Stories from the Landscape: Archaeologies of Inhabitation 9781841715971, 9781407326535

This book is principally about landscape archaeology, and how people experience the world around them. The authors of th

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Stories from the Landscape: Archaeologies of Inhabitation
 9781841715971, 9781407326535

Table of contents :
Front Cover
Title Page
List of Contributors
The Barrow
‘Geographies of sentience’ – an introduction to space, place and time
Mountains and hills
Where many paths meet: towards an integrated theory of landscape and technology
Rivers, lakes, springs and streams
A ‘movement of becoming’: realms of existence in the early neolithic of southern Britain
Trees, plants and fungi
Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Woods? Forest Wilderness in the Middle Ages
Flora Magicka
Husbandly Furniture
From Mexico to Mayab: a landscape voyage
Architecture and buildings
We take memories into our spaces. The landscapes of Fulbourn Field 126
Reassembling labour
Who takes hands?
A curse on you...
Picking up the trail: People, landscapes and technology in the Peak District of Derbyshire during the fifth and fourth millennia BC
Paths, roads and routeways
Footprints in the sands of time. Archaeologies of inhabitation on Cranborne Chase, Dorset
The Dead
Select bibliography
Photographic images and illustrations

Citation preview

This collection of essays illustrates how recent theoretical ideas concerning landscape can be used to write interpretative archaeologies of people and place. Despite calls for archaeologies of inhabitation that explore the material and historical conditions of past communities, little archaeological writing to date has really addressed this question. This book aims to change the ways in which we think and write about people and landscapes. These papers broaden their discussion to include topics such as identity and embodiment, cosmology and politics, memory, materiality and material culture, but also show how these were and are closely entwined with the land and with the smaller things in life. The volume is sumptuously illustrated, to create a sensual and engaged experience for the reader, and it includes much experimental writing and innovative use of images. Chronologically, the papers span the mesolithic through to the modern period. Geographically, they cover the British Isles from southern England to the Peak District and the Yorkshire Wolds, and even extend across to Central America. The result is a series of reflective essays that reveal the vibrancy and excitement of current approaches to understanding human inhabitation of landscapes, and which show how it is possible to construct different, dynamic and challenging histories and humanities. It should be of interest to all those interested in understanding approaches to landscapes, landscape archaeology and writing the past.


What is landscape? What are our varied understandings of landscapes, and how are these caught up with the everyday human experiences of life? How different were these experiences in the past, or in our landscapes today?

Stories from the Landscape Archaeologies of Inhabitation

Edited by

Adrian M. Chadwick

BAR International Series 1238 B A R


Stories from the Landscape Archaeologies of Inhabitation Edited by

Adrian M. Chadwick

BAR International Series 1238 2004

Published in 2016 by BAR Publishing, Oxford BAR International Series 1238 Stories from the Landscape © The editor and contributors severally and the Publisher 2004 The authors' moral rights under the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act are hereby expressly asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied, reproduced, stored, sold, distributed, scanned, saved in any form of digital format or transmitted in any form digitally, without the written permission of the Publisher. ISBN 9781841715971 paperback ISBN 9781407326535 e-format DOI A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library BAR Publishing is the trading name of British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd. British Archaeological Reports was first incorporated in 1974 to publish the BAR Series, International and British. In 1992 Hadrian Books Ltd became part of the BAR group. This volume was originally published by Archaeopress in conjunction with British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd / Hadrian Books Ltd, the Series principal publisher, in 2004. This present volume is published by BAR Publishing, 2016.


