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Dwelling Among the Monuments: The Neolithic Village of Barnhouse, Maeshowe Passage Grave and Surrounding Monuments at Stenness, Orkney
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Dwelling Among the Monuments: The Neolithic Village of Barnhouse, Maeshowe Passage Grave and Surrounding Monuments at Stenness, Orkney (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This book provides an engrossing account of the lives of the inhabitants of the village of Barnhouse, a late Neolithic settlement complex in Orkney. The excavation of Barnhouse between 1986 and 1993 constitutes the largest investigation of a Neolithic settlement in northern Britain since the 1920s. It consequently provides an ideal opportunity to reconsider architectural representation, the social construction of identity, and social and ritual practices within a late Neolithic community. The inhabitants of Barnhouse lived within one of the most spectacular monumental landscapes of the British Neolithic, and this volume also describes smaller-scale excavations at the nearby passage grave of Maeshowe and at the Stone of Odin. The results of these investigations provide the basis for an interpretative account of the habitation and construction of this monumental landscape over a five hundred year period of Orcadian prehistory (c.3200-2700 BC).

Dwelling Among the Monuments marks a departure from standard archaeological excavation monographs: while containing the customary descriptive accounts and specialist reports, it employs archaeological evidence to capture the social dimensions of life within a village and its associated monuments.

Colin Richards is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Manchester. He has directed excavations at the several Neolithic settlements in Orkney, including Barnhouse. His publications include Understanding the Neolithic of North-West Europe (co-editor, Cruithne Press, 1998).

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