Interpreting the Axe Trade: Production and Exchange in Neolithic Britain

Overview

Interpreting the Axe Trade documents the changing character and context of stone axe production and exchange in the British Neolithic. Drawing on a variety of studies, the authors explore some of the problems and potentials that attend archaeological discussions of exchange at both a theoretical and a methodological level. Out of this critique arises an argument for an integrated approach to the production, circulation and consumption of past material - an approach which acknowledges the subtle and complex roles ...

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Overview

Interpreting the Axe Trade documents the changing character and context of stone axe production and exchange in the British Neolithic. Drawing on a variety of studies, the authors explore some of the problems and potentials that attend archaeological discussions of exchange at both a theoretical and a methodological level. Out of this critique arises an argument for an integrated approach to the production, circulation and consumption of past material - an approach which acknowledges the subtle and complex roles that 'things' may play in the reproduction of social life. These arguments provide the basis for a case study which explores the links between the social contexts within which Neolithic stone axes circulated in Britain, and the social and material conditions under which those objects were originally produced. Field survey, excavation and detailed technological studies at the largest stone axe source in Britain are set alongside analyses of the changing character and social context of axe circulation and deposition across the country as a whole. These different analytical threads are then woven together in the final section of the book, where the authors suggest that the patterns explored in the course of their work reflect major changes in the nature of social life during the Neolithic.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521619370
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/17/2005
  • Series: New Studies in Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Part I. Neolithic Britain and the Study of Exchange Systems: 1. Making the connections; 2. Neolithic Britain - background to the case study; 3. Studying stone axe in Neolithic Britain; Part II. Axe Production in the Cumbrian Mountains: 4. Tackling the problem at source; 5. Establishing a methodology; 6. Test excavations at Great Langdale; 7. Great Langdale in its regional context; Part III. Exchange Systems and the Study of Neolithic Britain: 8. The wider significance of the 'axe trade': the Earlier Neolithic; 9. The wider significance of the 'axe trade': the Later Neolithic; 10. Retrospect; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

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