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List of Contributors Cornelius Barton is a Project Supervisor with Wessex Archaeology. After graduating from Sheffield University’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory in 1991, he worked for several British field archaeological units, and he has also worked abroad on projects in Turkmenistan and Sudan. E-mail: [email protected] Bill Bevan is Survey/Conservation Archaeologist with the Peak District National Park Cultural Heritage Team. He has been an archaeologist since the late 1980s when he was a surveyor and documentary researcher for the National Trust in the Lake District, before going to Sheffield University in 1994 to do an MA in Landscape Archaeology. He recently completed a PhD on the long-term landscape archaeology of the Upper Derwent valley in the Peak District at Sheffield University, and is working on a book on the same subject. He was a co-director of the Gardom’s Edge landscape research project, and in addition to writing many research articles is the editor of Northern Exposure: Interpretative Devolution in the British Iron Ages (1999). His research interests include landscape archaeology, the British iron age, Roman rural settlement, the archaeology of Derbyshire and public archaeology. He is also part of the acclaimed Unity Dub DJ collective, and other interests include reggae, Newcastle United and travelling to warm, sunny places. E-mail: [email protected] The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group was constituted in 1983 with the aim ‘to relieve homeless women (without children) who are in necessitous circumstances, by the provision of temporary accommodation.’ The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group can be contacted at Corona House, 1 Corona Road, Cambridge CB4 3EE (01223) 369125. Adrian Chadwick is a Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Wales Newport, and until recently held a joint post with Wessex Archaeology. After graduating from Sheffield University’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory in 1990, he has worked for many British field archaeological units, and also on projects in France, Germany, Iceland, Lebanon and Turkey. In 1999 he completed a part-time MA in Landscape Archaeology at Sheffield, and he is now studying at UWN for a part-time PhD. His research interests include landscape and gender archaeology, iron age and Roman Britain, field systems, urban archaeology and medieval towns, and archaeological theory and practice. He is a director of the Gray Hill Landscape Research Project, and in addition to research articles, is currently working on a co-edited volume on the archaeology of land allotment. He also likes curries and corgis. E-mail: [email protected]. Helen Evans is a PhD student at the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, Sheffield University. After graduating from Sheffield University’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory in 1996, she undertook a part-time MA in Landscape Archaeology. She has since worked for several British archaeological field units, and is now studying for a PhD on the prehistoric landscapes of Cumbria from the later mesolithic to the bronze age. She co-directs several archaeological field projects in Cumbria, and has also served as an editor of assemblage, the Sheffield Graduate Journal of Archaeology. Her research interests include landscape archaeology, the archaeology and history of Cumbria, and the neolithic and bronze age of western Britain. She also likes dogscapes and wandering the Lakeland Fells. E-mail: [email protected] Melanie Giles is a Lecturer in Later Prehistory at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester. Her BA, MA in Landscape Archaeology and PhD were all undertaken at Sheffield University, her PhD thesis examining archaeologies of identity in the later prehistoric landscapes of East Yorkshire. She also served as an editor of assemblage, the Sheffield Graduate Journal of Archaeology. She then spent two years at the Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, as both a lecturer and post-doctoral Research Fellow. She has excavated widely on a variety of later prehistoric fieldwork projects, and is currently working in the Yorkshire Wolds. The work presented in this volume reflects her broader interests in the visual and textual representation of the past. Her other interests include poetry, painting and ceramics. E-mail: [email protected] Danny Hind is a Medical Researcher at the School of Health and Related Research, Sheffield University. After graduating from Cambridge University’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory in 1993, he worked for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, and then went to Sheffield University in 1995 to do an MA in Landscape Archaeology. He completed his PhD thesis at Sheffield University in 2000, on landscape and technology in the Peak District of Derbyshire during the fifth and fourth millennia BC. In addition to being an accomplished DJ, his other interests include art and photography. E-mail: [email protected] Erica Hemming has a background as a field archaeologist and archaeological illustrator. She studied at Exeter University for her BA and Southampton University for her MA, concentrating on prehistory, especially the upper palaeolithic and theories of representation, and then worked for many years as a field archaeologist for Wessex Archaeology. She has created archaeological reconstructions for the Stonehenge Gallery in Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, and for various publications. Expressions of spiritual ways of being-in, seeing and experiencing the ii

world inform her work, and she is obsessed with accumulating reference pictures. She also exhibits and teaches art and crafts, rides a motorbike, and belly-dances, but not always at the same time! E-mail: [email protected] Paul Huckfield is an undergraduate archaeology student at the University of Wales Newport. After completing a degree in Fine Art at Staffordshire University in 1994, he worked as an artist and freelance illustrator in Britain and abroad. He has worked for the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, and has been employed as a Research Assistant on the Gray Hill Landscape Research Project. His research interests include the visual representation of archaeological practice, and the continuity of memory and narratives within early British prehistory, especially the neolithic. He also likes poetry, spicy food and adrenaline. E-mail: [email protected] Lesley McFadyen is a Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and was a Research Assistant at the University of Wales Cardiff. She graduated from Glasgow University’s Department of Archaeology in 1992, and in 1997 she completed an MA in Archaeological Theory at Southampton University. She has also worked for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, and on projects in France and in the Orkney Islands. She gained her PhD at the University of Wales Newport in 2003, on mesolithic and neolithic architectures within long cairn and long mound sites. Her research interests include the mesolithic, neolithic and bronze age in Britain, and archaeological, architectural and feminist theory. Her other interests include contemporary art and architecture, photography and film, and collecting snowstorms. She is a member of the Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group. E-mail: [email protected] Joshua Pollard is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, and until recently was a Lecturer at the University of Wales Newport. He is co-director of the Beckhampton Longstones fieldwork project exploring the neolithic monuments of the Avebury area, Wiltshire, and with Andrew Reynolds has co-written Avebury: The Biography of a Landscape (2002). He is also the author of Neolithic Britain (1997) and co-author (with Alasdair Whittle and Caroline Grigson) of The Harmony of Symbols: The Windmill Hill Causewayed Enclosure (1999). He has also published many research papers on a range of topics from the mesolithic to the medieval periods. He completed his PhD at Cardiff University in 1993, on traditions of deposition in neolithic Wessex. His research interests include the British neolithic, depositional practices, lithic technology, material culture, the archaeology of settlement and routine, archaeological theory, and attitudes to the ‘natural’ world. His other interests include Californian wine and collecting delftware pottery. E-mail: [email protected]



In memory of my mother, who taught me how to listen to others, and of my father, who told wonderful stories AMC

Why is it, I wonder, that we have trouble agreeing on the meaning of ‘landscape’? The word is simple enough, and it refers to something which we think we understand; and yet to each of us it seems to mean something different. John Brinckerhoff Jackson. 1984. Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Landscape is a huge subject, as big as the earth and its atmosphere and reaching out to the edge of the universe. The big moves in landscape happen very rarely. You will be lucky to see one during your lifetime and even luckier to be in the right place at the right time to be involved in the making of it. Incremental changes happen all the time, however. They gradually accrue to big changes in what there is in the world, and whatever you are up to, you will be involved in these already. Paul Shepheard. 1997. The Cultivated Wilderness. Or, What is Landscape? London: MIT Press. is not contained within things, nor is it transported about. It is rather laid down along paths of movement, of action and perception. Every living being, accordingly, grows and reaches out into the environment along the sum of its paths. To find one’s way is to advance along a line of growth, in a world which is never quite the same from one moment to the next, and whose future configuration can never be fully known. Ways of life are not therefore determined in advance, as routes to be followed, but have continually to be worked out anew. And these ways, far from being inscribed upon the surface of an inanimate world, are the very threads from which the living world is woven. Tim Ingold. 2000. The Perception of the Environment. Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. London: Routledge.

