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After reporting the art from Knowlton in the last issue of PAST, we have another find of ancient art. Several years ago a South Devon farmer was cultivating a field after removing a hedge. His sharp eyes noticed several unusual stones and so began the story of a very unusual art find. The rest of the story and a plea for information on similar finds follows. Our thanks go to the farmer for spotting and keeping these objects.

         The farmer took the unusually-shaped stone objects brought to the surface home and kept them safe as they were obviously of some antiquity. Subsequent to the discovery, a friend of the farmer flew his microlight aircraft over the field and took a photograph of a strange circular mark which had appeared in the corn. This appears as a dark ring about 50 feet in diameter, and may represent the site of a round barrow. The site lies on a level coastal plateau, in a location where a distant view of the sea can be glimpsed down a shallow valley. There is no further evidence of barrows in the vicinity. The site's exact location is being withheld due to concerns about treasure hunters.
         While visiting the farmer recently, the present writer was asked if he could identify the stones, which were brought out for inspection. A remarkable collection of obviously high status ritual objects was present, consisting of an ovate knife of black flint with a ground and polished edge, two ovoid mace-heads of volcanic greenstone, one of which was unfinished, and a small waterworn boulder of pale green horneblende schist, probably of the Devonian period (Edmonds, McKeown K Williams 1975, 21). This boulder, which is rounded with one flatter side, measures 34cm long, 30cm wide and 18cm thick. It has had its two broader opposing faces dressed flat, and a series of circular cup-like depressions pecked into the two different surfaces. These both form patterns with rough semicircles of smaller depressions surrounding the larger ones. One side, which has been damaged by the plough, has the large depression placed off-centre, opposite the most pointed angle of the boulder. Its smaller satellite cups are six in number and seem randomly spaced, although they run around the side of the boulder nearest to its point.

Greenstone mace heads
Greenstone mace heads
Greenstone mace heads: the smaller unfinished example to the right has only been partly shaped , while its hole has been marked out on one side by pecking, and part-drilled from the other. The scars are caused by the plough. Scale = 30cm.

         On the better-preserved side, there are five equally random outer cups, again occurring towards the point of the boulder. The large depression is nearer to the centre, and has very smooth sides, similar to the interior of a food mixing mortar. The pecking by which the depressions were excavated appears to have been undertaken with a slender pointed tool, possibly of metal. The tool may have been slightly blunted by the work, as the marks are often imprecise, suggesting that a soft copper or bronze tool was used.
         The impression gained by the observation of an apparent ring ditch and the associated find of several high status objects, is that we may be looking at grave goods from a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age round barrow. It is possible that the burial had survived in a narrow segment of the mound, fossilised within a later hedge bank. This group of objects is of considerable importance in an area where few round barrows have produced grave goods. The suggestion that the objects originated in a barrow is given greater significance by the recent article in PAST concerning a ring-marked stone from Knowlton, Dorset, which the writers suggest could have been the cover slab of a cist (Lewis, French & Green, 2000, 1). It is difficult to see the cup-marked boulder from Chivelstone as a cist covering slab, owing to its small size and rounded shape, unless the cist was very small. As it has decoration on both faces, it may have had two periods of use. The smoother polish visible on one of the central depressions does not exist on the other. This could imply that the two sides had different meanings or functions for the makers or users. The layout of the cups also seems to have been an issue for the makers, perhaps with the pointed part of the boulder being intended to face in a particular direction.
         Finally, the fact that a waterworn boulder was used in a context where a split slab would have sufficed, may also be significant. The boulder was presumably collected from the sea over 1 km away to the south, where an outcrop of this characteristically pale green stone exists. Horneblende schist is relatively rare in the area, a grey silvery mica schist being the predominant geological formation in the vicinity. This may imply that the green colour of the boulder may have been a deciding factor in its choice.

Cup-marked boulder
Cup-marked boulder
Cup-marked boulder: Note large central depression on each side with incomplete rings of smaller cup-marks. One side was damaged by the plough at the time of discovery. Scale = 30cm

          Cup-marked stones are uncommon in the West Country. Some probable examples on the surfaces of large boulders have been located on Dartmoor, and share the characteristic circular depressions with the Chivelstone find, although not the concentric patterning (Greeves 1981, 27-31). No other cup-marked stones are known from Devon. In Cornwall, possible cup-marks are located on a rock ledge on Tintagel Island, Cornwall, although these could be of natural origin (Thomas, 1993, 49-50), while Greeves lists five others from definite prehistoric contexts. The most significant of these in the context of this article are the cup-marked stones which were found in a barrow at Starapark, near Camelford, Cornwall (Trudgian 1976, 48-49). The Chivelstone cup-marked stone would therefore appear to belong to an unusual class of such artefacts, buried for ritual purposes within barrows. The polished (Cornish?) greenstone maceheads and flint knife (probably from Beer, East Devon) found in the same context, display the presence of regional trade links with this most southerly part of Devon, while implying a high status burial. An archaeological investigation of the find site would therefore seem to be a high priority.
         It would be interesting to know if any readers of PAST have come across other examples of the association of high status grave goods with cup-marked stones.
         The artefacts remain with their finder, who wishes to remain anonymous. He is now aware of their considerable national and regional importance and appreciates them all the more. I would like to thank him for permission to submit this note. I would also like to thank Linda Hurcombe, Bill Horner and Win Scutt for their comments on the artefacts. Linda very kindly undertook tests on the boulder to investigate the polishing in one of its central cup-marks.

Robert Waterhouse,
73 Mill Meadow,
TQ13 7RN

Edmonds, E.A., McKeown, M.C. & Williams, M. 1975. British Regional Geology: South-West England (Fourth Edition), 21. London: HMSO.
Greeves, T.A.P. 1981. Three Prehistoric(?) Cup-marked Boulders on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society 39, 27-31.
Lewis, H.A., French, C. & Green, M. 2000. A Decorated Megalith from Knowlton Henges, Dorset, England. PAST 35, 1-3.
Thomas, A.C. 1993. Tintagel: Arthur and Archaeology, 49-50. BT Batsford/English Heritage
Trudgian, P. 1976. Cup-marked Stones from a Barrow at Starapark near Camelford. Cornish Archaeology 15, 48-49.
Waterhouse, R.E., forthcoming. Bronze Age Ritual Objects from Chivelstone, South Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society.



