Round Mounds and Monumentality in the British Neolithic and Beyond

Round Mounds and Monumentality in the British Neolithic and Beyond

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This volume, the tenth published collection of seminar papers from the Neolithic Studies Group, is based upon a conference that took place at the British Museum in November 2008. The meeting aimed to consider the chronology and development of Neolithic round mounds; their changing form and use; their relationships to contemporary cultural, ancestral and natural landscapes; the extent to which they provide scope for identifying local and regional social organization; and, not least, why they were round. Following the conference, further papers were offered for this edited volume, widening and broadening the initial discussion.

The papers are arranged in rough geographic order starting in the north and working southwards before heading across the Irish Sea and then the Atlantic. Following a wide-ranging discussion of round mounds across the world, two papers discuss aspects of Scottish round mounds, before moving down to the Isle of Man, the Neolithic round mounds of the Yorkshire Wolds, Liffs Low in the Derbyshire Peak District, and round mounds on the Cotswolds. The volume then moves to Wessex, starting with a discussion of Silbury Hill, and followed by a re-evaluation of the Great Barrow at Knowlton, Conquer Barrow at Mount Pleasant, and the Hatfield Barrow at Marden. How archaeologists and heritage managers choose to interpret round mounds is the subject of the next paper, using Silbury Hill as the primary case study. This is followed by a broad discussion of circular traditions, particularly formative henges, in Wales and adjacent counties, round burial mounds in the Boyne Valley, Ireland, such as Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange, and Irish round mounds containing portal tombs. By way of comparison with the evidence from the British Isles, the volume then crosses over to North America for a broad discussion of mound-building traditions there. Rounding off the volume is another wide-ranging essay on the nature of round mounds, which challenges our very understanding and interpretation of them.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 170 x 242 x 19.05mm | 680.39g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 101 b/w illus, 13 colour illus, 5 tables
  • 1842174045
  • 9781842174043
  • 1,851,648

Table of contents

1. Design, geometry, and the metamorphosis of monuments (David Field)
2. "... a place where they tried their criminals": Neolithic round mounds in Perth and Kinross (Kenneth Brophy)
3. Scotland's Neolithic non-megalithic round mounds: new dates, problems, and potential (Alison Sheridan)
4. Tynwald Hill and the round mounds of the Isle of Man (Timothy Darvill)
5. Recent work on the Neolithic round barrows of the upper Great Wold Valley, Yorkshire (Alex Gibson and Alex Bayliss)
6. "One of the most interesting barrows ever examined" - Liffs Low revisited (Roy Loveday and Alistair Barclay)
7. Neolithic round barrows on the Cotswolds (Timothy Darvill)
8. Silbury Hill: a monument in motion (Jim Leary)
9. The Brood of Silbury? A remote look at some other sizeable Wessex mounds (Martyn Barber, Helen Winton, Cathy Stoertz, Edward Carpenter and Louise Martin)
10. The Mystery of the Hill (Jonathan Last)
11. The formative henge: speculations drawn from the circular traditions of Wales and adjacent counties (Steve Burrow)
12. Monumentality and inclusion in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland (Geraldine Stout)
13. Round mounds containing portal tombs (Tatjana Kytmannow)
14. Native American mound building traditions (Peter Topping)
15. The round mound is not a monument (Tim Ingold)
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Review quote

It combines very useful assessments of old excavations, new surveys and new radiocarbon dates, with more general studies on circularity and monumentality.' -- British Archaeology British Archaeology
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About Timothy Darvill

Jim Leary is a lecturer in archaeology at York University and previously held posts at Reading University and English Heritage. He has also published several books and numerous research papers. He is a co-editor of NSG 10 (see above) and also NSG 14 (Moving on in Neolithic Studies: understanding mobile lives). Timothy Darvill is Professor of Archaeology and Director of the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University. His research interests focuses on two main themes. The first is the Neolithic of northwest Europe, in particular the early development, use, and meaning of monumental architecture with fieldwork in Germany, Russia, Greece, Malta, England, Wales, and the Isle of Man. Second is archaeological resource management, especially the role of the tangible and intangible heritage as sources of social capital, cultural enrichment, personal well-being, and the social construction of knowledge. David Field is currently retired but previously worked for English Heritage (Archaeological Investigator) and has published numerous books and research articles. He was co-editor of NSG 7 (Animals in the Neolithic of Britain and Europe) and 10 (Round Mounds and Monumentality in the British Neolithic and Beyond).
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