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Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe

Presents the latest evidence and debate
Reveals the extraordinary diversity of experience from Spain to southern Scandinavia

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy Volume: 144

By: Alasdair Whittle (Editor), Vicki Cummings (Editor)

648 pages, 150 illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Nov 2007 | #215848 | ISBN-13: 9780197264140
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £110.00 $135/€124 approx

About this book

The processes involved in the transformation of society from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to Neolithic farmers were complex. They involved changes not only in subsistence but also in how people thought about themselves and their worlds, from their pasts to their animals. Two sets of protagonists have often been lined up in the long-running debates about these processes: on the one hand incoming farmers and on the other indigenous hunter-gatherers. Both have found advocates as the dominant force in the transitions to a new way of life.

North-west Europe presents a very rich data set for this fundamental change, and recent research has both extended and deepened our knowledge of regional sequences, from the sixth to the fourth millennia cal BC. One of the most striking results is the evident diversity from northern Spain to southern Scandinavia. No one region is quite like another; hunter-gatherers and early farmers alike were also varied and the old labels of Mesolithic and Neolithic are increasingly inadequate to capture the diversity of human agency and belief. Surveys of the most recent evidence presented here also strongly suggest a diversity of transformations. Some cases of colonisation on the one hand, and indigenous adoption on the other, can still be argued but many situations now seem to involve complex fusions and mixtures. This wide-ranging set of papers by leading specialists offers a comprehensive and authoritative overview of this fundamental transition.

"This is an impressive volume [...] a state-of-the-art compendium of work [...] it deserves to become a classic source of information."
– C.R. Wickham-Jones Antiquity


- Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings: Introduction: transitions and transformations
- Alan Barnard: From Mesolithic to Neolithic modes of thought
- Jean Guilaine and Claire Manen: From Mesolithic to Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean
- Pablo Arias: Neighbours but diverse: social change in north-west Iberia during the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic (5500-4000 cal BC)
- Detlef Gronenborn: Beyond the models: 'Neolithisation' in Central Europe
- John Robb and Preston Miracle: Beyond 'migration' versus 'acculturation': new models for the spread of agriculture
- Alex Bentley: Mobility, specialisation and community diversity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotopic evidence from the skeletons
- Richard P. Evershed: Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition
- Ruth Bollongino and Joachim Burger: Neolithic cattle domestication as seen from ancient DNA
- Anne Tresset and Jean-Denis Vigne: Substitution of species, techniques and symbols at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Europe
- Pierre Allard: The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Paris Basin: a review
- Grégor Marchand: Neolithic fragrances : Mesolithic-Neolithic interactions in western France
- Chris Scarre: Changing places: monuments and the Neolithic transition in western France
- Philippe Crombé and Bart Vanmontfort: The neolithisation of the Scheldt basin in western Belgium
- Leendert P. Louwe Kooijmans: The gradual transition to farming in the Lower Rhine Basin
- Graeme Warren: Mesolithic myths
- Chris Tilley: The Neolithic sensory revolution: monumentality and the experience of landscape
- Richard Bradley: Houses, bodies and tombs
- Amy Bogaard and Glynis Jones: Neolithic farming in Britain and central Europe: contrast or continuity?
- Alasdair Whittle: The temporality of transformation: dating the early development of the southern British Neolithic
- Gill Hey and Alistair Barclay: The Thames Valley in the late fifth and early fourth millennium cal BC: the appearance of domestication and the evidence for change
- Julian Thomas: Mesolithic-Neolithic transitions in Britain: from essence to inhabitation
- Alison Sheridan: From Picardie to Pickering and Pencraig Hill? New information on the 'Carinated Bowl Neolithic' in northern Britain
- Vicki Cummings: From midden to megalith? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Britain
- Steven Mithen, Anne Pirie, Sam Smith and Karen Wicks: The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in western Scotland: a review and new evidence from Tiree
- Gabriel Cooney: Parallel worlds or multi-stranded identities? Considering the process of 'going over' in Ireland and the Irish Sea zone
- Sönke Hartz, Harald Lübke and Thomas Terberger: From fish and seal to sheep and cattle: new research into the process of neolithisation in northern Germany
- Lars Larsson: Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia
- Alasdair Whittle: Going over: people and their times

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Alasdair Whittle, Distinguished Research Professor, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University; Fellow of the British Academy, and Vicki Cummings, Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire

- Pierre Allard, University of Paris 10
- Pablo Arias, University of Cantabria, Santander
- Alistair Barclay, University of Oxford
- Alan Barnard, University of Edinburgh
- Alex Bentley, University of Durham
- Amy Bogaard, University of Nottingham
- Ruth Bollongino, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
- Richard Bradley, University of Reading
- Joachim Burger, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
- Gabriel Coone, University College Dublin
- Philippe Crombé, University of Ghent
- Vicki Cummings, University of Central Lancashire
- Richard P. Evershed, University of Bristol
- Jean Guilaine, Coll?ge de France
- Detlef Gronenborn, Römisch-Germanisch Zentralmuseum, Mainz
- Sönke Hartz, Archäologisches Landesmuseum, Germany
- Gill Hey, University of Oxford
- Glynis Jones, University of Sheffield
- Lars Larsson, Lund University
- Leendert P. Louwe Kooijmans, Leiden University
- Harald Lübke, Archäologisches Landesmuseum und Landesamt für Bodendenkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
- Claire Manen, CNRS, France
- Grégor Marchand, CNRS, France
- Preston Miracle, University of Cambridge
- Steven Mithen, University of Reading
- Anne Pirie, University of Reading
- John Robb, University of Cambridge
- Chris Scarre, University of Durham
- Alison Sheridan, National Museums of Scotland
- Sam Smith, University of Reading
- Thomas Terberger, Universität Greifswald
- Julian Thomas, University of Manchester
- Chris Tilley, University College London
- Anne Tresset, CNRS, France
- Bart Vanmontfort, Leiden University
- Jean-Denis Vigne, CNRS, France
- Graeme Warren, University College Dublin
- Alasdair Whittle, Cardiff University and Fellow of the British Academy
- Karen Wicks, University of Reading

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