Robert van de Noort
Robert van de Noort with a captive audience - or has his audience captured him?
         The project 'Rubbish and Archaeology' is an innovative project designed to involve school children in experimental archaeology. The project was designed for 152 school children in the Askern ward of South Yorkshire, and takes place near the Iron Age site of Sutton Common. The initial response from school children and their teachers, however, suggests that the project could be replicated at many other locations.
         'Rubbish and Archaeology' is essentially an experimental burial project; modern waste and archaeological replications are buried side-by-side and the change in the material over time is measured and observed. All objects are analysed prior to burial using several tests, ranging from the determination of volume, size, colour and moisture content to digital photography and microscopy. Following excavation, the same tests are applied, and the change over time will be determined. The project has a number of major benefits it required from the children the application of a range of scientific ideas and techniques, it provided the children with some insight into the creation of the archaeological record, and it links archaeological issues directly with the contemporary issue of waste disposal. It will also result in a closer involvement of local children with the archaeological work undertaken in the past and future on Sutton Common.

         This project was not designed as an academic exercise. Nevertheless, from an archaeological point of view, it is anticipated that some insights will be gained from the experiment, for example into the impact of organic remains during the immediate post-depositional phase and the feasibility of setting up larger-scale and longer-term experimental burial projects in wet conditions.
         At Sutton Common, the burial phase took place in September 2000. Half the objects were buried in a 'dry' environment, the other half in a waterlogged context. While the archaeologists contributed such sensible objects as basketry filled with joints of beef, 'Iron Age' pots filled with spelt, leather buckles with copper buckles attached and hazel roundwood with iron nails, the childrens' choice ranged from a locally-caught perch, to fruit, sandwiches, bags of crisps and a Stella Artois bottle. The objects will be excavated during National Science Week.
         The project is undertaken in a partnership between the Carstairs Countryside Trust, English Heritage and the University of Exeter.

Robert Van de Noort (University of Exeter) and
Ian Panter (English Heritage).


Fieldwork in the Caribbean supported by the Prehistoric Society


         Archaeological research has focussed on elucidating the hierarchical social organisation of Taino chiefdoms on the Greater Antilles. Investigations of the Lesser Antilles have suffered by comparison; it has only recently been recognised that prehistoric society on the Lesser Antilles was organised quite differently. Although other Leeward islands have been investigated by Dutch (St. Eustatius, St. Maartin, Saba), American (Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts) and local scholars, only a rapid survey of the Nevis coastline has yet been conducted. This identified two preceramic (c. 1500-500 BC), two Saladoid period (c. 500 BC-AD 500) and 17 Ostionoid period (c. AD 6th-17th century) sites located less than one kilometre inland (Wilson 1989, J. Field Archaeol. 16).
         Building on this preliminary survey, a one-week evaluation conducted by the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton in May 2000, with a grant from the Prehistoric Society, identified the three-site complex of GE-5, GE-6, and GE-8 at Hickman's, Fothergill Estate, Gingerland Parish as a location of particularly high potential. Through the completion of a topographical survey, excavation of four testpits, surface collection of artefactual materials, and collection of environmental samples from the test excavations and exposed sections, one new preceramic site (GE-8) was identified, and the midden settlement (GE-5) was found to be three times larger than previously thought and to contain several phases of both Saladoid and Ostionoid occupation, including evidence of house platforms and subsurface evidence of a major post-built structure. This site, in particular, was found to contain abundant ceramic and lithic materials of extraordinarily high quality, securely provenanced with well-stratified contexts, indicating a high potential for establishing a detailed chronology for all phases of occupation on the island.
Local School Children
Local school children assisting in the surface collection of prehistoric artefacts on Nevis, Eastern Caribbean (Photo: A. Crosby).

         Post-excavation analysis of this evaluation is currently underway. Two seasons of excavation are planned for 2001-2002 to create a framework for intensive research into the changing occupation and exploitation of Nevis as a case study contributing towards research of the wider region's prehistory. This will be conducted as a training excavation for undergraduates from the Department and students from the schools in the parish on Nevis where the sites are located.

Andrew Crosby and Elaine L. Morris


(Prehistoric Society tours manage to combine interesting sites with 'cultural experiences' this tour obviously followed the pattern. Ed)


View downhill towards Evora from the Almendres Cromlech

         I once had an English teacher at my grammar school who believed that if one conjoined the opening two words of a book with the two closing ones, it was possible to get an idea of what the tome was all about. Unfortunately, one normally had to read the book from cover to cover to test this revolutionary technique (although it might work for this article). It later struck me as a fine analogy for much archaeological methodology, especially given the frequent necessity of having to take the beginning and end of an archaeological unit and then generalise about what happened in between.
         When I began work on the field-guide, using the large box of literature which had arrived from Portugal, I tried the technique which I have just outlined in an attempt to save myself some time, but was forced to concede defeat and do my work properly. This was just as well, as I quickly became immersed in the intricacies of each site, many of which were still "work in progress". You will be relieved to learn that what follows is not a condensed version of the detail contained in the field-guide, but a more personal account of what we encountered.

