Chapter

From Picardie to Pickering and Pencraig Hill? New information on the ‘Carinated Bowl Neolithic’ in northern Britain

Alison Sheridan

in Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264140
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734489 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0023

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 144

From Picardie to Pickering and Pencraig Hill? New information on the ‘Carinated Bowl Neolithic’ in northern Britain

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This chapter highlights the considerable and growing body of evidence for Neolithic activity, reliably dated to between c. 3950/3900 and 3700 cal bc in northern Britain (especially Scotland), which is associated with the use of pottery in the ‘Carinated Bowl’ ceramic tradition. The distribution of this type of pottery extends far beyond the area under review, to encompass much of Britain and much of Ireland. It is argued that the appearance of the Carinated Bowl-associated Neolithic package (and indeed that of other strands of Neolithization) is best explained in terms of the arrival of small farming groups from the Continent. An acculturationist, gradualist position on the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition simply fails to account for the evidence to hand. And even though many writers have highlighted the difficulties of pinpointing an area of origin for our hypothetical Continental ‘Carinated Bowl settlers’, it is argued that the search is neither fruitless nor hopeless.

Keywords: Neolithic activity; pottery; ceramic tradition; farming groups

Chapter.  17405 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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