly convinced this layman that he should get off his backside and start a degree!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prehistoric Britain 31 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great if you wish for a brief overview of the period prior to the Roman invasion. It gives snippets of details but if you wish for a more academically based book, this isn't the book for you but it is a good starting point
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prehistoric Britain. 2 Aug. 2013
By Jacqueline Klaassen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Scholarly but readable, full of astonishing revelations about the accomplishments of very ancient cultures. This is the book to read if you want real information objectively presented.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old but useful 3 Jun. 2011
By K. Springs - Published on
Tim Darvill's book is still useful to those of us studying prehistory in Britain, even though it was published back in 1987. It si still a useful reference.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good University book 10 Mar. 2014
By catja - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book, very well laid out, good referencing and index layout, this was an required reading for my course.
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