         Thirty-eight of us congregated at Gatwick airport on the morning of Sunday 1st October. Having arrived in Lisbon in late afternoon, we set off for the National Museum of Archaeology to attend a special reception laid on by our Portuguese hosts. We were shown around the various galleries in the museum, such as the "Gold room" (unsurprisingly containing artefacts made only from gold), and were also given the chance to annoy the cashiers at the museum shop with our complete lack of any change. By the time of our departure, we had emptied the tills of coins and the food table of custard tarts (a local speciality).
         The next morning saw us all up bright and early, expertly shepherded into the coach by Anne Chowne and Isabella Sjöström, our two tour managers. The drizzle which had made its presence felt on the previous evening had disappeared, and we had hot sunny weather for the remainder of our trip. We made our way eastwards from Lisbon for a couple of hours' journey to our first site: Escoural cave. It is set in a gently undulating landscape, where cork oaks and eucalyputs are grown in plantations. Cork seems to be a major crop in southern Portugal, and many trees have been harvested for their bark several times, giving them an appearance akin to inexpertly lagged heating pipes. Escoural itself is the only known cave in the region, being located inside the only limestone outcrop in an otherwise igneous landscape. It contained remains from the Middle Palaeolithic (50 ka) to the Chalcolithic (there is a small settlement on the top of the hill above the cave). Upper Palaeolithic engravings of animals and abstract designs were discovered on the cave walls in the 1960s, making it the westernmost such site in Europe. The main chamber was used as a cemetery during the Neolithic.
Anta Grande do Zambujeiro
Anta Grande do Zambujeiro: view along the passage towards main chamber of tomb
         After having had our lunch at Anta Capela de São Brissos, a tiny chapel incorporating the stones of a dolmen, we felt suitably inspired to tackle Neolithic megaliths. The first stop was Anta Grande do Zambujeiro, a huge "skeleton" of a chambered tomb (6m-high stone uprights) connected to a long passage. The monument was on privately-owned land, as was the next one on our schedule, the Almendres cromlech, although here the narrow approach road was slightly easier for our bus to negotiate. The cromlech comprised a double-ringed stone circle joined to a double-ringed ellipse of standing stones further upslope (constructed later). Many of the stones, especially in the ellipse, carried Chalcolithic engraved designs on their surfaces, including some compared to croziers. Our arrival did not seem to disturb a group of German New-Agers, who were pre-occupied in communing with the stones.
         We spent the early evening before supper wandering around the Medieval walled town of Évora, which also contained substantial Roman remains. Within 12 hours we had left town, having left the hotel at 6 am to ensure that we reached Vila Nova de Foz Côa by 3 pm (that, at least, was the official line). About two hours into this northward journey, we stopped in a village to obtain breakfast, creating a spectacle which will probably be discussed amongst the locals for many years to come. As we moved northwards, the topography of the landscape changed imperceptibly, becoming more mountainous and craggy. The cork oak plantations had disappeared, to be replaced by vineyards.
Ribeira de Piscos
Ribeira de Piscos: close-up of the two horses with overlapping heads from Panel 1
         We arrived in Foz Côa on time, and were promptly split into groups of seven or eight people for transport by four-wheel drive vehicle to see the Palaeolithic engravings at Canada do Inferno. It was the first Côa valley art locality to be discovered, lying very close to where the big dam was to have been built. The pecked and deeply-incised animal outlines were clearest, as the sunlight was too intense to see much of the fine-lined ones.
         For the first and only time in the trip, we were able to spend more than one night in the same place, choosing the nearby town of Moncorvo for this privilege. There were too many of us to eat (or stay) at the main hotel, so we took over most of the first floor of a local restaurant and worked our way through a wide selection of the local produce, including cheese, wine/port and almond liqueur. The ubiquitous roast pork was something of a mystery, considering we never saw a single pig during our trip.

         We visited the Côa valley sites of Ribeira de Piscos and Penascosa on the following day: pecked and deeply-incised Palaeolithic images were more common (or perhaps just more apparent) at both these sites than fine-lined engravings. Two of the Palaeolithic occupation sites in the Côa valley were also pointed out: Fariseu (Gravettian) and Quinta da Cascalheira (Magdalenian). Lunch was spent at the Ervamoira vineyard, where more attention was paid to the wine-tasting than to the on-site museum, with its mostly Roman exhibits.
         The Côa valley, speaking for myself at least, was probably the most expensive part of the whole trip: temptation lay not only in a wealth of literature on the art and archaeological sites, but also in a ready availability of white, ruby and tawny port. The number of bags and bottles on the bus seemed to increase miraculously during our sojourn in the region, and we must have cleared the Foz Côa visitor centre of most of its stock.

Ribeira de Piscos
Ribeira de Piscos: Andrew Lawson points out the large-scale animal engravings on Panel 13 (Thierry Aubry at bottom)
Penascosa (Coa Valley): close-up of horse and ibex engravings on Panel 6
         Before we left the Côa region on Thursday afternoon, we ventured out of the valley itself and onto the interfluvial plateau, where we visited a few of the 20 (and still counting) Olga Grande sites (mostly Gravettian). Dr. Thierry Aubry showed us around his current excavations, which served to set the contemporary Côa valley sites into a wider landscape context. On our southward journey to Coimbra we spent an hour or so inside the Medieval fortified town of Marialva, built to provide a defence against Spanish attack (the region adjoins the Portuguese-Spanish border).
         After supper in Coimbra, a few of us travelled in to the old quarter of the city, where the oldest university in Portugal is to be found. Encouraged by Cristina Gameiro, our indispensable guide to everything Portuguese, we set off in search of evidence of beaten-up freshers and fado singing (both local traditions, apparently). Opinions were divided as to how much of either we actually encountered, but we did find a torn undergraduate coat lying on the ground in the main university precinct...

         The following day saw us ascending the sides of a steep and picturesque valley near the village of Poios, to visit the Palaeolithic site of Buraca Grande. Most of the material recovered was Middle Palaeolithic, although some remnants from later periods (Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic) had also been found. Local people used to collect organic material from the cave for use as a fertiliser, which probably explains the high levels of disturbance seen in many levels. On the way back to the visitor centre in the village, we encountered two oxen drawing a cart laden with cut maize. Draught animals were common in this village, providing, it must be said, good insurance against any fuel crisis.
         After lunch next to an old water mill, we moved on to Lagar Velho, the new site which hit the headlines about two years ago with its burial of a claimed Neanderthal-modern human hybrid child. We did not hear too much about that issue from Dr. João Zilhão, who instead showed us around the current, expanded excavations at the rockshelter, revealing contexts contemporary with, or slightly earlier than, the burial itself ( . 25 ka). Lagar Velho has about 2m of missing deposits, owing to its levelling by a bulldozer during construction of a farm access track. Thus the excavators only have vestiges of upper deposits (Proto-Solutrean onwards) stuck in fissures, with nothing between these and the current ground level, 2m below. Perhaps they should adopt the "solution" proposed in my first paragraph? It was at this site that I was stung into disputing Zilhão's interpretation of the early European Aurignacian, and we engaged in an increasingly recondite argument which was brought to a close as the assembled throng's eyes began to glaze. The Lapedo valley contains another dozen rockshelter sites (Palaeolithic and Mesolithic), and should keep archaeologists very busy for the next 50 years or so.

