The Neolithic of Britain and Ireland provides a synthesis of this dynamic period of prehistory from the end of the Mesolithic through to the early Beaker period. Drawing on new excavations and the application of new scientific approaches to data from this period, this book considers both life and death in the Neolithic. It offers a clear and concise introduction to this period but with an emphasis on the wider and on-going research questions. It is an important text for students new to the study of this period of prehistory as well as acting as a reference for students and scholars already researching this area.
The book begins by considering the Mesolithic prelude, specifically the millennium prior to the start of the Neolithic in Britain and Ireland. It then goes on to consider what life was like for people at the time, alongside the monumental record and how people treated the dead. This is presented chronologically, with separate chapters on the early Neolithic, middle Neolithic, late Neolithic and early Beaker periods. Finally it considers future research priorities for the study of the Neolithic.
Vicki Cummings is a Reader in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, where she has worked since 2004. She specialises in the Mesolithic and Neolithic of Britain and Ireland, with a particular focus on the transition period, monuments and landscape. She has a broader interest in hunting and gathering populations and stone tools. She has excavated a series of Neolithic monuments including Clyde cairns, Bargrennan monuments and dolmens.
Acknowledgements List of figures Chapter one: Introducing the Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter two: Island life: Britain and Ireland in the late Mesolithic Chapter three: All change? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Britain and Ireland and its north-west European background Chapter four: A brave new world: life in the early Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter five: Of earth, bone, timber and stone: mortuary practice and monumentality in the early Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter six: Circles and lines: the middle Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter seven: Lines and landscapes of descent: life in the late Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter eight: Constructing theatres in the round: mortuary practice and monumentality in late Neolithic of Britain and Ireland Chapter nine: Beakers, copper and bronze: life and death at the end of the Neolithic and into the early Bronze Age Chapter ten: The Neolithic of Britain and Ireland: a summary and future directions Index