Gathering Time: Dating The Early Neolithic Enclosures Of Southern Britain And Ireland

Gathering Time: Dating The Early Neolithic Enclosures Of Southern Britain And Ireland

Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland

Gathering Time presents the results of a major dating programme that re-writes the early Neolithic of Britain by more accurately dating enclosures, a phenomenon that first appeared in the early Neolithic: places of construction, labour, assembly, ritual and deposition. The project has combined hundreds of new radiocarbon dates with hundreds of existing dates, using a Bayesian statistical framework. Such formal chronological modelling is essential if significantly more precise and robust date estimates are to be achieved than those currently available from informal inspection of calibrated radiocarbon dates. The resulting dating project included over 35 enclosures - the largest study so far attempted in a Bayesian framework. This establishes a new chronology for causewayed and related enclosures in southern Britain, which appeared in the final decades of the 38th century cal BC, increased in number dramatically in the 37th century cal BC, and began no longer to be built by the end of the 36th century cal BC. Several enclosures were of short duration - in some cases probably in use for less than a generation - though some examples do conform to the conventional assumption of a long...

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