Lagar Velho
Lagar Velho: João Zilhão pointing out the Gravettian levels just along the rock face from the child burial
Lagar Velho
Lagar Velho: João Zilhão showing the position of the child's head
         We spent the night in Tomar, staying in an exceptionally imposing hotel. The following morning, some members of our group stayed in Tomar to look at the Medieval convent and Knights Templar fortifications at the top of the hill, while the majority of us set off for the Almonda cave system. This trip involved a scramble down a limestone escarpment some 75m high, stopping at three cave entrances along the way. The first (and topmost) stop was the Galerias Pesadas site, attributed to the Acheulean, which is still being excavated by a team under the direction of Prof. Anthony Marks (Southern Methodist University, USA). Further downslope, we stopped briefly at the entrance of the Galerias de Maio (mostly re-deposited Acheulean material), before descending to the Gruta da Oliveira, which contained Middle and Upper Palaeolithic material and was still under excavation. At the bottom of the escarpment, just above where the Almonda stream now comes out of the cliff, were more recent cave openings in the cave system, containing Upper Palaeolithic and Neolithic material. According to João Zilhão, the whole cave system will need another 5-10 years of excavation and research before its succession from Lower Palaeolithic to Neolithic can be properly comprehended.
         Later that afternoon, having regrouped and taken in the exhibits in the local museum at Torres Vedras, we set off for the nearby Chalcolithic fortification of Zambujal. In the literature this was a very impressive site, but much of it now appears to be overgrown by scrub. The views are still spectacular from the top of the ridge where the site is situated, but the latter will make more sense to non-specialists when it has been cleaned up.
         We travelled on to Lisbon as the sun set. The following morning was spent wandering around the vicinity of the National Museum of Archaeology and Belém, before everyone (including our Portuguese hosts) congregated in a local restaurant for the farewell lunch. We were afterwards rushed to the airport by our ever-reliable coach driver, Horacio, only to discover that our flight would be delayed for two hours. I finally arrived home in Cambridge at midnight, realising that the holiday was over and that work started again in nine hours' time. I had had a memorable week travelling around a largely unspoilt and archaeologically fascinating country in very pleasant company, and had thoroughly enjoyed myself.

William Davies

Europa prize
Mollie Clark presenting the Europa prize to John Coles on the occasion of his Europa lecture to the society on Wetland Archaeology (photo: Bob Bewley).

The Calne dig is a good example of the benefits of 'archaeology on TV' and local involvement in a project.
         Early in June, while work was progressing on a housing development on the north side of Calne, Pete the site foreman realised he had something special on his hands. Having watched Time Team with his young daughter, he recognised that the pot which had emerged as a result of machining was a significant item and his quick thinking enabled the County Archaeologist to call upon a group of local volunteers to move in and recover as much as possible in the short time available. This was at first believed to be three or four days at most but once the developers, Beazer Homes, had recovered from their initial and understandable trepidation they were highly co-operative and worked around the rescue attempt for as long as they could.
         From previous searches there had been no indication that there was any archaeology on the site, hardly surprising given what was known of the local geology (thought to be clay) and past agricultural regimes one disastrous venture into arable had persuaded the owner to revert rapidly to pasture.
         In the event, the site was situated on a previously unknown small outcrop of limestone brash overlooking the vale to the north of the town. In the small area available for the rapid excavation there were several pits of various depths containing material, which on preliminary examination date from 10th/9th to 6th/5th centuries, although detailed study may alter this estimate. Items include a range of animal bone, pottery, daub, charcoals, flint, fossils, pebbles, bone tools, loom weights, querns, stone rubbers, animal skulls and possibly curated items. The possibility of structured deposition is strong, though time did not allow the meticulous taking apart of the pit contents which would have been desirable to study this aspect.
         The excavation also became an on the job training venture. Several of the volunteers were beginners whose first practical encounter with archaeology was to turn up with a huge desire to help. For those running the project the multiple challenges of excavating, recording, training and interfacing with a fascinated public were of no mean proportion but were also rewarding and heartening. Here there was the seed of a community project, suddenly born and without secure financial future but very much on the local agenda.
         The quantity of finds and the desire to keep interest alive led to a short-notice but highly enjoyable session of finds washing and marking to celebrate National Archaeology Day. This was made possible through the assistance of the North Wiltshire Young Archaeologists Club, local volunteers and great publicity by BBC Wiltshire Sound.
         The post-excavation programme is beginning to take shape. There has been a huge voluntary response but it is inevitably dogged by lack of funding. Over the next few months there will be a concerted effort to get the finds catalogued and a date range established so a preliminary report can be published.

Gill Swanton.


So Mesolithic people did more than chip flint and munch hazelnuts....


The sea is out there somewhere, really......
The sea is out there somewhere, really......

         The Mesolithic in Europe conference is held more or less every five years, with the first meeting in Warsaw in 1973. More than anything, it presents an opportunity for Mesolithic specialists from across Europe to get together and find out what everyone else is doing. This is precisely what happened at the 6th meeting, held in Stockholm this September.
         To be more specific, the meetings were held in a conference facility in Nynashamn in the southern part of the Stockholm Archipelago. The venue was very IKEA and also very remote: the one-hour train journey ensured that participants would not be easily lured away by the delights of Stockholm (not, of course, that this would have happened in any case, Mesolithic researchers being a very dedicated bunch). The attendance at this meeting must have been the highest yet, with some 200 participants from across Europe (naturally the Scandinavian countries were well-represented), as well as from the United States and Canada. While reflecting the increasing success of the conference, the downside was that for the first time it was necessary to hold two concurrent sessions. The conference ran for a full five days, although thankfully these were arranged in a very civilised fashion, with trips to view the landscape and Mesolithic sites around Stockholm for two of the afternoons. Pre- and post-conference excursions to southern and northern Sweden were also arranged for the hardy few (this applies particularly to the 7:00 am start on Saturday morning for the post-conference excursion to the rock art near Umeå i.e., the morning after the conference dinner and dance).