Land is an end in itself and not a mere means of existence and work is not a way of living but a way of life. Pierre Bourdieu. 1962. The Algerians. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press.


Contents The Barrow Anthony Thwaite .............................................................................................................................................. viii ‘Geographies of sentience’ – an introduction to space, place and time Adrian M. Chadwick ................................................ 1 Mountains and hills Adrian M. Chadwick..............................................................................................................................33 Where many paths meet: towards an integrated theory of landscape and technology Danny Hind.......................................35 Rivers, lakes, springs and streams Adrian M. Chadwick .......................................................................................................53 A ‘movement of becoming’: realms of existence in the early neolithic of southern Britain Joshua Pollard ........................55 Trees, plants and fungi Adrian M. Chadwick.........................................................................................................................71 Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Woods? Forest Wilderness in the Middle Ages Helen Evans .................................................73 Flora Magicka Adrian M. Chadwick ......................................................................................................................................88 Husbandly Furniture Thomas Tusser .....................................................................................................................................90 From Mexico to Mayab: a landscape voyage Bill Bevan .......................................................................................................93 Architecture and buildings Adrian M. Chadwick and Lesley McFadyen .............................................................................105 We take memories into our spaces. The landscapes of Fulbourn Field 126 The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group ....................................................................................................................................................................................107 Animals Adrian M. Chadwick..............................................................................................................................................116 Reassembling labour Melanie Giles.....................................................................................................................................118 Who takes hands? ...........................................................................................................................................120 Weaverthorpe .................................................................................................................................................122 A curse on you…............................................................................................................................................125 Boundaries Adrian M. Chadwick .........................................................................................................................................127 Picking up the trail: People, landscapes and technology in the Peak District of Derbyshire during the fifth and fourth millennia BC Danny Hind....................................................................................................................................................130 Paths, roads and routeways Adrian M. Chadwick ................................................................................................................177 “Footprints in the sands of time.” Archaeologies of inhabitation on Cranborne Chase, Dorset Adrian M. Chadwick with illustrations by Cornelius Barton ..........................................................................................................................................179 The Dead John Burnside......................................................................................................................................................257 Afterword Adrian M. Chadwick...........................................................................................................................................259 Glossary ................................................................................................................................................................................261 Select bibliography ...............................................................................................................................................................267 Photographic images and illustrations...................................................................................................................................272


The Barrow In this high field strewn with stones I walk by a green mound, Its edges sheared by the plough. Crumbs of animal bone Lie smashed and scattered round Under the clover leaves And slivers of flint seem to grow Like white leaves among green. In the wind, the chestnut heaves Where a man’s grave has been. Whatever the barrow held Once, has been taken away: A hollow of nettles and dock Lies at the centre, filled With rain from a sky so grey It reflects nothing at all. I poke in the crumbled rock For something they left behind But after that funeral There is nothing at all to find. On the map in front of me The gothic letters pick out Dozens of tombs like this, Breached, plundered, left empty, No fragments littered about Of a dead and buried race In the margins of histories. No fragments: these splintered bones Construct no human face, These stones are simply stones. In museums their urns lie Behind glass, and their shaped flints Are labelled like butterflies. All that they did was die, And all that has happened since Means nothing to this place. Above long clouds, the skies Turn to a brilliant red And show in the water’s face One living, and not these dead. Anthony Thwaite The Barrow © Anthony Thwaite, originally from The Owl in the Tree (1963), Oxford University Press. Reproduced with the author’s permission.




‘Geographies of sentience’ – an introduction to space, place and time Adrian M. Chadwick complexities of context, interpretation and inference that make up so much of archaeological practice.

Every few years the village moves between 10 and 30 kilometres, through a country landscaped by legends. Each valley, every streamside, mountaintop or boulder has its own mythology. There is no dissociation between the landscape of the mountains and the landscape of the mind. The tribe defines itself by its land, and the land is peopled with spirits by the tribe. Removing an Indian from his [sic] forests…he becomes detached from the physical foundations of his belief, from the landmarks by which he navigates the spiritual highways of his world. No relocation by outsiders, however sensitive, can rechart the geography of sentience (Monbiot 1991: 145).

At the same time, there are more interpretative and theoretical academic archaeology volumes, many of which are written with other academics and students in mind. In some of these the theoretical discourse is rather rarefied, and very off-putting for those who do not know the language of social theory. Between these two extremes, there are only a few books that try to collate and synthesise the results of developer-funded fieldwork and academic research, and which try to reach a variety of different readers, not just the academic or those in contract archaeology. What is also missing from most studies is an idea of how people in the past thought and moved about their landscapes on a routine, daily basis. Even where the results of different archaeological investigations are collated together, the resulting accounts often take the form of grand narratives of human development, where the writers are investigating whole regions, and where generations of human endeavour are compressed into a few short paragraphs. These works can reduce the wealth of different human lives and experiences to bland, generalised assertions about the past. There is often little sense of the small-scale, the local, and the particular.

