- Title Pages
- Notes on Contributors
- Introduction: transitions and transformations
- From Mesolithic to Neolithic modes of thought
- From Mesolithic to Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean
- Neighbours but diverse: social change in north-west Iberia during the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic (5500—4000 cal BC)
- Beyond the models: ‘Neolithisation’ in Central Europe
- Beyond ‘migration’ versus ‘acculturation’: new models for the spread of agriculture
- Mobility, specialisation and community diversity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotopic evidence from the skeletons
- Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition
- Neolithic cattle domestication as seen from ancient DNA
- Substitution of species, techniques and symbols at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Western Europe
- The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Paris Basin: a review
- Neolithic fragrances: Mesolithic-Neolithic interactions in western France
- Changing places: monuments and the Neolithic transition in western France
- The neolithisation of the Scheldt basin in western Belgium
- The gradual transition to farming in the Lower Rhine Basin
- Mesolithic myths
- The Neolithic sensory revolution: monumentality and the experience of landscape
- Houses, bodies and tombs
- Neolithic farming in Britain and central Europe: contrast or continuity?
- The temporality of transformation: dating the early development of the southern British Neolithic
- The Thames Valley in the late fifth and early fourth millennium cal BC: the appearance of domestication and the evidence for change
- Mesolithic-Neolithic transitions in Britain: from essence to inhabitation
- From Picardie to Pickering and Pencraig Hill? New information on the ‘Carinated Bowl Neolithic’ in northern Britain
- From midden to megalith? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Britain
- The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from Tiree
- Parallel worlds or multi-stranded identities? Considering the process of ‘going over’ in Ireland and the Irish Sea zone
- From fish and seal to sheep and cattle: new research into the process of neolithisation in northern Germany
- Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia
- Going over: people and their times
Houses, bodies and tombs
Houses, bodies and tombs
- (p.346) (p.347) Houses, bodies and tombs
- Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe
- British Academy
The house is among the features that are supposed to characterize early farming. Its presence implies sedentism, while its absence suggests a mobile pattern of settlement. That idea raises many problems. What applies to individual houses also applies to settlements. British archaeologists have been frustrated by their inability to locate what they had expected to find. If people were growing crops and raising livestock, then surely they must have occupied more substantial shelters than mobile hunter-gatherers, and their living sites ought to be easier to identify. That has been difficult to demonstrate, with the result that at different times a wide variety of earthwork enclosures have been claimed as permanent settlements; ditches and pits have been recruited as subterranean dwellings; and even mortuary monuments have been assigned to the living rather than the dead. This chapter argues that the survival of houses has been given an importance that it cannot support. It suggests that the reason why the field evidence poses so many problems is because the histories of the buildings in which people had lived were reflected by the ways in which their bodies were treated when they died.
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