Between The Wind And The Water

Author : Caroline Wickham-Jones
ISBN : 1909686506
Genre : History
File Size : 49.48 MB
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Caroline Wickham-Jones provides a highly readable and informative overview of Orkney's archaeological heritage, illustrated with beautiful photography.
Category: History

The Development Of Neolithic House Societies In Orkney

Author : Colin Richards
ISBN : 9781909686922
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.52 MB
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Considering that Orkney is a group of relatively small islands lying off the northeast coast of the Scottish mainland, its wealth of Neolithic archaeology is truly extraordinary. An assortment of houses, chambered cairns, stone circles, standing stones and passage graves provides an unusually comprehensive range of archaeological and architectural contexts. Yet, in the early 1990s, there was a noticeable imbalance between 4th and 3rd millennium cal BC evidence, with house structures, and ‘villages’ being well represented in the latter but minimally in the former. As elsewhere in the British Isles, the archaeological visibility of the 4th millennium cal BC in Orkney tends to be dominated by the monumental presence of chambered cairns or tombs. In the 1970s Claude Lévi-Strauss conceived of a form of social organization based upon the ‘house’ – sociétés à maisons – in order to provide a classification for social groups that appeared not to conform to established anthropological kinship structures. In this approach, the anchor point is the ‘house’, understood as a conceptual resource that is a consequence of a strategy of constructing and legitimizing identities under ever shifting social conditions. Drawing on the results of an extensive program of fieldwork in the Bay of Firth, Mainland Orkney, the text explores the idea that the physical appearance of the house is a potent resource for materializing the dichotomous alliance and descent principles apparent in the archaeological evidence for the early and later Neolithic of Orkney. It argues that some of the insights made by Lévi-Strauss in his basic formulation of sociétés à maisons are extremely relevant to interpreting the archaeological evidence and providing the parameters for a ‘social’ narrative of the material changes occurring in Orkney between the 4th and 2nd millennia cal BC. The major excavations undertaken during the Cuween-Wideford Landscape Project provided an unprecedented depth and variety of evidence for Neolithic occupation, bridging the gap between domestic and ceremonial architecture and form, exploring the transition from wood to stone and relationships between the living and the dead and the role of material culture. The results are described and discussed in detail here, enabling tracing of the development and fragmentation of sociétés à maisons over a 1500 year period of Northern Isles prehistory.
Category: Social Science

Human Interactions With The Geosphere

Author : Lucy Wilson
ISBN : 1862393257
Genre : Science
File Size : 87.58 MB
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Human impact on our environment is not a new phenomenon. For millennia, humans have been coping with - or provoking - environmental change. We have exploited, extracted, over-used, but also in many cases nurtured, the resources that the geosphere offers. Geoarchaeology studies the traces of human interactions with the geosphere and provides the key to recognizing landscape and environmental change, human impacts and the effects of environmental change on human societies. This collection of papers from around the world includes case studies and broader reviews covering the time period since before modern human beings came into existence up until the present day. To understand ourselves, we need to understand that our world is constantly changing, and that change is dynamic and complex. Geoarchaeology provides an inclusive and long-term view of human-geosphere interactions and serves as a valuable aid to those who try to determine sustainable policies for the future.
Category: Science

Continental Connections

Author : Hugo Anderson-Whymark
ISBN : 9781782978107
Genre : History
File Size : 46.96 MB
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The prehistories of Britain and Ireland are inescapably entwined with continental European narratives. The central aim here is to explore Ôcross-channelÕ relationships throughout later prehistory, investigating the archaeological links (material, social, cultural) between the areas we now call Britain and Ireland, and continental Europe, from the Mesolithic through to the end of the Iron Age. Since the separation from the European mainland of Ireland (c. 16,000 BC) and Britain (c. 6000 BC), their island nature has been seen as central to many aspects of life within them, helping to define their senses of identity, and forming a crucial part of their neighbourly relationship with continental Europe and with each other. However, it is important to remember that the surrounding seaways have often served to connect as well as to separate these islands from the continent. In approaching the subject of Ôcontinental connectionsÕ in the long-term, and by bringing a variety of different archaeological perspectives (associated with different periods) to bear on it, this volume provides a new a new synthesis of the ebbs and flows of the cross-channel relationship over the course of 15,000 years of later prehistory, enabling fresh understandings and new insights to emerge about the intimately linked trajectories of change in both regions.
Category: History

North Sea Archaeologies

Author : Robert Van de Noort
ISBN : 9780199566204
Genre : History
File Size : 70.24 MB
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An innovative study analysing the archaeology of the North Sea, and the way surrounding peoples engaged with it, from the end of the last ice age, c.10,000 BC, to the close of the Middle Ages, c.AD 1500.
Category: History

Pagan Britain

Author : Ronald Hutton
ISBN : 9780300197716
Genre : History
File Size : 58.5 MB
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DIVBritain's pagan past, with its mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artifacts, bloodthirsty legends, and cryptic inscriptions, is both enthralling and perplexing to a resident of the twenty-first century. In this ambitious and thoroughly up-to-date book, Ronald Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion. Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites—Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey—as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive “why” of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain’s deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights./div
Category: History

Knowledge And Power In Prehistoric Societies

Author : Lynne Kelly
ISBN : 9781316368473
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.15 MB
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In this book, Lynne Kelly explores the role of formal knowledge systems in small-scale oral cultures in both historic and archaeological contexts. In the first part, she examines knowledge systems within historically recorded oral cultures, showing how the link between power and the control of knowledge is established. Analyzing the material mnemonic devices used by documented oral cultures, she demonstrates how early societies maintained a vast corpus of pragmatic information concerning animal behavior, plant properties, navigation, astronomy, genealogies, laws and trade agreements, among other matters. In the second part Kelly turns to the archaeological record of three sites, Chaco Canyon, Poverty Point and Stonehenge, offering new insights into the purpose of the monuments and associated decorated objects. This book demonstrates how an understanding of rational intellect, pragmatic knowledge and mnemonic technologies in prehistoric societies offers a new tool for analysis of monumental structures built by non-literate cultures.
Category: Social Science

A Dictionary Of Environmental History

Author : Ian Whyte
ISBN : 9780857733597
Genre : Science
File Size : 53.71 MB
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Professor Whyte’s A Dictionary of Environmental History provides in a single volume a comprehensive reference work covering the past 12,000 years of the Earth’s environmental history. An introduction to the discipline is followed by almost 1,000 entries covering key terminology, events, places, dates, topics, as well as the major personalities in the history of the discipline. Entries range from shorter factual accounts to substantial mini-essays on key topics and issues. Fully cross-referenced with an extensive bibliography, this pioneering work provides an authoritative yet accessible resource that will form essential reading for academics, practitioners and students of environmental history and related disciplines.
Category: Science