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Title: Mining and materiality in the British Neolithic
Author: Teather, Anne Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 7709
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis considers flint mines and their deposits within the early to late Neolithic in southern Britain. It proposes that flint mines have been perceived as peripheral to the wider changes that occurred during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, and that their deposits have suffered in equal terms from a lack of inclusion in discourses about the period. The theoretical argument aims to demonstrate that chalk art. artefacts and natural substances were a material component of Neolithic life and need to be fully integrated into our analytical categories within archaeology. This is achieved by addressing the overriding emphasis on functionality in interpretations of material culture, which it is argued has inhibited our acceptance of these important classes of material as archaeological evidence. A venues are proposed to overcome these concerns, specifically using materiality as the framing concept for an integrated approach to substances, artefacts and monumentality. These ideas are applied to an analysis of chalk art, the placement of chalk artefacts and natural substances, and the nature of architecture in southern British Neolithic flint mines. Through this, mining sites are suggested to be monumental in exhibiting deliberately created architectural spaces which were subject to symbolic use and, at times, modification. Typologies of chalk art and artefacts are proposed which facilitate a greater degree of critical analyses, and new artefact categories are created to describe natural artefacts which focus on their substance and manufacture (or biography) as opposed to perceived function. Chalk art, artefacts and natural substances are also situated within a broader regional analysis of the Neolithic in Sussex and Wessex, revealing them to have been both a rare and yet recognisable manifestation of Neolithic practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available