Item Details

The Times of Their Lives: Hunting History in the Archaeology of Neolithic Europe

Alasdair Whittle
Format
Book
Published
Oxford : Oxbow Books, 2018.
Language
English
ISBN
9781785706684, 1785706683
Summary
The Times of their Lives' explains how archaeologists can now move away from thinking about history in terms of thousands of years, to periods from one or two centuries down to lifetimes and generations - a little more than two decades. This vastly improved precision comes from the application of Bayesian chronological frameworks for the interpretation of radiocarbon dates. If they do the right things, archaeologists in general and prehistorians in particular need not confine themselves any longer to the long term, which has often been seen as the defining currency of the discipline.0Many prehistorians are still uncomfortable with the choice of narratives now available - or have not yet critically rethought old habits. This book will show how temporally much more precise accounts of the past can be achieved, across a broad range of contexts and situations. It offers a series of case studies across much of the continent, to provide much more precise timings of key features and trends in the European Neolithic sequence than are currently available, and to construct much more precise estimates of the duration of events and phenomena. From these there is the possibility to open up new insights into the tempo of change through the detailed study of selected sites and situations across the span of the European Neolithic, from the sixth to the early third millennia cal BC. At stake is our ability to study the lives of Neolithic people everywhere at the scale of lifetimes, something unimaginable even a few years ago.
Description
viii, 312 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 256-302) and index.
Technical Details

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    a| The Times of their Lives' explains how archaeologists can now move away from thinking about history in terms of thousands of years, to periods from one or two centuries down to lifetimes and generations - a little more than two decades. This vastly improved precision comes from the application of Bayesian chronological frameworks for the interpretation of radiocarbon dates. If they do the right things, archaeologists in general and prehistorians in particular need not confine themselves any longer to the long term, which has often been seen as the defining currency of the discipline.0Many prehistorians are still uncomfortable with the choice of narratives now available - or have not yet critically rethought old habits. This book will show how temporally much more precise accounts of the past can be achieved, across a broad range of contexts and situations. It offers a series of case studies across much of the continent, to provide much more precise timings of key features and trends in the European Neolithic sequence than are currently available, and to construct much more precise estimates of the duration of events and phenomena. From these there is the possibility to open up new insights into the tempo of change through the detailed study of selected sites and situations across the span of the European Neolithic, from the sixth to the early third millennia cal BC. At stake is our ability to study the lives of Neolithic people everywhere at the scale of lifetimes, something unimaginable even a few years ago.
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    a| Archaeological dating z| Europe.
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