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Title: Functional Microwear Analysis of Lithics from British Early Neolithic Timber Structures
Author: Debert, Jolene
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 4338
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a study of the rectangular timber framed structures of the early Neolithic from Britain. Recent discoveries through both research and developer funded projects have significantly increased the number and variety of these buildings now known, but they are the subject of heated and contentious debate. The key themes of the origins of agriculture, degree and character of mobility, and domestic or ritual use, place these structures at the heart of arguments on the nature and means of transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic period. This thesis brings together material from both published and unpublished examples, to examine the date and character of their construction and explore their internal use. The case studies discussed in detail are: Balbridie, Claish, Lockerbie, Warren Field, Lismore field, Pilgrim's Way, White Horse Stone, Yarnton, Llandegai and Parc Bryn Cegin. The ecofactual and artefactual information associated with these structures is evaluated using a variety of spatial and material culture analysis techniques, to interpret the range of ways in which they were utilised and inhabited. In addition, an original functional microwear analysis of the stone tools found in and around the buildings at Pilgirm's Way, White Horse Stone, Yarnton, Llandegai and Parc Bryn Cegin are used to enrich understanding of the diversity of tasks and activities carried out in their vicinity. These case studies from England, Wales and Scotland are set in their proper international context through analogy with comparative structures from Ireland and the Continent. The thesis concludes by re-evaluating the nature of these structures, commenting on the narrow date range of their construction and common aspects of their use as well as patterns of inhabitation and deposition. Importantly, it also highlights aspects of difference and diversity in the case studies. Finally, it makes important recommendations for the standardisation of excavation and sampling strategies, in particular advocating the more systematic use of functional microwear analysis as an appropriate tool with which to investigate key questions surrounding the nature of residence, organisation of tasks and use of timber built structures in the initial Neolithic
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available