Download Defining a Regional Neolithic: Evidence From Britain and by Kenneth Brophy, G. Barclay PDF

By Kenneth Brophy, G. Barclay

This publication is the 9th released number of papers from a Neolithic reports team day convention, and it keeps the Group's objective of proposing learn at the Neolithic of all elements of the British Isles. the subject - nearby range - is a crucial subject in Neolithic reviews this day, and embraces traditions of monumentality, payment styles and fabric tradition. The members to this quantity deal with problems with regionality via a sequence of case-studies that spotlight now not at the conventional 'cores' of Wessex and Orkney, yet quite on different components - the 'Irish Sea Zone', eire, Scotland, Yorkshire and the Midlands. the quantity commences with an creation (Gordon Barclay) that expands at the preliminary impetus and learn questions in the back of the 2001 convention this quantity is predicated on. this can be by means of a extra summary contribution analysing that almost all customary of instruments for the show of 'regional' archaeological facts, the distribution map (Kenneth Brophy). papers stick with that tackle the function fabric tradition performs in either defining and characterising local tendencies, one addressing the distinct regionality of querns within the Neolithic (Fiona Roe), the opposite a wide-ranging research of excessive prestige fabric tradition and monumentality in Yorkshire (Roy Loveday). a chain of neighborhood experiences follows, with 3 papers focusing explicitly on a variety of proof from the 'Irish Sea region (Vicki Cummings, Tom Clare and Aaron Watson and Richard Bradley). a wide and exact physique of facts from the East Midlands can also be thought of (Patrick Clay) and the amount is done via papers contemplating very varied neighborhood scales in eire. At a extra localised point, a chain of islands off the east coast of eire are mentioned in a neighborhood and wider context (Gabriel Cooney) and a nonetheless wider scale procedure is taken to panorama and routeways throughout eire as a complete (Carleton Jones). those papers don't easily manage 'rival' exact areas, yet particularly recommend that neighborhood, local and nationwide traditions cross-cut and mix in several methods in other places. The interplay among areas is as major as intra-regional strong point. This quantity addresses how we would start to enhance a extra nuanced imaginative and prescient of the Neolithic of the British Isles.

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Extra resources for Defining a Regional Neolithic: Evidence From Britain and Ireland

Sample text

The occasion of publishing this volume provides an appropriate opportunity to thank all those who have helped organise the Group’s meetings in recent years. Membership of the Neolithic Studies Group is open to anyone active in studying any aspect of the Neolithic period in Europe. The present membership list, which stands at around 250 individuals, includes: academic staff, researchers and students from universities and colleges in several European countries; museum curators and museum-based research and field staff; and field archaeologists from national and local government organisations and from archaeological trusts and units.

But more than this, maps are not merely presentational devices. Rather they have a language and context all of their own, a heritage that has left them unquestionable and trustworthy – when in fact this familiarity only screens us from complex decision-making processes that took place in the actual construction of the map itself (Monmonier 1996). My argument is that through distribution maps we are implicitly saying something significant about the way that the past was organised over wide geographical areas projected from a finite number of fixed points within this area, translating point to space data in one all-tooeasy step.

It is precisely because we view distribution maps as reliable and inherently meaningful that they can be weak and biased methods of depicting patterns in the past. As many archaeologists have shown in recent decades, our subjective role in generating interpretations of the past is all too often ignored (cf. Shanks and Tilley 1987; Bender 1998, 78–86; Hodder 1999, 102–104). We should understand that maps are not neutral conveyors of data, any more than excavation and survey results are objectively derived (Lucas 2001; Hodder 1997).

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