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Prehistoric archaeology

See below for a selection of the latest books from Prehistoric archaeology category. Presented with a red border are the Prehistoric archaeology books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Prehistoric archaeology books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Orcadia

Orcadia

Author: Mark Edmonds Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

The Orcadian archipelago is a museum of archaeological wonders. Its largest island, Mainland, is home to some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe, the most famous of which are the passage grave of Maeshowe, the megaliths of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and the village of Skara Brae - evidence of a dynamic society with connections binding Orkney to Ireland, to southern Britain and to the western margins of continental Europe. Despite 150 years of archaeological investigation, however, there is much that we do not know about the societies that created these sites. What historical background did they emerge from? What social and political interests did their monuments serve? And what was the nature of the links between Neolithic societies in Orkney and elsehwere? Following a broadly chronological narrative, and highlighting different lines of evidence as they unfold, Mark Edmonds traces the development of the Orcadian Neolithic from its beginnings in the early fourth millennium BC through to the end of the period nearly two thousand years later. Juxtaposing an engaging and accessible narrative with beautifully evocative photographs of Orkney and its monuments, he uses artefacts, architecture and the wider landscape to recreate the lives of Neolithic communities across the region.

Making Metals and Moulding Society

Making Metals and Moulding Society

Author: Thilo Rehren Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2021

The emergence and spread of the Bronze Age continues to drive scholarly debate across many disciplines, from theoretical, funerary and economic archaeology to archaeometallurgy and social archaeology. This volume brings together leading experts from around the world looking at the Bronze Age as a global phenomenon. Papers examine the emergence and spread of bronze metallurgy, its role in society and impact on developing economies. Case studies range from China through Europe and to Africa and South America. Each chapter highlights a particular region and its unique trajectories, while the book as a whole provides a fascinating overview of the richness and diversity of Bronze Age archaeology.

High Pasture Cave

High Pasture Cave

Author: S.A. Birch, J.T. Mackenzie, G. Cruickshanks Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2021

High Pasture Cave, located on the island of Skye, Scotland, occupies a liminal location on the very edge of a settlement, and appears to have been a focus for specific and special activities. Its extended period of use is indicated by ephemeral signs of Neolithic Activity, limited Bronze Age usage, and vast artefactual and environmental assemblages recovered dating to the Early to Middle Scottish Iron Age, c.800 BC to AD 150. High Pasture Cave details the research-led excavations at the cave and its context in the landscape, including geology and stratigraphy, the use and transformation of the cave from the Neolithic, post-Medieval activity after the site's closure, chronology and radiocarbon dating, the human remains, and stable isotope analysis. The examination of the site indicates that the High Pasture Cave Complex was a special place, a focus for significant communal events, for undertaking ritual and special activities, and a place for deposition of significant objects - a place whose significance remained embedded in social memory long after active use ceased. These findings challenge our current understanding with regards to cave use and function, and with relation to the wider understanding of Iron Age cultural and religious beliefs.

Repeopling La Manche

Repeopling La Manche

Author: Rebecca Scott Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2021

The current geography of north-west Europe, from the perspective of long term Pleistocene climate change, is temporary. The seaways that separate southern Britain from northern France comprise a flooded landscape open to occupation by hunter-gatherers for large parts of the 0.5 million years since the English Channel's formation. While much of this record is now inaccessible to systematic archaeological investigation it is critical that we consider past human societies in the region in terms of access to, inhabitation in, and exploitation of this landscape. This latest volume of the acclaimed Prehistoric Society Research Papers provides a starting point for approaching the Middle Palaeolithic record of the English Channel region and considering the ecological opportunities and behavioural constraints this landscape offered to Neanderthal groups in north-west Europe. The volume reviews the Middle Palaeolithic archaeological record along the fringes of La Manche in northern France and southern Britain. It examines this record in light of recent advances in quaternary stratigraphy, science-based dating, and palaeoecology and explores how Palaeolithic archaeology in the region has developed in an interdisciplinary way to transform our understanding of Neanderthal behaviour. Focusing in detail on a particular sub-region of this landscape, the Normano-Breton Gulf, the volume presents the results of recent research focused on exceptionally productive coastal capture points for Neanderthal archaeology. In turn the long-term behavioural record of La Cotte de St Brelade is presented and explored, offering a key to changing Neanderthal behaviour. Aspects of movement into and through these landscape, changing technological and raw material procurement strategies, hunting patterns and site structures are presented as accessible behaviours which change at site and landscape scales in response to changing climate, sea level and ecology over the last 250,000 years.

