Mining and Quarrying in Neolithic Europe: A Social Perspective [Paperback]

Anne Teather(Editor); Peter Topping(Editor); Jon Baczkowski(Editor)

ISBN: 9781789251487 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers | Volume: 16 | Year of Publication: 2019 | Language: English 224p, H9.5 x W6.75, b/w illustrations
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Mining and Quarrying in Neolithic Europe


The social processes involved in acquiring flint and stone in the Neolithic began to be considered over thirty years ago, promoting a more dynamic view of past extraction processes. Whether by quarrying, mining or surface retrieval, the geographic source locations of raw materials and their resultant archaeological sites have been approached from different methodological and theoretical perspectives. In recent years this has included the exploration of previously undiscovered sites, refined radiocarbon dating, comparative ethnographic analysis and novel analytical approaches to stone tool manufacture and provenancing.

The aim of this volume in the Neolithic Studies Group Papers is to explore these new findings on extraction sites and their products. How did the acquisition of raw materials fit into other aspects of Neolithic life and social networks? How did these activities merge in creating material items that underpinned cosmology, status and identity? What are the geographic similarities, constraints and variables between the various raw materials, and how does the practice of stone extraction in the UK relate to wider extractive traditions in northwestern Europe? Eight papers address these questions and act as a useful overview of the current state of research on the topic.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Timothy Darvill and Kenneth Brophy
Preface and acknowledgements
List of contributors
1. Flint-working areas and bifacial implement production at the Neolithic flint-mining sites in southern and eastern England
Robin Holgate
2. Comings and goings: The wider landscape of Early Neolithic flint mining in Sussex
Jon Baczkowski
3. Radiocarbon dating on flint mining shaft deposits at Blackpatch, Cissbury and Church Hill, Sussex
Anne Teather
4. Tangled up in blue: The role of reibeckite felsite in Neolithic Shetland
Gabriel Cooney, William Megarry, Mik Markham, Bernard Gilhooly, Brendan O’Neill, Joanne Gaffrey, Rob Sands, Astrid Nyland, Torben Ballin, Jenny Murray and Alison Sheridan
5. Being ‘Mesolithic’ in the Neolithic: Practices, places and rock in contrasting regions in South Norway
Astrid J. Nyland
6. Stonehenge’s bluestones
Mike Parker Pearson
7. Sarsen stone quarrying in southern England: An introduction
Katy A. Whitaker
8. Carn Menyn and the stones of southwest Wales
Timothy Darvill
9. Insights into Portland and Greensand chert use during the Neolithic of south-west England
Rosemary J. Stewart
10. Crossing the divide: Raw material use in the north-west of the British Isles in the late Mesolithic and Neolithic
Fraser Brown, Antony Dickson and Helen Evans
11. Moving mountains: Reciprocating with rock in the Neolithic
Steve Dickinson
12. The social context of lithic extraction in Neolithic Britain and Ireland
Peter Topping
13. A whiter shade of pale: Powerful relationships between Neolithic communities and the underworld at Monkton Up Wimborne, Dorset
Susan Greaney

Reviews & Quotes

""Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers (this is number 16) are always useful and great value. This is no exception: there isn't really a duff/pedestrian paper among them, and certainly youthful enthusiasm can be heard stridently coming from those liminal hill tops.""

Current Archaeology ()

""[…]the volume’s geographical and thematic coverage at an insular level is admirable""

The Prehistoric Society ()

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