Sited at the furthest limits of the Neolithic revolution and standing at the confluence of the two great sea routes of prehistory, Britain and Ireland are distinct from continental Europe for much of the prehistoric sequence. In this landmark 2007 study - the first significant survey of the archaeology of Britain and Ireland for twenty years - Richard Bradley offers an interpretation of the unique archaeological record of these islands based on a wealth of current and largely unpublished data. Bradley surveys the entire archaeological sequence over a 4,000 year period, from the adoption of agriculture in the Neolithic period to the discovery of Britain and Ireland by travellers from the Mediterranean during the later pre-Roman Iron Age. Significantly, this is the first modern account to treat Britain and Ireland on equal terms, offering a detailed interpretation of the prehistory of both islands.
Impressive in every sense, this hugely ambitious and assured book takes as its subject the entire history of the British Isles from the end of the last Ice Age and their physical emergence as islands all the way down to the Norman Conquest. Barry Cunliffe's magisterial narrative is abetted by correspondingly high production values, and whilst complex ideas are explained with admirable clarity, making the book an ideal introduction to Britain's prehistory and early history, there would be plenty here for the most seasoned professional to enjoy and profit from. Cunliffe kicks off with an examination of the ways in which our ancestors have conceived the distant past, from medieval myths to the dawn of modern archaeology. The remainder of the book is roughly chronological in structure. Prominent themes include the 'problem of origins', where Cunliffe's own research has been of such significance (the Celtic from the west hypothesis is synthesised here with concision and flair), and the importance of communication, connectivity and cultural transmission is emphasised throughout, with the Channel, the Atlantic and the North Sea seen as highways linking Britain and Ireland to the continent and building up an ongoing narrative which is anything but narrowly insular.
Modern borders of all kinds, political, geographical and social, effect the kinds of prehistoric narratives archaeologists can write. Borders that dominate today did not exist in prehistory. This volume works across such borders and focuses specifically on the region between the Rivers Forth and Tyne, an area divided by the modern political border between Scotland and England. The introduction and opening chapters consider the impact of the Anglo-Scots and similar borders on our understanding of prehistoric patterns of activity. The introduction also asks whether, when, and to what extent this could be considered a coherent region in the prehistoric past. Further chapters explore the history of research in the region, including field survey and aerial photography. Another nine chapters discuss the results of recent research, including new and older excavations, or conduct regional analyses of artefacts and mortuary practices, starting with the Late Upper Palaeolithic and continuing with studies from the Early Neolithic through to the Late Iron Age. Taken as a whole, the publication suggests that while there was no coherent Tyne-Forth region in prehistory, except for perhaps in the Late Iron Age, research at this regional scale provides a strong basis for appreciating past cultural interaction at a variety of scales.
The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape contributes to the development of theory in archaeology and anthropology, provides new and varied case studies of landscape and environment from five continents, and raises important policy issues concerning development and the management of heritage.
A History of Settlement in Ireland provides a stimulating and thought-provoking overview of the settlement history of Ireland from prehistory to the present day. Particular attention is paid to the issues of settlement change and distribution within the contexts of: * environment * demography * culture. The collection goes further by setting the agenda for future research in this rapidly expanding area of academic interest. This volume will be essential reading for all those with an interest in the archaeology, history and social geography of Ireland.
The archaeology of caves in Ireland is a ground-breaking and unique study of the enigmatic, unseen and dark silent world of caves. People have engaged with caves for the duration of human occupation of the island, spanning 10,000 years. In prehistory, subterranean landscapes were associated with the dead and the spirit world, with evidence for burials, funerary rituals and votive deposition. The advent of Christianity saw the adaptation of caves as homes and places of storage, yet they also continued to feature in religious practice. Medieval mythology and modern folklore indicate that caves were considered places of the supernatural, being particularly associated with otherworldly women. Through a combination of archaeology, mythology and popular religion, this book takes the reader on a fascinating journey that sheds new light on a hitherto neglected area of research. It encourages us to consider what underground activities might reveal about the lives lived aboveground, and leaves us in no doubt as to the cultural significance of caves in the past. Marion Dowd is Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland. Her doctoral research examined the role of caves in Irish prehistoric ritual and religion. She has directed excavations in many caves, and has published and lectured widely on the subject.
The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age is a wide-ranging survey of a crucial period in prehistory during which many social, economic, and technological changes took place. Written by expert specialists in the field, the book provides coverage both of the themes that characterize the period, and of the specific developments that took place in the various countries of Europe. After an introduction and a discussion of chronology, successive chapters deal with settlement studies, burial analysis, hoards and hoarding, monumentality, rock art, cosmology, gender, and trade, as well as a series of articles on specific technologies and crafts (such as transport, metals, glass, salt, textiles, and weighing). The second half of the book covers each country in turn. From Ireland to Russia, Scandinavia to Sicily, every area is considered, and up to date information on important recent finds is discussed in detail. The book is the first to consider the whole of the European Bronze Age in both geographical and thematic terms, and will be the standard book on the subject for the foreseeable future.
