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The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and Traditions of Practice

The Neolithic of the Irish Sea: Materiality and Traditions of Practice (Paperback)

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Synopsis

This collection of 24 papers aims to reconsider the nature and significance of the Irish Sea as an area of cultural interaction during the Neolithic period. The traditional character of work across this region has emphasised the existence of prehistoric contact, with sea routes criss-crossing between Ireland, the Isle of Man, Anglesey and the British mainland. A parallel course of investigation, however, has demonstrated that the British and Irish Neolithics were in many ways different, with distinct indigenous patterns of activity and social practices. The recent emphasis on regional studies has further produced evidence for parallel yet different processes of cultural change taking place throughout the British Isles as a whole. This volume brings together some of these regional perspectives and compares them across the Irish Sea area. The authors consider new ways to explain regional patterning in the use of material objects and relate them to past practices and social strategies. Were there practices that were shared across the Irish Sea area linking different styles of monuments and material culture, or were the media intrinsic to the message?

The volume is based on papers presented at a conference held at the University of Manchester in 2002.

Vicki Cummings is Reader in Archaeology in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire where she specialises in the Mesolithic and Neolithic of Britain and Ireland, with a particular focus on monuments and landscape. She has a broader interest in hunting and gathering populations, interpretive archaeology and stone tools. Is Senior Lecturer in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University. He has wide ranging research interests in British and European later Mesolithic, Neolithic and early Bronze Age archaeology with a particular focus on mortuary remains and the application of anthropological approaches to the body and the person in prehistoric archaeology.

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