(Un)settling the Neolithic

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Douglass Whitfield Bailey, A. W. R. Whittle, Vicki Cummings
Oxbow, 2005 - Social Science - 149 pages
This book takes a fresh look at the European Neolithic and asks pertinent questions about the way in which we study it. By unsettling accepted notions regarding sedentism and the onset of farming, the contributors are able to sow that many ideas which are taken as read may need re-evaluating in the light of new modes of thinking. Sedentism and mobility form the bulk of this volume's focus, and a number of papers look at these concepts through examining/re-examining certain sites or collections of sites. Paul Halstead makes the case that sedentism does not preclude a large degree of mobility. Bailey asks us to completely re-think our attitude to the built environment of the Neolithic, arguing that we are trapped by details as to the purpose of structures, rather than on what effect their presence had on the people who used them. Taken together, these fourteen papers encourage us to move beyond the search for sedentism or mobility as a characteristic of society.

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unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in the earliest Neolithic of Greece
unsettling frontiers of the MesolithicNeolithic Balkans
Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentism in the past?

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About the author (2005)

Alasdair Whittle recently retired from being Distinguished Research Professor in Archaeology at Cardiff University, specialising in the Neolithic period. Over his career he led several major excavations, notably around Avebury and in Hungary. His many publications include Europe in the Neolithic: the Creation of New Worlds (CUP), The Archaeology of People: Dimensions of Neolithic Life (Routledge), and Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland (Oxbow, with Frances Healy and Alex Bayliss), which won the British Archaeological Award for Best Book in 2012. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

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