Details to follow.
After ‘Gathering Time’: new perspectives on enclosures of the earlier 4th millennium BC
4th November 2019
British Museum, London
It seems fair to say that we know more about causewayed enclosures than any other type of Neolithic site. This is particularly down to the research by Alasdair Whittle, Alex Bayliss and Frances Healy published as Gathering Time (2011), which built on a rich corpus of previous work to develop detailed chronological models for these sites and in effect to write a history of the Early Neolithic.
But of course this does not mean we should go away and do something else. There remains much we still want to know. Having a high-quality framework for understanding opens up different, more detailed questions about these sites, especially as new enclosures continue to be discovered across southern Britain.
So what do we want to know about enclosures after Gathering Time? How much do the new discoveries add to the picture of their distribution, currency, purpose and use?
We are especially keen to receive contributions that deal with the following contextual questions:
- how do enclosures fit into Neolithic landscapes of settlement, movement, clearance and herding?
- what is happening in the parts of Britain where such monuments are not found?
- and what do we know of the broader European milieu from which enclosures emerged?
We already have a good range of speakers discussing causewayed enclosures themselves, but offers of papers, shorter presentations or posters that address the wider context are still very welcome. Please contact email@example.com by 19th July 2019.
Neolithic Studies Group
Call for papers
Houses of the dead?
Alistair Barclay, David Field and Jim Leary
Despite the chronological disjuncture, LBK longhouses have widely been considered to provide ancestral influence for both rectangular and trapezoidal long barrows and cairns, but with the discovery and excavation of more houses in recent times is it possible to observe evidence of more contemporary inspiration? What do the features found beneath long mounds tell us about this and to what extent do they represent domestic structures? Indeed, can we distinguish between domestic houses or halls and those that may have been constructed for ritual purposes or ended up beneath mounds? Do so-called ‘mortuary enclosures’ reflect ritual or domestic architecture and did side ditches always provide material for a mound or for some other purpose, such as building construction? This seminar will seek to explore the interface between structures often considered for the living with those often considered for the dead, and what role they played in earlier Neolithic society.
Papers that address these issues are welcomed. The organisers will be pleased to hear from potential contributors at an early date.