The Archaeology of Prehistoric Japan

The Archaeology of Prehistoric Japan

Author: Simon Kaner, Werner Steinhaus Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2021

Iron Age Lives

Iron Age Lives

Author: Ian (University of Bradford, UK) Armit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2021

Iron Age Lives provides the first integrated academic treatment of the Iron Age of Britain and Ireland. After considering the social changes that marked the end of the Later Bronze Age, it examines the environmental, economic, demographic and cultural factors that underpinned the emergence of the fragmented and regionalised societies of the Early Iron Age. Subsequent chapters trace the development of increasingly complex and distinctive social forms across Britain and Ireland including the hillfort societies of southern England and the Welsh Marches; village communities of the Upper Thames Valley; the dense settlement landscapes, cemeteries and chariot burials of East Yorkshire; the hillfort communities of Northumbria and south-east Scotland; the broch-building societies of Atlantic Scotland; and the ritual landscapes of Iron Age Ireland Central themes that cut across the book's broadly chronological structure include: the creation and expression of individual and collective identities; the social role of art and religion; changing gender roles; technological innovation, including iron-working and rotary technology; the complex and varied treatments of the dead; gift-giving, trade and exchange; and the role of conflict and violence. The text is supported throughout by box features expanding on individual sites, objects, themes or debates and the book focuses, where appropriate, on fresh and exciting new finds and discoveries from the last few years including, for example, the well-preserved bog bodies from eastern Ireland, recently excavated chariot burials from Newbridge and Ferry Fryston, Iron Age roads from East Anglia, the Midlands and Ireland, musical instruments from High Pasture Cave in Skye and Cnip in Lewis, the shrine containing gold torcs from Stirlingshire, and the impact of AMS dating on the chronologies of Iron Age art and burial.

Iron Age Lives

Iron Age Lives

Author: Ian (University of Bradford, UK) Armit Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2021

Iron Age Lives provides the first integrated academic treatment of the Iron Age of Britain and Ireland. After considering the social changes that marked the end of the Later Bronze Age, it examines the environmental, economic, demographic and cultural factors that underpinned the emergence of the fragmented and regionalised societies of the Early Iron Age. Subsequent chapters trace the development of increasingly complex and distinctive social forms across Britain and Ireland including the hillfort societies of southern England and the Welsh Marches; village communities of the Upper Thames Valley; the dense settlement landscapes, cemeteries and chariot burials of East Yorkshire; the hillfort communities of Northumbria and south-east Scotland; the broch-building societies of Atlantic Scotland; and the ritual landscapes of Iron Age Ireland Central themes that cut across the book's broadly chronological structure include: the creation and expression of individual and collective identities; the social role of art and religion; changing gender roles; technological innovation, including iron-working and rotary technology; the complex and varied treatments of the dead; gift-giving, trade and exchange; and the role of conflict and violence. The text is supported throughout by box features expanding on individual sites, objects, themes or debates and the book focuses, where appropriate, on fresh and exciting new finds and discoveries from the last few years including, for example, the well-preserved bog bodies from eastern Ireland, recently excavated chariot burials from Newbridge and Ferry Fryston, Iron Age roads from East Anglia, the Midlands and Ireland, musical instruments from High Pasture Cave in Skye and Cnip in Lewis, the shrine containing gold torcs from Stirlingshire, and the impact of AMS dating on the chronologies of Iron Age art and burial.

The Healing Springs of Argyll

The Healing Springs of Argyll

Author: Alex Alexander, Allan Stroud Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/12/2020

Healing springs have played a significant role in the folklore of many cultures in most geographical regions. In Scotland, these natural features are referred to as `holy wells' and some have been venerated since pagan times. In introducing the `holy wells' of Argyll and Bute in western Scotland, this book examines, with the aid of GIS techniques, the archaeological landscape surrounding these `monuments' spanning from the Neolithic to the present day; it also provides information about their geological and hydrological setting. The book sets out to address a single question: what made those `holy wells' holy; although the answer is complex, multi-tiered and often unsatisfactory, it is clear that once a `healing' attribute, whether physical or spiritual, is attached to a particular natural spring, communal will, from the elite to the ordinary people, have been reluctant to remove it. The second part of the book is in the form of a guidebook. While the first part aims to bring the landscape to the reader, the second part aims to achieve the opposite. Via a number of clearly laid-out itineraries, each with a particular `holy well' as its focus, the book highlights the wells' positions with respect to known domestic, ritual or burial monuments. The visitor is thereby made aware of the geological, historical and archaeological landscape that surrounds each natural spring. The healing springs of Argyll have been recorded to an archaeological standard, and are presented in an accessible manner.

