Around six thousand years ago major changes occurred in the human occupation of the British Isles, marking the beginning of one of the most fascinating periods in prehistory. Previous lifestyles dependent upon hunting, fishing and gathering were replaced by ones reliant to some degree on horticulture and the keeping of domestic livestock. The sudden appearance of agriculture is only one part of the neolithic story. It was also a time when novel ways of living in and understanding the world developed. The period also marks the advent of new technologies (such as the production of pottery) and new ideologies, seen in the construction of major ceremonial monuments to the living and the ancestral dead. Drawing upon recent discoveries and research, this book provides an introductory outline of the British neolithic (covering the period c.40002500 BC). Aspects of social life and belief are described, along with discussion of the material culture of neolithic communities, and the spectacular evidence of the ceremonial monuments they constructed.Joshua Pollard is a lecturer in Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Wales College, Newport. He is currently co-director of a major fieldwork project investigating the late neolithic monument complex at Avebury, Wiltshire.
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