Regional Perspectives on Neolithic Pit Deposition: Beyond the Mundane [Paperback]

Julian Thomas (Editor); Hugo Anderson-Whymark (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842174685 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers | Volume: 12 | Year of Publication: 2011 | Language: English 184p, 74 b/w illus

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Regional Perspectives on Neolithic Pit Deposition


The rise to prominence of pits within narratives of the British and Irish Neolithic is well-documented in recent literature. Pits have been cropping up in excavations for centuries, resulting in a very broad spectrum of interpretations but three main factors have led to the recent change in our perception and representation of these features: a broad shift in people's expectations as to what a Neolithic settlement should be; the development of the concept of 'structured deposition', within which pits have played a key role; and a dramatic rise in the number of pits actually known about. Development-led archaeology, and the often very large areas its excavations expose, has simply revealed many more pits. The 15 papers in this volume explore these inter-related factors and present new thoughts and interpretations arising from new analysis of Neolithic pits and their contents.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Kenny Brophy and Timothy Darvill)
1. Introduction (Julian Thomas)
2. Breaking ground: an overview of pits and pit-digging in Neolithic Ireland (Jessica Smythe)
3. Sounds from the underground: Neolithic ritual pits and pit-clusters on the Isle of Man and beyond (Timothy Darvill)
4. Deposition on a late Neolithic settlement site at Green, Isle of Eday, Orkney (Diana Coles)
5. Big pit, little pit, big pit, little pit...: pit practices in Western Scotland in the 4th millennium BC (Alistair Becket and Gavin MacGregor)
6. Within and beyond pits: deposition in lowland Neolithic Scotland (Kenny Brophy and Gordon Noble)
7. Social Structures: pits and depositional practice in Neolithic Northumberland (Ben Edwards)
8. Pits, preservation and the pit problem: some examples from the Middle Trent Valley (Roy E. Loveday, with a contribution from Matthew G. Beamish)
9. Social fabrics: people and pots at Earlier Neolithic Kilverstone, Norfolk (Emilie Sibbesson)
10. Pots and plant remains: trends in Neolithic deposition in Carmarthanshire, South Wales (Amelia Pannett)
11. Place, presencing and pits in the Neolithic of the Severn-Wye region (Robin Jackson and Keith Ray)
12. Totemism and food taboos in the Early Neolithic: a feast of roe deer at the Coneybury ‘Anomaly’, Wiltshire (Ffion Reynolds)
13. Middle Neolithic to early Bronze Age pit deposition practices and the temporality of occupation in the Thames Valley (Hugo Anderson-Whymark)
14. Domesticity in the Neolithic: Excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton, Berkshire (Gareth Chaffey and Elina Brook, with contributions from Ruth Pelling, Alistair Barclay, Pippa Bradley and Peter Marshall)
15. Discussion (Duncan Garrow)

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