Preface This book is principally about landscape archaeology, and how people experience the world around them. We have used the term landscape in its broadest possible sense however, to describe the entire material, spiritual and emotional world of people in the past. Thus, human artefacts such as tools or pottery vessels are as much part of landscapes as ‘natural’ features such as rocks and mountains, rivers and lakes. Buildings, towns and cities, trackways and roads, animals and plants – all of these form part of the human experience of landscapes, as do memories, myths, and stories. In fact, trying to define landscape archaeology can often prove as elusive as attempting definitions of landscape itself. The papers in this volume represent the work of a diverse group of people, who have discussed the ideas presented here on many different occasions. It has been a communal venture. Most of us know each other, though we should not be considered a clique or a ‘school’ in any way, for we have many different backgrounds, and bring to this book many different experiences. Some of us work full-time in a variety of jobs, including commercial contract archaeology. Others are undertaking postgraduate research in university departments, or have completed such research. What we all share is a sense of frustration with many conventional archaeological publications. It was this that led us to try and experiment with alternative ways of presenting the past. We feel that there is a growing polarisation between the different kinds of archaeological writing. On the one hand, there are the unpublished and published reports from individual archaeological sites or projects, often the results of developer-funded fieldwork. These can be written in very dry, factual language, and may not present the

Many archaeological publications are not visually arresting. With a few notable exceptions, their text is punctuated largely with formal maps, plots and graphs. Photographs and drawings are usually separated and thus alienated from the text. Reconstruction drawings often take the form of all-seeing, aerial perspectives that no one in the past could ever have experienced. Drawings of excavated features are usually isolated from pictures of 1

introduction. Our archaeologies are written from explicitly theoretical perspectives, but we hope that this writing is not jargon-ridden. Inevitably, from time to time we have had to use certain terms derived from social theory, but we have tried to explain and elaborate these in our text, or in the glossary that accompanies the select bibliography of this book. Our aim has been to produce a book that will appeal to everyone interested in landscapes or in the past, whether they are enthusiastic amateurs, working in developer-funded archaeology, students or are based in university departments.

the finds recovered from them, and these objects themselves are categorised according to modern distinctions rather than how people in the past may have understood them. Many archaeologists are dissatisfied with this, and have argued for the much closer integration of artefactual, contextual and visual information within the text, and for ways of writing that transcend the limitations of conventional reports (Downes and Richards 1995; Hamilton 1996, Hodder 1992; Shanks 1992; Tilley 1989b, 1993). We have therefore attempted to produce a different kind of archaeology book. Some of these papers are highly interpretative, but are based on solid, well-recorded empirical fieldwork carried out by the authors or others. Some papers are more experimental explorations of how landscapes are inhabited and viewed. Throughout the volume however, we have tried to combine innovative ways of writing about the past with much greater and more integrated use of photographs and drawings. These images have a dynamic relationship with the text, and are themselves powerful statements of meaning, part of a dynamic dialogue (q.v. Barthes 1980; Berger and Mohr 1989; Edwards 2001; Le Doeuff 1980; Wallis 1984; Williams 1981). They do not merely supplement or complement the text, but are integral to our explorations of inhabitation and identity, space and place. Some images are meant to be challenging, or even unsettling, but we also hope that they will make the reading of this book a richer and more sensual experience as a result.

We hope that the papers in this volume achieve these goals. We have chosen the title of the book carefully, and it is worth examining the component words in more detail, for they are intended to enunciate and elucidate many of our ideas. There is now a substantial body of literature on the subjects of landscape, and the role the human body plays in forming our experience of the world. I can do no more than summarise some of the main points here. However, a thematic bibliography for further reading has been provided at the back of this volume. We know we belong to the land And the land we belong to is grand…1 Landscape. This single word has been used over the centuries in a variety of very different contexts. In archaeology, it has appeared as a theme in volumes as diverse as W.G. Hoskin’s impassioned The Making of the English Landscape (1955), to Mick Aston’s Interpreting the Landscape (1985), but most of these works can be characterised by rather uncritical usage of the term. Landscape just ‘is’, it is something ‘out there’, or something almost self-evident. In the past few decades many writers from a range of disciplines have paid more critical attention to the term. Historians, art and literary theorists, architects, geographers, anthropologists and yes, archaeologists too, have all been re-examining ideas and associations of landscape that we all too often take for granted. One of the many exciting things about landscape studies is this blurring or dissolving of disciplinary boundaries.

Archaeology borrows many key words and concepts from anthropology, philosophy and social theory. These terms and ideas are often useful short cuts, to save more spaceconsuming explanations of exactly what is meant each time arguments are put forward. Some academics however, seem to forget that not everyone has a solid grounding in social theory. Some theoretical interpretation has been written in dense, impenetrable language, certain writers have promoted their own pet philosophers, or have even invented their own words to support their ideas. This has alienated many people, and has led some in the archaeological discipline to argue that theory has no relevance, and that a non-theoretical or rigidly empirical approach is appropriate to their work. This is unfortunate, because theoretical ideas have revolutionised our understanding of how people lived in the past. Theory is vital to understanding how human societies operate. Whether excavating a pit or a posthole on site, or investigating the symbolic aspects of rock art, theory is an integral part of our labours and engagements with these features or materials. We all bring to archaeology sets of personal ideas and assumptions, no matter if these are seen as common sense or functional (q.v. Cumberpatch 1999). It is what gives us a means of understanding our archaeological encounters. These ideas themselves constitute bodies of theory, and we work through theory. All archaeological practice is thus theoretical.

