Interpreting the Neolithic: the monuments of North Yorkshire (1997)

Author(s): Harding J

    Abstract: Recent interpretations of the British Neolithic either consider the shared beliefs of this period or the short-term engagement of individuals with their material surroundings. This paper argues that, while both approaches provide exciting agenda, they fail to address the marked regional differences which exist within the range of monuments, and indeed have actually shifted Neolithic studies away from a consideration of such variability. A comparison of the monuments from North Yorkshire with similar evidence elsewhere in lowland England illustrates the value of an approach which concentrates on long-term trends in the continuity or transformation of social structures. It is proposed that the absence of causewayed enclosures and the early development of single-grave burials demonstrate a distinct social trajectory which continued with the construction of the later henges. The monuments are therefore seen to reflect long-term continuities in the social history of North Yorkshire.

      • Date: 17-12-2002
      • Journal: Oxford Journal of Archaeology
      • Volume: 16
      • Issue: 3
      • Pages: 279-295
      • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Dr Jan Harding
      Senior Lecturer in Later Prehistory