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Is There a British Chalcolithic? (Paperback)

People, Place and Polity in the later Third Millennium

Ancient History > Prehistory > British & Irish Prehistory

Edited by Michael J. Allen, Edited by Julie Gardiner, Edited by Alison Sheridan
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Prehistoric Society Research Papers
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781789256864
Published: 15th July 2021
Casemate UK Academic



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The Chalcolithic, the phase in prehistory when the important  technical development of adding tin to copper to produce bronze  had not yet taken place, is not a term generally used by British  prehistorians and whether there is even a definable phase is  debated. Is There a British Chalcolithic? brings together many leading authorities in 20 papers that address this question.


Papers are grouped under several headings. Definitions, Issues and Debate considers whether appropriate criteria apply that define a distinctive period (c. 2450 - 2150 cal BC) in cultural, social, and temporal terms with particular emphasis on the role  and status of metal artefacts and Beaker pottery. Continental Perspectives addresses various aspects of comparative regions of Europe where a Chalcolithic has been defined. Around Britain and Ireland presents a series of large-scale regional case studies where authors argue for and against the adoption of the term. The final section, Economy, Landscapes and Monuments, looks at aspects of economy, land-use and burial tradition and provides a detailed consideration of the Stonehenge and Avebury landscapes during the period in question.


The volume contains much detailed information on sites and artefacts, and comprehensive radiocarbon datasets that will be invaluable to scholars and students studying this  enigmatic but pivotal episode of British Prehistory.


Additional information originally found on included CD ROM can be downloaded at https://books.casematepublishers.com/Is_There_a_British_Chalcolithic.pdf.

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About Michael J. Allen

Michael J. Allen is proprietor of AEA Allen Environmental Archaeology and is one of the UK’s leading environmental archaeologists, specialising in geoarchaeology (particularly the analysis of hillwash and colluvium), land snail analysis, prehistoric landscape reconstruction and the management of environmental archaeological projects.

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