The origin of the English word ‘landscape’ might be the Dutch landschap; itself rooted in the eighth century AD Germanic root word Landschaft. This may originally have referred quite specifically to small-scale, peasants’ landholdings (Bender 1993; Berque 1997). It was only centuries later during the Renaissance that the term reemerged. Following the rise of the linear perspective in art, and the development of Cartesian geometry, landscape increasingly came to mean an area of land depicted, or capable of being depicted, by some form of visual representation (Chandler 2000; Daniels and Cosgrove 1988; Schama 1995). This widening gulf between humans and the natural world has been attributed to Enlightenment thinking, agricultural rationalisation and livestock breeding, and the revolution in mathematics and science (Merchant 1980; K. Thomas

Some of the key theoretical issues concerning archaeologies of landscape are explored in this 2

2001). Similarly, in post-medieval and early modern Britain and Europe, even the wealthy elite had their own individually embodied experiences of landscapes, and gender, sexuality and more subtle gradations of class would also have been important. As we shall see, although landscapes may be thought of as either backdrops or masks, the reality is actually far more complex.

1983). Rather than seeing themselves as situated within the natural world and the natural order of things, people now began to conceive of nature as something distinct from human culture. It has also been claimed that such a dichotomy arose in Classical China (Lemaire 1997). Many of these authors argue that just as paintings of landscapes create a distance between the viewer and that being viewed, there may be a link between the rise of landscape painting, and the development of modern capitalism and land ownership in Western societies. The landscape painting genre thus reproduces a separation between humans and nature, and between the division of a subject:object.

So how has archaeology dealt with the ideas of landscapes? Some of the pioneering archaeologists writing in the 1920s and 1930s such as Heywood Sumner wrote short, lyrical pieces on particular landscapes and their encounters with them, whilst others such as O.G.S. Crawford took a more descriptive, factual and functional approach. This period also saw many publications that examined the topography and history of particular regions in Britain, to try and explain how their modern ‘character’ had come about, amongst them the classic Batsford ‘Face of Britain’ books. They included the work of one particularly noteworthy author, H.J. Massingham. His English Downland (1936) and Cotswold Country (1937), together with his other books and shorter articles (Abelson 1988), were highly evocative and poetic musings on everything from apples and orchards to prehistoric burial mounds. Downland Man (1925) was almost a precursor of some recent phenomenological work within archaeology. In it, Massingham had advocated that in order to understand what the downlands were like in prehistory; it was necessary to walk across them and to experience the landscape at this basic physical level. Collingwood and Myres (1937) also argued that monuments and landscapes should be experienced on foot or on horseback to recreate how people would have encountered them in the past. Cyril Fox (1932) talked about the ‘Personality of Britain’, and how landscapes were artefacts made by people, but also of how the physical environment had shaped the lives of people in the past, and the nature of their societies. This was when the classic highland : lowland scheme for Britain was first developed. Though now seen as too deterministic, this overview anticipated a lot of post-war environmental and geographical studies.

Disparities in modern class relations and the appropriation of ‘lived in’ landscapes by outsiders such as estate owners and industrialists may thus be possible partly because of the all-seeing, possessive postRenaissance landscape gaze, and the objective stare of rational, scientific scrutiny. This allows landscapes to be regarded as passive space to be studied, mapped and measured, bought and sold or manipulated and controlled, especially by elites (Berger 1972; Cosgrove 1984; Darby 2000; Green 1995; Rose 1993; Williams 1963). The objectifying gaze may thus also be indicative of economic, political or sexual control by one group over another. The very act of being able to stand back and observe landscapes from an aesthetic or possessive perspective itself implies a certain way of engaging with the world that might be quite historically and culturally specific. For example, the post-Renaissance, Western map-making tradition has been used as an instrument of power and propaganda (Harley 1988). It has been employed as a tool of colonial oppression, and has often been at odds with many indigenous people’s understandings of landscape and way-finding (Belyea 1996; Duncan 1993; Gow 1995; Ingold 1997, 2000; Sparke 1998; Strang 2000). Furthermore, for those British and European labourers whose livelihood and employment depended on working long hours on their own land or that of wealthy landowners, there were few moments for aesthetic landscape contemplation. For elite landowners, especially the aristocracy, this would have been their birthright. Once alienated in this manner, landscapes might be considered as neutral backgrounds to human activity, or even a mask for these actions.

In the post-war period, W.G. Hoskins and Raymond Williams were both significant writers on historical landscape changes. Hoskins’ studies spanned a wide geographical and historical range, and he worked from detailed, practical observations of fields, woods and boundaries. His writing was sometimes distinctly conservative and reactionary though, and nostalgic for the ‘golden age’ of England that he considered to have been during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and embodied by the yeoman farmer. Critical of midlands and northern industrial cities, and especially more modern overspill towns and suburbs, he wanted to ‘turn away and contemplate the past before all is lost to the vandals’ (Hoskins 1955 [1985]: 299). His meticulous fieldwork was in common with many contemporary and subsequent landscape studies that included The Lost Villages of England (Beresford 1954), Fields in the English Landscape (Taylor 1975) and Villages in the Landscape