         The session titles alone (exchange and communication, social relations and group formation, territoriality and regionalisation, the colonization process, enculturating the landscape, spatial organisation of sites, ritual and symbolic behaviour, hunter-gatherers in transition) give some indication of the range of subjects broached, with increasing attention being paid to issues other than typology and relations with the environment.
         Stefan Kozlowski, one of the instigators of the original 1973 conference in Warsaw, got things off to a good start on Monday morning by offering a critique of the concept 'Mesolithic' itself, and its monolithic application to diverse regions across all of Europe (the equation of microliths = Mesolithic was first defined by priests and local schoolteachers in France some 100 years ago - should we still be following this scheme?). Kozlowski, employing a humorous set of hastily drawn cartoons, further criticised the excessive use of ethnographic models for interpreting things Mesolithic, noting that we are in danger of turning the people of the European Mesolithic into North American Indians (this has already happened in Germany, if anyone is familiar with certain societies in that country with a penchant for dressing up as Plains warriors... scary). Finally, there was a timely call to transcend the political boundaries that tend to curtail the kind of extra-regional studies that would bring differences, as well as any persistent similarities, into sharper focus. And one impression that I took away from the conference was that the ability to do just this seems to have been greatly enhanced by the political turn of events over the last decade in Eastern Europe.
         Lars Larsson, of Skateholm fame, followed with an argument for considering the importance of the environment without being deterministic. Following this line, Larsson offered a re-interpretation of most or even all formal stone tool types in the Mesolithic of southern Sweden as operating primarily as social markers. Noting that such formal tools are largely absent from many other parts of Sweden, he suggested that it was the shrinking land surface in the south that brought about - through increasing population density and increasing number and intensity of contacts - the need for more social markers, both internal and external.
         Monday afternoon's concurrent sessions explored the areas of 'exchange and communication' and 'social relations and group formation'. The issues raised here, concerning the relationships between economy, technology and society, resonated through a number of subsequent sessions. Tracing exchange and communication through the distributions of distinctive raw materials and 'exotics' and through stylistic traits naturally featured large here, although a number of papers used stable isotope evidence of both human and dog diet to trace movements. The scale of the movements discussed varied from the local to the very distant indeed, with Mickle Zhilin finding different types of flint distances of 400 to 600 km and more from their sources in the north-eastern European forests of the early Mesolithic. All authors made an effort to relate these patterns back to the social circumstances that produced them. Nyree Finlay emphasised the social embeddedness of such 'mundane' technological processes as microlith manufacture, presenting a view that takes into account the dynamic biographies of such tools and the possibilities inherent in the idea of multiple authorship.
         Monday's planned evening lecture by Per Karsten on recent work at the rich site of Tågerup in western Scania was unfortunately cancelled due to illness. Fortunately, however, Heikki Matiskainen and Mikhail Zhilin came to the rescue with an entertaining slide show of their recent work in peat bogs north of Moscow (imagine Robbie Coltrane's over-the-top accent in the last Bond flick talking about beaver mandible tools and the bone point lying on the 'lovely Russian student's' hands for scale...).
         Carrying on with some of the major issues raised in Monday's presentations, the participants in Tuesday's session on territoriality and regionalisation for the most part adopted a more cautious and less naively optimistic position than many previous attempts. Michael Jochim and Knut Andreas Bergsvik in particular acknowledged the complexities involved, not so much in the actual identification of patterns, which it seems are often deceptively easy to find, as in the interpretation of the results. Discussing his work in southern Germany, Jochim noted that the use of different data-sets can give quite different results, and cautioned that we are far from understanding the social implications of such patterning, which occurs at many different and overlapping scales.
         Tuesday afternoon saw a trip to Lansort, a small rocky island in the archipelago intended to stand as a proxy for the emergent lands of the Boreal and Atlantic periods in this part of Sweden. This landscape reflected the Mesolithic landscape/seascape far more accurately than did the following day's trip to the sites themselves, on the Södertörn peninsula, coastal at the time but now many kilometres inland. We are all aware of the effects of isostatic uplift, but to be confronted with them 'on the ground' at this scale was still an eye-opener. A trip to the small quartz quarry site of Gladö provided a glimpse into the acquisition of this raw material, an important one in eastern central Sweden, and one that is being recognised with increasing frequency in Scotland as well.
         Thursday's 'spatial organisation' session again emphasised the detailed kinds of questions that can be asked when spatial relationships are preserved, particularly in conjunction with structural remains. As one example, this is a situation that applied to David Loeffler's study in northern Sweden, where distribution patterns in semi-subterranean houses showed different spatial relationships and materials between an inland and a coastal site. The structured use of space was particularly seen on the coastal site, with ceramics and scrapers concentrating on the north side of the structure's two hearths, while materials from east to west repeated each other. This was interpreted as a gendered division of space within a two family dwelling. A similar approach was explored by Ole Lass Jensen in his discussion of a rare Ertebølle dwelling from the site of Nivå 10 on Zealand. Marc de Brie presented the results of a very impressive high resolution distribution study and refitting analysis from the late glacial Federmesser settlement of Rekem in Belgium, enabling the identification of discrete knapping events, the movements of lithic materials between loci within the site complex, and the occurrence of retooling activities slightly away from the main occupation. Concurrently, the 'enculturating the landscape session' provided a fairly diverse - divergent? - set of approaches to this theme. These ranged from discussions of spawning pike to myth, memory and metaphor in the landscape.
         Friday's sessions addressed 'ritual and symbolic behaviour' and that perennial topic, 'hunter-gatherers in transition'. Discussion of burial practices played a large role in the former session, with sites ranging from southern and eastern Scandinavia to France to Siberia. Given the rich heritage of rock art in northern Scandinavia, it was not surprising that this also featured in the session. Drawing upon work further afield, Maria Hinnerson emphasised in her discussion of both modern and ancient Greenland Inuit that a concern with aesthetics figures in all aspects of life, from butchery to the selection of stone for knapping. As ever with conferences, there is the chance to hear more about exciting new finds and approaches: the Stockholm meeting was no exception. The 'transitions' session in particular provided tantalising new results from the analysis of ancient DNA, and further confirmed the importance of the stable isotope technique in the analysis of palaeodiet. Recently discovered sites in the Netherlands and off the north coast of Germany demonstrate that the kind of fantastic preservation of organic materials seen in the Danish Storebælt (Pedersen et al. 1997) is not limited to that area. Louwe Kooijmans discussed the large-scale excavations at two transitional sites at Hardinxveld, deeply buried in the Dutch sands (with excavations extending to some 10 m below sea level). The excellent organic preservation here revealed an incredibly rich faunal assemblage, including some 400 worked antlers, as well as human and dog burials, dwelling structures, a complete 5.5 m long limewood canoe, part of a fish trap, six paddle blades and an axe haft. Harold Lübke discussed a series of well-preserved sites in the Wismar Bay area, with fragments of dug-out canoes and wooden leister prongs lying in situ in 2.5 to 3 m deep water. The still largely untapped resources here hold great promise for future research.
         I would be remiss in not mentioning the poster session that ran throughout most of the week, with the authors present on Wednesday evening for discussion. These are rightfully becoming a more integral part of conferences, and offer one alternative to an ever-increasing number of read papers. The posters were well-presented and informative, with a level of detail that in many ways is not possible in a 20-minute spoken presentation. A number of posters presented new faunal data, while others were concerned with settlement analyses and the statistical treatment of data. Of particular interest to readers here might be the new findings from of Bill Finlayson, Karen Hardy and Caroline Wickham-Jones' project on the Inner Sound between Skye and the mainland, where a number of new Mesolithic midden and non-midden sites have been discovered.
          This brings us to Friday night and the conference dinner: more gravlax as a starter naturally, speechifying (mercifully short), lots of wine, followed by live music and dancing (certain individuals taking advantage of the tables for this activity, at least until the implacable forces of gravity took hold), and, best of all, free pool tables. As for the proper billiards table, well, Eric Brinch Petersen showed all the signs of a mis-spent youth by beating everyone handily, while muttering something about engineering. Malcolm Lillie came closest, which makes me worry about how he is currently spending his youth.
         Overall this was an enjoyable and well-organised conference, with a range of issues addressed. Discussions of microlith typology were nowhere to be seen, and I have the impression that the range of explicitly social issues addressed was greater than at previous meetings. At the same time, a cautious eye was kept on the nature, and limitations, of the archaeological evidence that Mesolithic researchers have to deal with. Yet ways are being sought to transcend those limitations, both through the finding of new, well-preserved sites, and through the application of both new scientific techniques and new interpretative ideas.
         Thanks to the persuasive presentation by Peter Woodman and Sinead McCartan (maybe with a little help from thoughts of Murphy's and Guinness), the next Mesolithic in Europe conference (2004) is to be held in Ireland...

