From midden to megalith? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Britain

Vicki Cummings

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:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 144

From midden to megalith? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Britain

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The transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic in Britain and Ireland remains one of the most debated and contested transitions of prehistory. Much more complex than a simple transition from hunting and gathering to farming, the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition in Britain has been discussed not only as an economic and technological transformation, but also as an ideological one. In western Britain in particular, with its wealth of Neolithic monuments, considerable emphasis has been placed on the role of monumentality in the transition process. Over the past decade the author‧s research has concentrated on the early Neolithic monumental traditions of western Britain, a deliberate focus on areas outside the more ‘luminous’ centres of Wessex, the Cotswold–Severn region, and Orkney. This chapter discusses the transition in western Britain, with an emphasis on the monuments of this region. In particular, it discusses the areas around the Irish Sea – west Wales, the Isle of Man, south-west and western Scotland – as well as referring to the sequence on the other side of the Irish Sea, specifically eastern Ireland.

Keywords: Mesolithic; Neolithic; monuments; Irish Sea; west Wales; Isle of man; Scotland; Ireland

Chapter.  6046 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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