Landscapes can be deceptive. Sometimes a landscape seems to be less a setting for the life of its inhabitants than a curtain behind which their struggles, achievements and accidents take place (Berger and Mohr 1967: 1). However, we must be careful not to objectify or stereotype an ‘elite’ or ‘Western’ way of viewing, equally as much as we should be wary of broad generalisations concerning ‘non-Western’ or ‘traditional’ experiences of landscape. There was and indeed still remains resistance, subversion and reworking of dominant Western tropes of knowledge and representation amongst smaller-scale communities around the world (q.v. Bender 1999; Harvey 3

the 1960s and 1970s. David Clarke’s 1968 Analytical Archaeology and Hodder and Orton’s 1976 Spatial Analysis in Archaeology were direct transpositions of some of these theories into an archaeological context. Discussion of the development of the ‘New’ Geography and Archaeology has been covered elsewhere (Gregory 1994; Hodder 1986; Johnston 1998; Trigger 1989). A highly empirical landscape archaeology has since developed, which has sought to map traces of human habitation left visible as upstanding earthworks, patterns of field systems and other quantifiable phenomena (e.g. Aston 1985; Muir 2000; Roberts 1987). It is only after the acquisition of data however that the investigation of human behaviour can proceed. Historical and environmental geography, local history and place-name studies are the main elements on which these approaches draw. This work has undoubtedly revolutionised our understanding of how modern landscapes have formed. It has in many cases added considerable time depth to the previously known histories of landscapes, and has shown how both small-scale and wider developments are closely interlinked with different temporalities of short or longterm change.

(Rowley 1978). Williams in contrast was a progressive socialist. His books (e.g. 1963, 1973), although concerned with literature and art in early modern Britain, were nevertheless aware of the historical and social conditions of people’s engagements with the land. He was one of the first writers to examine the complex, shifting relationships between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ that emerged in the post-medieval and early modern period, and the social developments that contributed to them. However, unlike Hoskins, Williams did not consider the physical evidence for changes that occurred within landscapes, as he did not carry out fieldwork. He discussed class relations firmly from the perspectives of art and literature, and thus still within elite representations of the world. Another book worthy of mention here is A Land (1951) by Jacquetta Hawkes. This was a history of Britain from its geological origins through to the industrial revolution, and it made imaginative use of both geology and archaeology. Written in a highly evocative style, it was at times passionate, at other times somewhat mystical, and was further enhanced by poetry and artwork from Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. Although the archaeological interpretations are rather dated now, in its use of narrative, poetry and artwork the book appears very ‘modern’. In the same way as Massingham’s volume could be regarded as a proto-phenomenology, so too A Land itself anticipates some more recent calls for different archaeological writing.

Many authors, Hoskins and O.G.S. Crawford amongst them, have described landscapes as ‘palimpsests’, or surfaces that have been repeatedly re-inscribed by human activity. The historian F.W. Maitland (1889: 235) in a paper on village place-names may have introduced the use of this term to archaeology. In this analogy, people are seen as ‘writing’ the material traces of their existence onto the land. The idea of regarding the past as text also emerged in theoretical archaeology during the 1980s. These ideas were derived from structuralist and poststructuralist discourses concerned with the nature of language, speech and meaning, and how these create sets of differences between signs and signifiers (e.g. Ricoeur 1984; Saussure 1959). Many archaeologists and anthropologists have thus suggested that human belief

Post-war geography sought to quantify links between economic and ecological conditions, and patterns of human behaviour, through the use of ideas such as costbenefit analysis, site catchment analysis, and Christaller’s central-place theory. With volumes such as Foster and Alcock’s Culture and Environment (1963) and Haggett’s Locational Analysis in Geography (1965), these approaches had obvious attractions for archaeologists in


histories, and we weave our feelings through the warp and weft of desire and fear. In fabrics there are tangled knots, and smoother areas. Older threads fray and unravel, or are pulled out. Part of the fabric tears. The fingerprints, stains and burrs of people’s lives get caught up in it. Fresh threads are woven in anew, and some loose threads may always remain.

systems, material culture and landscapes should be envisaged as communicative ‘texts’ (e.g. Bapty and Yates 1990; Hodder 1982; Lévi-Strauss 1966; Patrik 1985). Textual metaphors are useful to an extent. Books can be written by multiple authors, texts can be partial and biased, and there can be multiple interpretations of them dependent on whoever is ‘reading’ the texts. As we shall see, there are some parallels here with human experiences of the world. However, regarding landscapes as texts suggests that they are somehow innately full of meanings that encode the past, and that if only we can find the correct key to the code, we can unlock landscapes’ secrets and learn how to ‘read’ them. This also prioritises the visual over the other senses that we also use in constructing our identities, memories and daily experiences of landscapes, which may include smell, sound and touch (q.v. Brah 1999; Feld 1996; Gell 1995). It ignores the problem that reading is a particular way of viewing, again situated within quite specific historical and social contexts. There is thus no ‘ocular objectivity’ (Stock 1993: 315). We are culturally and historically predisposed to interpreting the world through the idea of reading, because our notions of what landscapes are already contain within them concepts of the reading process. In addition, these metaphors may give the misleading impression that landscapes are full of superimposed ‘pages’ from different periods, effectively reducing them to a series of static, divisible episodes or ‘sedimented layers of meaning’ (Tilley 1994: 27). There is thus a danger that modern landscapes might be regarded as somehow fixing and preserving in time relic moments from the past.

