The First Stones: Penywyrlod, Gwernvale and the Black Mountains Neolithic Long Cairns of South-East Wales - William Britnell; Alasdair Whittle; | Foyles Bookstore
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The First Stones: Penywyrlod, Gwernvale and the Black Mountains Neolithic Long Cairns of South-East Wales
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The First Stones: Penywyrlod, Gwernvale and the Black Mountains Neolithic Long Cairns of South-East Wales (Paperback)

£38.00
Pre-order for despatch on publication.

Synopsis

This book brings together the results of recent research on the Neolithic long cairns lying in the shadow of the Black Mountains in south-east Wales, focusing upon Penywyrlod and Gwernvale, the two best known tombs within the group, previously excavated in the 1970s.

Important results lie in both new site detail and reassessment of the wider context. Small-scale excavation, geophysical survey and geological assessment at Penywyrlod - the largest of the Welsh long cairns - gave further information about the distinctive external and internal architecture of the monument. In turn, this opened the opportunity to reassess the pre-monument sequence at Gwernvale, with re-examination of both Mesolithic and Neolithic occupations, including timber structures and middens, lithic and pottery assemblages, and cereal remains. The frame for wider reassessment is given by fresh chronological modelling both of the monuments themselves, suggesting a sequence from Penywyrlod and Pipton to Ty Isaf and Gwernvale, probably spanning the 38th to 36th centuries cal BC, and of early Neolithic activity in south Wales and the Marches across the same sort of period. A detailed study of the major assemblages of human remains from the Black Mountains tombs includes evidence for diet, trauma and lifestyles of the populations represented. Recent isotope analysis of human remains from the tombs is also reviewed, implying social mobility and migration within local populations during the early Neolithic.



This book makes a significant contribution to the study of tomb building, treatment of the dead, place making, and Neolithisation in western Britain. Viewed within the context of tombs within the Cotswold-Severn tradition as a whole, it leads to an appreciation of the local and regional distinctiveness of architecture and mortuary practice exhibited by the tombs in this area of south-east Wales, emerging as part of the intake of a significant inland area in the early centuries of the Neolithic.

History & PoliticsArchaeologyArchaeology by period / regionPrehistoric archaeologyHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish history Publisher: Oxbow Books Publication Date: 15/08/2022 ISBN-13: 9781789257397  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

William Britnell is a former director of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust and was a joint author of an earlier volume on the Black Mountains tombs - Gwernvale and Penywyrlod: two Neolithic long cairns in the Black Mountains of Brecknock - published in 1984. Alasdair Whittle is emeritus professor attached to the Department of Archaeology and Conservation, Cardiff University. He has published widely on many aspects of the Neolithic right across Europe, including Building Memories (edited with Don Benson, 2007), on the Cotswold long cairn at Ascott-under-Wychwood.

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