The agrarian history of Britain begins not with the earliest written documents but with the archaeological evidence marking the advent of the first agriculturalists from the European continent before 3000BC. The foundations of the farming community, which was encountered by the Romans and the subsequent Germanic settlers, were laid by stone-using peoples growing cereal crops and domesticating animals, and the later development of metal technologies enabled these peasant communities to intensify their exploitation of the natural environment. This volume was originally published in two parts, the first edited by Stuart Piggott and the second by H. P. R. Finberg. Part II was actually published in 1972, with the first following in 1981. The volume surveys, for the whole of Britain, this evolution of the man-made landscape over the period of some three millennia before the Roman conquest, utilising in particular the surviving evidence in the British countryside, unique in Europe, for the agrarian pattern of prehistoric settlement.
Part I. Prehistory Stuart Piggott: Preface by the general editor; Tables; Illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Section 1. Early Prehistory Stuart Piggott: 1. Plants, animals and man in Britain; 2. The first agrarian societies in Britain from 4000BC; Section 2. Later Prehistory P. J. Fowler: 1. Later prehistoric Britain; 2. Agrarian techniques and technology; 3. The achievement of later prehistoric farming in Britain; Appendices; Site index and bibliography; Section 3. Livestock M. L. Ryder: 1. Introduction; 2. Husbandry in successive archaeological periods; 3. Individual livestock species; Part II. AD 43-1042 H. P. R. Finberg: Section 4. Roman Britain S. Applebaum: Foreword; 1. The climate; 2. The pre-Roman heritage; 3. The Roman Britons and their agrarian society; 4. The choice of site; 5. Tools; 6. Ploughs and fields; 7. Crops and plants; 8. Houses; 9. Byres and stables; 10. Farms and their uses; 11. The branches of the economy; 12. The pattern of agrarian change; 13. Continuity?; Biographical list of sites; Section 5. Post-Roman Wales Glanville R. J. Jones: 1. The paucity of contemporary evidence; 2. The archaeological evidence; 3. The evidence of lawbooks; 4. The marginal entries in the Book of St Chad; 5. Tir gwelyog (hereditary land); 6. Tir cyfrif (reckoned land); 7. Tir corddlan (nucleal land); 8. The overall pattern of land use; 9. The integration of upland and lowland for defence; 10. Early ploughing and the layout of the 'acre'; Section 6. Anglo-Saxon England to 1042 H. P. R. Finberg: 1. Revolution or evolution?; 2. The agrarian landscape in the seventh and eighth centuries; 3. English society in the seventh century; 4. King Alfred's England; 5. The Scandinavian impact; 6. The later agrarian landscape; 7. The social structure in the Late Old English Period; Select bibliography; Index.