Sköl! Sliante!

Rick J Schulting
School of History and Archaeology
Cardiff University

Pedersen, L., A. Fischer R B. Aaby (eds.). 1997. The Danish Storebælt Since the Ice Age. Copenhagen.


Houses 'in motion', a way to date cremated bone from crystals - clearly the Bronze Age is going New Age.


         The British Bronze Age seems to have escaped the kinds of theoretical make-overs that the Neolithic and Iron Age have received in recent years. As we were mulling over this observation at the conference lunch, Andrew Fleming suggested that the Bronze Age has been, in comparison, 'like a pudding without a theme as Churchill might have said'. Yet the Edinburgh Forum, attended by archaeologists and others from all over Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany, was very much alive with new approaches, new advances and new discoveries.
         The weekend forum - organised seamlessly by Trevor Cowie - was held in the Royal Scottish Museum and also provided conference-goers with an opportunity to see the museum's excellent 'Heaven and Hell' exhibition as well as the newly designed prehistory gallery. The latter has ingeniously incorporated modern sculpture within the displays although some of the human figures reminded me more of Robocop than of any imagined prehistoric people. The conference started on Saturday morning with a local theme of settlement and environment in Scotland. Presentations about prehistoric pollen by Andrew Hoaen, Richard Tipping and his Stirling colleagues - Eileen Tisdall, Althea Davies and Sandra Cayless - indicated a sequence of climatic changes during later prehistory as well as evidence of human settlement which often did not tally with the 'archaeological' record. A spirited and argumentative presentation by Strat Halliday demolished the notion that Bronze and Iron Age houses were long-lived. Pointing to the 5-15 year lifespans of dendrochronologically dated prehistoric houses in Europe, he argued that even multiple phases within Scottish roundhouses derived from re-occupations separated by periods of abandonment rather than from any long-term and uninterrupted residence. This shortness of residence has been noticed in other parts of Britain by Niall Sharples and Joanna Brück and has helped to draw attention to how we look at houses 'in motion' - as sequences from construction to abandonment - rather than as fixed and static entities.
         The afternoon session addressed the issue of Bronze Age settlement from Wessex to the Western Isles. Andrew Fitzpatrick told us about the remarkable timber 'bridges' which have been found at Testwood, Eton and Vauxhall in southern England. Exactly whether these were bridges, raised high above the water and capable of supporting wheeled vehicles, is a question open to interpretation. Equally, none have produced the metalwork (other than one or two artefacts) that characterises the votive dimension of timber alignments such as that at Flag Fen. On cue, the next speaker was Francis Pryor discussing the implications of excavations at Welland Bank (on the Cambridgeshire-Lincolnshire boundary) for understanding Bronze Age farming. Here were Late Bronze Age post Deverel-Rimbury ceramics from a large complex of field systems which he divided into cattle pens and into sheep fields. Not only was there also a thick deposit of 'dark earth' built up in one area, but a Bronze Age cart had also left deep ruts in what must have been an unpleasant haul across this soggy clayland landscape. Jenny Woodcock introduced us to the Bronze Age on the Isle of Man, and to some of the strangest shaped urns of the British Bronze Age. The day finished with a presentation (by me) about our excavations of a Late Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement at Cladh Hallan in the Western Isles which - convention and modesty should prevent me from mentioning except that this would not be fair to the other co-directors - Jacqui Mulville, Pete Marshall and Helen Smith. One of the Cladh Hallan roundhouses has just the kind of longterm occupation that Strat Halliday had earlier denied - but we agreed that social and tenurial circumstances in the Outer Hebrides may have been different from mainland Scotland.
         Sunday was a day for death. Anna Brindley informed us that the Gröningen radiocarbon laboratory has perfected the dating of burnt bone - hitherto impossible because of its loss of collagen - by dating the crystals of apatite which actually grow in fire. This is important news for all those Bronze Age cremation burials which lie unloved in museum stores. Elizabeth Twohig looked at the reuse of Irish megalithic tombs for burial of Bronze Age cremation urns, arguing that these remained - or were recreated as - special places over a millennium after they were first built. Joanna Brück examined the processes of fragmentation, deposition and transformation which she considered formed key metaphors in Bronze Age social and economic practices. Jane Downes showed how stone ard points were deposited at important moments on funeral cairns and in houses as closing ceremonies. Alexandra Shepherd showed us that Beaker pots in British burials were gendered. Not only were males and females buried in opposite ways but their accompanying Beakers were made to suit. Those pots with women were smaller, more squat and had wider mouths. Mary Ann Owoc also showed how meanings could be recovered from Cornish Early Bronze Age barrows, in the juxtaposition and colour of soils and mound layers and in the astronomical alignments within the barrows.
         That afternoon the emphasis shifted to artefacts. We had already watched Barbara Ottoway's video - how to cast a 6000-year-old copper axe - the day before, so it was great to see Ronan O'Flaherty's full-sized reconstruction of a wicked-looking hafted halberd, which he had managed to talk the airport authorities into letting him bring on the plane from Ireland. One of his interesting points about halberds is that throughout Europe they are not found in the regions where they are represented in rock art but do occur in the adjacent regions. Regine Maraszek's Europe-wide study of hoards revealed that Britain is remarkably different from the Continent in having so many axe hoards, as opposed to hoards of other tools, weapons or ornaments. That morning, Stuart Needham had examined the trade in bronzes from the point of view of the local communities who may have understood the exotica from far away in terms of magical, supernatural and mythical associations rather than simple economic value. He suggested that the cross-channel contacts between Armorica and Wessex in the Early Bronze Age might be seen in these terms. Out came another of the conference's flashpoints as Peter Northover took the opposite view in his paper, arguing that we should be modelling supply and demand in examining the bronze trade. People seem to have been split in agreeing whether we should interrogate the past by starting from our western standpoint of rationality and utility or assuming that the past was different and attempting to find out in what ways it was different. Sue Bridgeford showed us that some of the northern Ewart Park swords might have been contemporary with southern British Wilburton swords. Brendan O'Connor discussed an unusual bronze ladle amongst a Late Bronze Age hoard from Corrymuckloch in Perthshire, whilst Ian Shepherd talked about a cordoned urn with faience from Findhorn.
         Perhaps some of us came away from the forum realizing that the Bronze Age has changed. Themes of metaphor, local sequence and cosmology have come to the fore. I wonder whether one of the defining metaphors for people living in the Bronze Age developed through the medium of the technology itself the pyrotechnical transforming of metals and materials providing new ways of understanding and working, affecting even the transformations of life and death.

