Houses of the Dead? [Paperback]

Alistair Barclay (Editor); David Field (Editor); Jim Leary (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789254105 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers | Volume: 17 | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 216p, H240 x W170 (mm)

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Houses of the Dead?


The chronological disjuncture, LBK longhouses have widely been considered to provide ancestral influence for both rectangular and trapezoidal long barrows and cairns, but with the discovery and excavation of more houses in recent times is it possible to observe evidence of more contemporary inspiration. What do the features found beneath long mounds tell us about this and to what extent do they represent domestic structures. Indeed, how can we distinguish between domestic houses or halls and those that may have been constructed for ritual purposes or ended up beneath mounds? Do so called 'mortuary enclosures' reflect ritual or domestic architecture and did side ditches always provide material for a mound or for building construction? This collection of papers seeks to explore the interface between structures often considered to be those of the living with those for the dead.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Timothy Darvill and Kenneth Brophy
Preface and acknowledgements by Alistair Barcklay, David Field and Jim Leary
List of contributors
1. Schrödinger’s Cat: Houses for the living and the dead. Jim Leary, David Field and Alistair Barclay
2. Hypogea and the clubhouse: Neolithic Malta’s houses of the living and houses of the dead. Robert P. Barratt, Caroline Malone, T. Rowan McLaughlin and Eóin W. Parkinson
3. Houses of the living, houses of the dead: A view from the Polish lowlands. Joanna Pyzel
4. ‘Cicéron c’est Poincaré’. Dealing with geometry: Neolithic house plans and the earliest monuments. Philippe Chambon
5. The dead and the Linearbandkeramik longhouse. Penny Bickle
6. The long and short of it: Memory and practice in the Early Neolithic of Britain and Ireland. Alasdair Whittle
7. Measuring up: Longhouses, enclosures or mounds? Roy Loveday
8. Houses foundational: Gathering histories at Dorstone Hill, Herefordshire. Keith Ray and Julian Thomas
9. New work on long barrows in Lincolnshire. Denise Drury and Tim Allen
10. A dialogue with the dead? The relationship between an Early Neolithic rectangular timber building and a chambered tomb on Holy Island, Anglesey, north-west Wales. Jane Kenney
11. House of the living, house of the dead: An open and shut case from Ballyglass, Co. Mayo? Jessica Smyth
12. Shaky foundations: Romantic nationalism and the development of the ‘Irish model’ of Neolithic settlement. Andrew Whitefield
13. Structure, metaphor and funerary practices in Neolithic Scotland. Alison Sheridan
14. The state of play. Frances Healy

Reviews & Quotes

"This electic collection of essays derives from a Neolithic Studies Group seminar held in 2018, and is informed by a wealth of new data."
Mike Pitts
British Archaeology (02/04/2020)

"As a collection, these papers very forcefully stress the novelty, diversity and creative recombination that is involved in monument construction in the Neolithic ... Because of its thematic unity and the range of case studies, this is a volume that will enrich the bookshelf of any Neolithic scholar."
Daniela Hofmann
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (24/07/2020)

"The strength of this volume lies in the way that these local, contingent histories are brought out so that the kind of principles to which Healy refers can be appreciated"
Rick Peterson
Archaeological Journal (09/12/2022)

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