Neolithic Britain: The Transformation of Social Worlds

ISBN : 9780198823896

Keith Ray; Julian Thomas
384 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2018
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Neolithic Britain provides an up to date, concise introduction to the period of British prehistory from c. 4000-2200 BCE. Written on the basis of a new appreciation of the chronology of the period, the result reflects both on the way that archaeologists write narratives of the Neolithic, and how Neolithic people constructed histories of their own. Incorporating new insights from the extraordinary pace of archaeological discoveries in recent years, a world emerges which is unfamiliar, complex and challenging, and yet played a decisive role in forging the landscape of contemporary Britain.


Introduction: Neolithic Encounters and Reflections
1 Writing Neolithic Britain: An Interpretive Journey
2 4000 BCE: A Cultural Threshold
3 Narratives for the Fourth Millennium
4 Social Being and Cultural Practices
5 Narratives for the Third Millennium
6 Kinship, History, and Descent
Conclusion: A Lived Neolithic

About the author: 

Keith Ray, MA PhD MBE FSA MIFA, is an Archaeological consultant and writer. He has been actively involved in field archaeology since 1970, when he worked with Dr. Geoffrey Wainwright at the major later Neolithic henge site at Mount Pleasant, Dorchester, Dorset. He has been involved in fieldwork and research elsewhere in southern and western England and in Scotland, Wales, France, and Norway, as well as in West Africa. In 2007 he was awarded an MBE for services to archaeology in Herefordshire. He was a collaborator on the 'Gathering Time' Neolithic chronologies project, having co-organised the excavation of the early Neolithic enclosure at Hill Croft Field, Bodenham, in Herefordshire in 2006. In 2015 he published The Archaeology of Herefordshire: An Exploration (Logaston Press), and in 2016 (as lead author) Offa's Dyke: Landscape and Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain (Keith Ray and Ian Bapty; Oxbow/Windgather).; Julian Thomas, BTech MA PhD FSA is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester. Early in his career, Julian worked on a number of key Neolithic sites, including the early Neolithic Hazleton North long barrow in the Cotswolds with Alan Saville, and the Hambledon Hill causewayed enclosure with Roger Mercer. He was appointed Professor of Archaeology at Manchester University in 2000. He was a co-director of the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2005-9), and is a Vice-President of the Royal Anthropological Institute. His latest book on the Neolithic more broadly, a full-length study of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition entitled The Birth of Neolithic Britain, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

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