Mike Parker Pearson



Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Rector, Pennsylvania, 17th -21st October 2000.

In flood-hit UK, the ease of travel we take for granted has ground or floated to a halt recently. The travel revolution linked to horses forms just one part of the discussion of human interaction with horses.

         The setting was as congenial as the company. About 35 academics from 9 different countries had been brought together in the gloriously colourful landscape that is rural Pennsylvania in the Fall. The symposium was warmly hosted at the Powdermill Nature Reserve, a field research station belonging to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The whole event had been the brainchild of Dr. Sandra Olsen, of the Carnegie Museum, with the intention of bringing together a wide range of academics from different countries and different disciplines who all shared an interest in research on horses. In so doing, it was hoped that progress could be made in addressing several difficult issues about the evolution of human equine relations. The importance of the horse to the development of human cultures around the world cannot be over-stressed.
         The event had a lively start with a demonstration of the use of ancient bridles by Gail Brownrigg (UK) and the manufacture, form and function of horseshoes by Martin Estrada (USA). The academic programme was arranged in approximate chronological order. David Webb and Andrew Hemmings (Florida State Museum) got proceedings underway with their rare glimpse of the interaction between the soon-to-be-extinct, late Pleistocene horses and the earliest human arrivals in North America, at their underwater Clovis site on the Aucilla River. Dixie West (University of Kansas) and Alan Outram (University of Exeter) both discussed Upper Palaeolithic horse hunting in Europe. It was generally agreed that hunters' horse carcass transport and processing choices were very different to those applied to other hunted species. The economic anatomy of horses is different and standard Binfordian assumptions did not seem to apply. Dale Guthrie (University of Alaska), himself both a hunter and an artist, had many useful insights into the portrayal of horses in Palaeolithic art. Karlheinz Steppan (Basel University) presented a fascinating paper on the ecological interplay between wild horses and humans in Central Europe. It seems that human agricultural clearance may have created better conditions for horses and increased their population. The hardest science was presented by Lynne Bell (Natural History Museum, London) and Keith Dobney (University of Durham) who put forward the possibility of determining horse movements and seasonality from oxygen isotope levels in teeth.
         It was Sandra Olsen herself who tackled the thorny issue of horse domestication. There was general consensus that there would be no "smoking gun" to tell us where and when horses were domesticated. The way forward would have to be through hard work and the integration of many lines of detailed evidence. An evening round-table discussion was held on this issue in an attempt to facilitate future research through greater co-operation and standardization of methodologies between international scholars. David Anthony and Dorcas Brown's (Hartwick College, New York) paper on bit wear analysis as evidence for early riding created a certain amount of methodological controversy. Whether one likes the theory or not, it seems that the measuring of many horse teeth is in order. All, including Anthony, agreed that bit wear would be unlikely to indicate earliest horse domestication.
         There were many high quality contributions outlining prehistoric horse exploitation in particular geographical regions. Haskel Greenfield (University of Manitoba) talked about the Balkans, Pavel Kosintsev (Institute of Ecology, Ekaterinburg, Russia) discussed the Urals and West Siberia, Ninna Manaseryan (Armenian National Academy of Sciences) talked about horses in Bronze Age burials in Armenia, Erzebet Jerem (Archaeological Institute, Bupadest) concentrated on eastern-central European animal sacrifice, Nerissa Russell (Cornell University) discussed the equids at Çatalhöyük, Turkey and Ludmila Koryakova (Ural State University) and Bryan Hanks (Cambridge University) both talked about the Iron Age Eurasian Steppe.
         The most heated argument by far regarded the definition of a chariot and its identification in the archaeological record. Karlene Jones-Bley's (Los Angeles) summary of the evolution of chariots was followed by passionate discussion, much to the bemusement of some of the hardened bone specialists present. The cry of "no, it's a fast cart" will be remembered for a long time! Laszlo Bartosiewicz (Archaeological Institute, Bupadest) brought some much-needed comic relief. His discussion about past perceptions of mules may have been light-hearted, but had a serious point about the different ways we see different animals. The symposium moved geographically East with consideration of horse harnesses along the silk route (Trudy Kawami, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation), Chinese images of the horse (Katheryn Lindruff, Pittsburgh University) and Eurasian words for horse (Victor Mair, Pennsylvania University). Angela von den Driesch (Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich) gave a fascinating presentation on what we can learn from Tibetan "horse books", which are full of weird and wonderful veterinary practices, and Sienna Craig (Cornell University) talked about the modern day religious and cultural importance of the horse in Nepal. Ulrike Mayer-Kuester (Germany) was the only person to discuss horses in Medieval Europe. She had done a very neat piece of research into reconstructing Medieval saddles from Southern Scandinavia from the limited evidence that survives.
         The symposium came to a spectacular end with a "Celebration of the Horse". This event, which was open to the public, was an amazing display of horse breeds and riding and driving skill. Over fifty horses had been assembled for the event and some of them were very rare indeed. Everybody who attended will remember this event for some time. The symposium was an undoubted success and will hopefully have the lasting benefit of having brought together many like-minded, yet disparate academics to discuss important archaeological questions, which can only be answered through a concerted international effort and the sharing of mutually comprehensible data sets. The foundations for such future co-operation were laid at this symposium.

