Landscapes in Transition

Overview

This volume presents a collection of papers focusing on archaeological approaches to landscape in the context of the adoption of agriculture in Southwest Asia and Northwest Europe. Case studies are presented from these contrasting regions, one where the transition to farming is indigenous, and the other where the transformation is initiated externally. This allows us to consider to what extent hunter-gatherer and farmer landscapes may be different, or the degree to which apparent differences have been constructed...

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Overview

This volume presents a collection of papers focusing on archaeological approaches to landscape in the context of the adoption of agriculture in Southwest Asia and Northwest Europe. Case studies are presented from these contrasting regions, one where the transition to farming is indigenous, and the other where the transformation is initiated externally. This allows us to consider to what extent hunter-gatherer and farmer landscapes may be different, or the degree to which apparent differences have been constructed by our expectations and traditions of interpretation. While the concept 'landscape' enjoys considerable popularity in archaeological interpretation, it is somewhat ill-defined and inconsistently used. Some have suggested that this fluidity allows landscape to be a 'usefully ambiguous concept' but at times there is a danger that this very ambiguity affords imprecision in our narratives. This is particularly important where differing traditions of archaeological interpretation meet, as, for example, in the transition from hunting and gathering to farming. The transition has been understood as a major division in archaeological practice and attitudes to 'landscape' across the transition reflect this dichotomy. The results of these debates are illuminating, and raise questions beyond the immediate geographical scope of the volume. The contrast between the two regions provides valuable comparisons between traditions of archaeological theory and interpretation and the bodies of evidence. Bill Finlayson is the Director of the Council for British Research in the Levant, Graeme Warren is a College Lecturer in the School of Archaeology, UCD, Ireland.

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Editorial Reviews

The Holocene - Bleda S. Düring
Landscapes in Transition provides a good overview of the state of the study of the Neolithic transition in both Britain/Ireland and in the Levant... For any scholar interested in the Neolithic transition in Eurasia, this book will be a welcome contribution.
Landscape History - Graeme Barker
The papers as a group typify the tensions and challenges in trying to explain major transformations in the archaeological record - shifts at a global scale in terms of the beginnings of farming - without falling back on simplistic linear models of causality (‘this cause usually resulted in this effect’), whilst also acknowledging the importance of the local, of individual actors, of historically contingent decisionmaking. The collection does not provide the answers, but it underscores the importance of different scales of analysis.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842174166
  • Publisher: Oxbow Books
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Series: Levant Supplementary Series
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Landscapes in Transition: Introduction Bill Finlayson Finlayson, Bill Graeme Warren Warren, Graeme 1

2 Different Ways of Being, Different Ways of Seeing ... Changing Worldviews in the Near East Nigel Goring-Morris Goring-Morris, Nigel Anna Belfer-Cohen Belfer-Cohen, Anna 9

3 From Big Beat to Bebop: Settlement Between 6000 and 3000 BC in the Fenland Basin (UK) Fraser Sturt Sturt, Fraser 23

4 People and Their Places at the End of the Pleistocene: Evaluating Perspectives on Physical and Cultural Landscape Change Lisa Maher Maher, Lisa 34

5 Subsistence at 4000-3700 cal BC: Landscapes of Change or Continuity? Nicky Milner Milner, Nicky 46

6 A Geological Perspective on Climatic and Environmental Change in the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean from 25,000 to 5000 years BP Stuart A. Robinson Robinson, Stuart A. Stuart Black Black, Stuart Bruce W. Sellwood Sellwood, Bruce W. Claire M. C. Rambeau Rambeau, Claire M. C. Paul J. Valdes Valdes, Paul J. 55

7 The Case for Climatic Stress Forcing Choice in the Adoption of Agriculture in the British Tsles Richard Tipping Tipping, Richard 66

8 Changing Landscapes - Changing Societies? An Anthropological Perspective Marion Benz Benz, Marion 77

9 The Neolithization of Britain and Ireland: The 'Big Picture' Alison Sheridan Sheridan, Alison 89

10 Changing People, Changing Environments: How Hunter-Gatherers Became Communities that Changed the World Trevor Watkins Watkins, Trevor 106

11 Formalizing the Sacred? The Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic Monumental Landscapes of Britain and Ireland Vicki Cummings Cummings, Vicki 115

12 'Islanding' the Mesolithic - Neolithic Transition: Approaches to Landscapes of Contact and Transformation in Northwest Europe Gordon Noble Noble, Gordon 125

13 Reconsidering Early Holocene Cyprus within the Eastern Mediterranean Landscape Carole McCartney McCartney, Carole Sturt W. Manning Manning, Sturt W. David Sewell Sewell, David Sarah T. Stewart Stewart, Sarah T. 133

14 The Last of the Old: A Homogeneous Later Mesolithic Ireland? Thomas Kador Kador, Thomas 147

15 Farmers, Gatherers or Horticulturalists? Reconstructing Landscapes of Practice in the Early Neolithic Eleni Asouti Asouti, Eleni Andrew S. Fairbairn Fairbairn, Andrew S. 161

16 Modelling the Agricultural Impacts of the Earliest Large Villages at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic-Pottery Neolithic Transition Dana Campbell Campbell, Dana 173

17 Taskscapes and the Transition Chantal Conneller Conneller, Chantal 184

18 From Mega-Sites to Farmsteads: Community Size, Ideology and the Nature of Early Farming Landscapes in Western Asia and Europe Amy Bogaard Bogaard, Amy Valasia Isaakidou Isaakidou, Valasia 192

19 The Temporality of Materials: Occupation Practices in Eastern England During the 5th and 4th Millennia BC Duncan Garrow Garrow, Duncan 208

20 Time, Scale, Practice: Landscapes in Transition? Bill Finlayson Finlayson, Bill Graeme Warren Warren, Graeme 221

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