Empirical fieldwork and data collection are of vital importance, and should indeed be a crucial component of archaeological enquiry. However, there has been a predominant trend in some archaeological and geographical landscape research towards a rigidly objective approach, within which little pertaining to actual human experience of these landscapes can be described. This was especially true of some of the studies from the 1960s and 1970s. Mapping, measuring and dating landscape features seemed to be the only goals of some of this work. The human element was lost at times. Landscapes were regarded either as essentially neutral spaces, onto which normative human cultural activities inscribed a variety of physical patterns, or as a series of environmental constraints placed on human behaviour. These ideas have been described as ‘explicit’ approaches to landscapes, in which human perception is seen as a static screen through which the ‘real’ world is filtered, creating a culturally perceived reality (Johnston 1998). Even as the foundations of the New Geography and the New Archaeology were being laid however, work was being undertaken in many disciplines that would eventually lead to the undermining of some of these positions, and to more subtle and integrated notions of landscape inhabitation.

Historical changes cannot be slotted into a series of neat, compartmentalised episodes like this. In the past there were dislocations, changes and major re-structuring of landscapes. There were ruptures, and transformations. Landscapes are very untidy, with fragmented and often poorly preserved traces of past human activities. They do not encode universal meanings, and are not merely simple, sedimented accumulations of the past. In any case, landscapes are re-worked and constituted in the present, and are places where many dynamic and ever changing processes are in operation, including geomorphological, biological and human social activities. Our attempts to understand landscapes are highly interpretative.

Things are gonna slide, slide in all directions Won’t be nothing, won’t be nothing you can measure anymore…2 Critical of what he regarded as a pervasive environmental determinism within geography, Sauer (1963) insisted that what he called ‘cultural landscapes’ were intrinsically subjective, and beyond formal quantifiable analyses. Tuan (1971) and Lefebvre (1974) both advocated that the social sciences should move away from their preoccupation with positivism, and instead investigate the subjective nature of the relationships between humans and the world around them. Tuan in particular saw landscapes as repositories of human striving. Others have outlined the development of these more experience-based approaches in cultural or social geography (Gregory 1994; Hillier and Hanson 1984; Relph 1985; Soja 1989), but to summarise them, they all exhibit a concern with ‘place’ rather than ‘space’. Much of this work was drawing upon the work of the philosophers Husserl (1931) and Merleau-Ponty (1945), and their phenomenologies of perception. These theories argue that human consciousness and knowledge of the world is based on the senses, and on experiences mediated through the human body. There can be no separation between the mind and the body, and humans experience their

Instead, as various researchers have suggested, it may be more productive to regard landscapes as tapestries or fabrics (Bender 1998; Giles 2000; Ingold 2000). Some feminist writers exploring differently engendered approaches to society have also suggested this metaphor of weaving and stitching (e.g. Parker 1984). Weaving itself implies a more physical, situated engagement with the world than reading. These are complex, intertwined relationships that change over time and from place to place, and into which our own experiences and memories are woven. The lives of human, plant and animal beings are threaded through landscapes’ materialities and 5

Elites and dominant social groups may propagate their own ideologies of what landscapes should be and how they should be inhabited, and landscape does indeed have a powerful role in the construction of historical class relations and also notions of local or national identity (Daniels 1989; Darby 2000; Schama 1995). Nevertheless, the political significance of landscapes can often be far more than illusionary or dominant ideologies. They may equally be ‘embodiments of popular culture’ (Inglis 1977: 511), in perpetual states of tension. Landscapes both endure and register changes and conflicts (Harvey 2001). The foci for ideas of community, justice, political struggle and environment, landscapes can be contested territories, the locations of continuous struggles, negotiations and renegotiations of power between groups divided by class, gender, politics or perceived ethnicity (Darby 2000; Hirsch 1995; Olwig 1996).

lifeworld as a complex series of objects and events that they themselves are intimately and actively part of, through their bodies’ senses, movements and emotions. The exploration of these human understandings should thus proceed during and not after investigation. Human existence has been described as ‘situated social action’ (Thrift 1985: 366). All human activities create spaces, including buildings and settlements, which are the product of social actions, and also the social structures of societies. This structured, social space is place. Space does not somehow pre-exist as a neutral tabula rasa or blank surface though, onto which humans then inscribe cultural meanings. Rather, space itself is understood and constituted through human experience (Casey 1996). All spaces are places. Places are local, historically contingent, and based on the subjective perceptions of their inhabitants, notions of individual or group identity, affiliations, biographies and histories (Buttimer 1980; Eyles 1985; Pred 1984, 1990). There is often a recursive relationship between where an individual is, and who she or he sees themselves as being. That is to say, people may be literally grounded, with deep emotional attachments to particular places. Place may thus be crucial to identity. However, not all experiences of place are so solidly rooted or positive. Other individuals may have no locatedness, may be alienated from their locale, or might live through a series of contradictions, diasporas and voids (Bender and Winer 2001; Brah 1996; Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group, this volume; Sibley 1995; Tuan 1979; Valentine 1989). Émigrés and exiles, the homeless, refugees and socially disadvantaged or marginalised groups may all have experienced feelings of loss, fear, alienation and uprooting or rootlessness.

Many places become the iconic focus for acts of revolution or resistance, such as the Bastille in Paris, the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Stalingrad, Sarajevo or the hills of Chiapas. Others have been the settings for tragic conflicts between different groups, such as Belfast, Beirut and Jerusalem, but still remain people’s homes. These multiple, often overlapping and sometimes contradictory ideological meanings have been described as the ‘duplicity of landscape’ (Daniels 1989: 206).