Long before astronomy was a science, humans used the stars to mark time, navigate, organize planting and dramatize myths. This encyclopaedia draws on archaeological evidence and oral traditions to reveal how prehistoric humans perceived the skies and celestial phenomena.
This book details the archaeology of burnt mounds (fulachtaí fia) in Ireland, one of the most frequent and under researched prehistoric site types in the country. It presents a re-evaluation of the pyrolithic phenomenon in light of some 1000 excavated burnt mounds. Charcoal-enriched soil, along with spreads and mounds of heat-affected stone, are one of the most common types of site found in Ireland, largely as a consequence of numerous discoveries made in the course of road building. They represent an accumulation of firing material associated with a prehistoric pyrolithic technology, which involved a process of heat transfer that centred on the use of hot stones immersed in water-filled troughs or placed in small, lined/unlined pits/ovens. During the Bronze Age, the use of this technology became widely adopted in Northern Europe, particularly Ireland, where the phenomenon is represented in the field as a low crescent-shaped mound. Even though burnt mounds are the most common prehistoric site type in Ireland, they have not received the same level of research as other prehistoric sites. This is primarily due to the paucity of artefact finds and the unspectacular nature of the archaeological remains, compounded by the absence of an appropriate research framework. This is the most comprehensive study undertaken on the use of pyrolithic technology in prehistoric Ireland, dealing with different aspects of site function, chronology, social role and cultural context.
The authors examine Irish prehistory from the economic, sociological and artistic viewpoints enabling the reader to comprehend the vast amount of archaeological work accomplished in Ireland over the last twenty years.
Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia brings together in one authoritative resource the multiple facets of life in Ireland before and after the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169, from the sixth to sixteenth century. Multidisciplinary in coverage, this A–Z reference work provides information on historical events, economics, politics, the arts, religion, intellectual history, and many other aspects of the period. With over 345 essays ranging from 250 to 2,500 words, Medieval Ireland paints a lively and colorful portrait of the time. For a full list of entries, contributors, and more, visit the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages website.
Archaeologists have traditionally considered islands as distinct physical and social entities. In this book, Paul Rainbird discusses the historical construction of this characterization and questions the basis for such an understanding of island archaeology. Through a series of case studies of prehistoric archaeology in the Mediterranean, Pacific, Baltic, and Atlantic seas and oceans, he argues for a decentering of the land in favor of an emphasis on the archaeology of the sea and, ultimately, a new perspective on the making of maritime communities. The archaeology of islands is thus unshackled from approaches that highlight boundedness and isolation, and replaced with a new set of principles - that boundaries are fuzzy, islanders are distinctive in their expectation of contacts with people from over the seas, and that island life can tell us much about maritime communities. Debating islands, thus, brings to the fore issues of identity and community and a concern with Western construction of other peoples.
A New History of Ireland, Volume I marks the culmination of the largest scholarly project in modern Irish history. It consists of nine volumes, by over a hundred contributors, mainly historians but including also historical geographers and specialists in other disciplines, such as language and literature, the visual arts, and music. Seven of the volumes are text, and deal not only with politics but also with economic, social, and cultural history. The other volumes contain maps and reference material. As the final volume to appear in this multi-volume series, A New History of Ireland Volume I brings to a close the project initiated by T. W. Moody and R. Dudley-Edwards in the 1960s, to provide a comprehensive new synthesis of modern scholarship on every aspect of Irish history and prehistory, from the earliest geological and archaeological evidence, through the Middle Ages, and down to the present day. Volume I begins by looking at geography and the physical environment.Chapters follow which examine pre-3000, neolithic, bronze-age and iron-age Ireland and Ireland up to 800. Society, laws, church and politics are all analysed separately as are architecture, literature, manuscripts, language, coins and music. The volume is brought up to 1166 with chapters, amongst others, on the Vikings, Ireland and its neighbours, and opposition to the High-Kings. A final chapter moves further on in time, examining Latin learning and literature in Ireland to 1500.
This student-friendly introduction to the archaeology of ancientEgypt guides readers from the Paleolithic to the Greco-Romanperiods, and has now been updated to include recent discoveries andnew illustrations. • Superbly illustrated with photographs, maps, and siteplans, with additional illustrations in this new edition • Organized into 11 chapters, covering: thehistory of Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology; prehistoric andpharaonic chronology and the ancient Egyptian language; geography,resources, and environment; and seven chapters organizedchronologically and devoted to specific archaeological sites andevidence • Includes sections on salient topics such as theconstructing the Great Pyramid at Giza and the process ofmummification