Karia and the Dodekanese

Karia and the Dodekanese

Author: Birte Poulsen Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/12/2020

Karia and the Dodekanese, Vol. II, presents new research that highlights cultural interrelations and connectivity in the Southeast Aegean and western Asia Minor over a period of more than 700 years. Throughout antiquity, this region was a dynamic meeting place for eastern and western civilizations. Modern geographical limitations have been influential on both archaeological investigations and how we approach cultural relations in the region. Comprehensive and valuable research has been carried out on many individual sites in Karia and the Dodekanese, but the results have rarely been brought together in an attempt to paint a larger picture of the culture of this region. In antiquity, the sea did not constitute an obstacle to interaction between societies and cultures, but was an effective means of communication for the exchange of goods, sculptural styles, architectural form and embellishment, education, and ideas. It is clear that close relations existed between the Dodekanese and western Asia Minor during the Classical period (Vol. I), but these relations were evidently further strengthened under the shifting political influences of the Hellenistic kings, the Roman Empire, and the cosmopolitan late antique period. The contributions in this volume comprise investigations on urbanism, architectural form and embellishment, sculpture, pottery, and epigraphy.

Crossing the Alps

Crossing the Alps

Author: Lorenzo Zamboni Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/12/2020

This is the first comprehensive overview on Iron Age urbanism south and north of the Alps.

Weapons and Tools in Rock Art

Weapons and Tools in Rock Art

Author: Ana M. S. Bettencourt Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/12/2020

Weapons and tools are frequently found depicted in rock art in many parts of the globe and different periods and in varying social contexts. This collection of papers by leading rock art specialists examines the subjective and metaphorical value of weapons and tools in art, the actions that created them, and their contexts. It also takes into account that such representations incorporate and transmit some kind of understanding about the world and the relationship between objects and humans. Contributors analyse objects and weapons as status symbols, as evidences of cultural contacts, as ideological devices, etc. Divided into regional sections which, for once, do not focus on Scandinavia, chapters deal with the representations of weapons and certain kinds of tools (such as axes and sickles) in different prehistoric, protohistoric and traditional community contexts all over the world. Attention focuses on rock art, but also looks at stelae and statue-menhirs, as well as other kinds of 'container' or vehicle for this kind of depiction. The major concern is to discuss the possible meanings of these embodied signs in different areas and periods, since meanings are permeable both to time and space. Papers either centre their attention in broader approaches based on a specific area, region or people, or focus on particular case studies.

Making Journeys

Making Journeys

Author: Catherine J. Frieman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/12/2020

Despite notable explorations of past dynamics, much of the archaeological literature on mobility remains dominated by accounts of earlier prehistoric gatherer-hunters, or the long-distance exchange of materials. Refinements of scientific dating techniques, isotope, trace element and aDNA analyses, in conjunction with phenomenological investigation, computer-aided landscape modelling and GIS-style approaches to large data sets, allow us to follow the movement of people, animals and objects in the past with greater precision and conviction. One route into exploring mobility in the past may be through exploring the movements and biographies of artefacts. Challenges lie not only in tracing the origins and final destinations of objects but in the less tangible 'in between' journeys and the hands they passed through. Biographical approaches to artefacts include the recognition that culture contact and hybridity affect material culture in meaningful ways. Furthermore, discrete and bounded 'sites' still dominate archaeological inquiry, leaving the spaces and connectivities between features and settlements unmapped. These are linked to an under-explored middle-spectrum of mobility, a range nestled between everyday movements and one-off ambitious voyages. We wish to explore how these travels involved entangled meshworks of people, animals, objects, knowledge sets and identities. By crossing and re-crossing cultural, contextual and tenurial boundaries, such journeys could create diasporic and novel communities, ideas and materialities.