Alan K. Outram



Lithic Studies Society Conference, 8-10 September 2000, National Musenm & Gallery, Cardiff

Stone artefacts as status goods, snapshots of knapping moments and, not least, usable tools were all discussed, but unusually for this quintessentially prehistoric material, Roman Flint usage was also debated...


         Speakers and participants from Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, gathered for a survey of the diverse facets of research into human uses of flint and stone.
         The spatial organisation of lower and middle Palaeolithic artefact production and use was illuminated by Bertrand Masson and Luc Vallin, Francis Wenban-Smith, Jane Hallos and Matt Pope, drawing on the results of extensive excavations of deposits with in situ material. Whether in the loess of the Pas de Calais or the palaeosols of Boxgrove and Beeches Pit, only a few stages of the process were generally represented at any one spot, and even where excavations covered many hectares, the sometimes stereotyped knapping clusters within them tended to represent only parts of the patterns of implement manufacture, use and discard, which must have extended over wider areas. Nick Ashton questioned the information value of refitting (a pursuit as labour-intensive as it can be compulsive) beyond reconstructing an immediate, and often repetitive, moment of human behaviour. His lecture and the discussion which followed it emphasised the difficulty of bridging the gap between vivid snapshots of single, generally everyday, events, like those offered by a refitting knapping cluster, and the vast, chronologically compressed, bulk of evidence for the development of human culture over hundreds of thousands of years.
         The perennial questions of how, why, on what scale, how far, from where, and with what implications people transported flint and stone arose at several junctures. The provenancing of rocks from localised primary sources goes from strength to strength, powered by a widening battery of techniques. Rob Ixer presented impressively consistent results from the independent examination of twelve stone axe fragments by petrographic and geochemical methods. Ian Meighan sourced pitchstone artefacts from Northern Ireland to the Isle of Arran. Flint and chert remain hard cases. Inge Diethelm's exhaustive and exhausting attempts to determine the raw material sources used by the occupants of an Acheulian site in the El Kowm basin in Syria, by locating all the deposits in the hills surrounding the basin, then sampling and thin-sectioning them, ended with the conclusion that the mineral and fossil content of the various local sources could not be differentiated. James Steele introduced a gleam of hope with an account of Steve Trippier's successful discrimination between the fossils dissolved out from a sequence of flint beds. Similar approaches have been tried before. Will this one be applicable?
         The extent to which social and economic change is registered in flint and stone industries was explored at some length. Ebbe Nielson documented a very gradual uptake of Neolithic innovations by the seventh and sixth millennium BC occupants of Switzerland, accompanied by slight and slow changes in an essentially Mesolithic flint industry, a scenario which surely had echoes in fifth and fourth millennium Britain. The more complex (at least materially and technologically) metal-using societies of later prehistory received particular attention. It was news to this insular auditor that Bronze Age industries described by Norah Moloney, Witold Migal and Anders Högberg, whether from Jordan, eastern Europe or Sweden, share the same apparently unconstrained smash-it-and-see technology familiar in the second millennium BC industries of Britain. Jodie Humphreys and Rob Young argued the continuation of a similar technology well into the first millennium, in a domestic context and perhaps for specific tasks. A salient feature of the Jordanian and European industries is the persistence of morphologically regular forms, distinguished from the domestic industry by skilled production, limited sources, and transport from source to point of use. Witold Migal's description of heaps of broken flint sickles and daggers at Bronze Age production sites in Poland struck a very unfamiliar note indeed. Significantly, these regular forms made outside the domestic sphere tend to consist of one or at most a handful of standardised types, perhaps filling increasingly tightly-defined technological niches, like Laurel Phillipson's range of scrapers and microliths made and used in urban early Christian Axum, each suited to the working of specific materials.
         Wear traces and residues tell us how individual tools were used, and Veerle Rots and Alfred Pawlik told us how they were hafted as well, demonstrating not only what Neolithic tools were used for, but also how they might have looked and been handled when complete. Claus Skriver cast doubt on the clarity of the distinction between wear traces from hide and from roast, as distinct from raw, meat, leaving the material that had actually been worked to be determined by the form of the tools themselves. In most of this session we were looking at tool use on individual sites with well-preserved, in situ artefacts - back to small-scale, short-lived, events like those glimpsed from the Palaeolithic. Here, only a few thousand years away from our own time, there is the same problem of how to unite these insights into everyday life with the infinitely more abundant and widespread generalised evidence for the working and growth of societies which for all our best efforts keep us guessing.
         Resounding thanks are due to Elizabeth Walker of the National Museums R Galleries of Wales, who bore the brunt of the organisation.

Frances Healy




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         PAST is happy to publicise conferences on this page. Please send details to the editor following the format below. If you want to use a PAST mailing to send out flyers please contact the editor for a quote.

TAG 2000 (Theoretical Archaeology Group): 18.12.00-20.12.00
The conference will be held at Oxford this year and as usual this annual conference contains sessions on many different themes with lots of prehistory in amongst the theory. More details can be found in the programme, and further information plus registration details are available from a variety of sources;

Isabelle Barber,
c/o Institute of Archaeology,
36 Broad St.,
OX1 2PG e-mail; website

Warfare, Violence and Slavery in Prehistory and Proto-history (Prehistoric Society Conference): 2.2.01- 3.2.01
The rare evidence of ancient violence and exploitation can be read as the rare survival of widespread practises in a violent society or as a tenuous record of oddities within a generally peaceful prehistory. Papers on this theme will be given by a mixture of postgraduates and other speakers. The conference organised in conjunction with Sheffield University is great value at £10 for society members, or £5 for students. Hard-up postgrads should note that floor space is available. Further details can be found on;

Neolithic Settlement in Ireland and Western Britain (Prehistoric Society Conference): 20.4.01-22.4.01
The conference is jointly organised with Queen's University, Belfast. The last few years have seen a huge upsurge in the numbers of known Neolithic settlements in Ireland. These new discoveries taken together with the post-excavation progress on earlier excavations make this a timely and exciting conference bringing together a range of evidence and setting it in the context of ongoing debates over settlement in Ireland and Britain. There will be optional trips to the Boyne Valley and Neolithic sites in Ulster. The conference is great value at £18 for members. For further details, accommodation and fieldtrip costs please contact

Neolithic conference,
School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology,
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