Environmental psychology suggests that humans live in subjective ‘life spaces’ (Norton 1989: 71-73), where landscapes often operate below the level of conscious human awareness. Such ‘inherent’ approaches (Johnston 1998) also recognise that human experiences of landscapes are complex, and cannot be reduced to visual perception alone. Animals, plants, the physical environment, material culture and temporality are all as much factors in human society as humans themselves, and the distinctions often drawn between them are false (Evans 1985; Ingold 1993, 1995, 2000; Macnaghten and Urry 1998; Sayer 1985). Place cannot be separated into separate ‘social’ or ‘natural’ constituents due to this interweaving of relationships, and no landscapes can thus ever be considered as static or neutral spaces either.

There is thus much greater complexity to landscape than simple dualities between outside or inside, lived in or gazed upon. For example, the Classical Chinese interpretation of landscape may have been based not on objectifying, distanced observation as some have argued (cf. Lemaire 1997), but on painters and poets feeling the ‘immanence of the Tao’ when gazing out at the world (Berque 1997). Visual critiques of the Renaissance and post-Renaissance periods may also have been overdrawn (Cosgrove 1997). Svetlana Alpers has argued that there were significant differences between Italian and Dutch Renaissance art. Italian art may have developed a tradition of framed, objectified and perspectively possessive landscape views, where the picture appeared to have been composed for a centrally situated viewer. Dutch art in the seventeenth century by contrast, was more concerned with an ‘external exactness’ (Alpers 1983: xxiii). Italian art was full of narrative and ideological meanings. Although later Dutch art would develop its own symbolism, earlier Dutch landscape

…places should not be oversimplified as some kind of fixed patchwork. Rather they suggest much more ghostly, blurred, flexing entities which have multiple forms, which are contested and in flux, which have multiple depths and scales, yet which also retain some form of coherence which sustains them as places (Jones and Cloke 2002: 79). 6

Although touch is also an important part of our work, archaeologists often do not investigate beyond these visual approaches to the world, and other senses are even more rarely considered. Yet touch, sounds, smells and other senses are equally vital to our worldview (Brah 1999; Gell 1995; Küchler 1993; Rodaway 1994; Schafer 1985). Investigating this sensual human engagement with the world should also be part of any study of human existence in the past. It is the rhythms and routines evolved over each person’s lifespan which frame human understanding of landscapes, but separate personal worlds of experience, learning and imagination ensure that the grasp of the world that any one human achieves in a lifetime is always partial, imperfect and historically situated.

techniques seemed to display an almost photographic realism, where the picture was just a fragment of a world continuing beyond the boundaries of the canvas. Alpers has also suggested that the Dutch way of representing the world was part of a wider tradition of representational practices, and related to craft activities that also included the production of porcelain, silver, mirrors and glass. Archaeologists began to explore some of these issues during the search for symbolic meanings in archaeology, which characterised both some processual work and many emerging ‘post-processual’ ideas (e.g. Hodder 1986, 1989; Miller and Tilley 1984; Shanks and Tilley 1987a, 1987b). Chris Evans (1985) was one of the first archaeologists to realise the potential of these geographies of place for archaeological landscape studies, and subsequently the work of John Barrett, Barbara Bender, Richard Bradley, Mark Edmonds and Julian Thomas has also been influential. Though problematic in some respects, Chris Tilley’s A Phenomenology of Landscape (1994) has been an undeniably important contribution to these discussions. This volume introduced to a much wider readership the ideas of phenomenology and geographies of place, and also ethnographic accounts of how some small-scale communities around the world view their landscapes.

Bodies have boundaries, and movement beyond these boundaries indicates the external world. Tattooing, scarification and piercing within many cultures including our own illustrates the importance of skin as a social surface. But these boundaries are also permeable. Other kinds of being or identity may not be located in the physical body, or even within our clothing and outward expressions of physicality. Boundaries and the body may be more complex and more intangible than this (Ahmed and Stacey 2001; Butler 1993; Gupta 1993; Meskell 1996). To take a relatively commonplace example, most people have an idea of personal space, within which our more intimate contacts with lovers, friends or relatives are acceptable and welcome. When strangers or those less well known to us move into this space however, this can make us feel uncomfortable. This space or extension of bodily boundaries varies greatly between different individuals, and in different societies. Somatic or bodily space, the space of routine and unselfconscious action, is centred upon the human body looking outwards to the world and other people. This spatial understanding does not have to be directly physically experienced. It may be remembered, as in cases when places or people are regarded with affection and longing even though they are physically distant, recalled from past experience, or halffantasised. There may be a ‘scent of memory’ (Brah 1999). Indeed, perhaps it is the case that places and people can only become significant once memories of them have accumulated as resonances of meaning.

Inhabitation and embodiment For those of us contributing to this book, these themes of inhabitation and embodiment are perhaps the most crucial. The body may be the vantage point from which landscapes are viewed and encountered, or a critical point of departure for thinking about other encounters (q.v. Probyn 1996). It is a place of mediation between the world and us. If we are to understand how humans inhabit landscapes, we therefore need to consider the subject of embodiment, or how the body structures human experience of the world. Again, this is a highly complex issue that can ascend to the lofty heights of existentialism and beyond, and I cannot explore this in detail here. In recent decades however, it has become widely accepted by social theorists that the Descartian concept of a separate mind and body has been shown to be a false dualism. It is the human body that provides our understanding of space, and its postures and bilateral symmetries form basic notions such as front/back, up/down, and in sight/out of sight (Grange 1985; Relph 1976; Tuan 1977). Bodily movement through the landscape and our routine, everyday physical actions thus continually reproduce our sense of identity (Connerton 1989; Seamon 1980). These experiences also open up other dimensions of existence, encompassing emotions, dreams, myth and madness, as well as the world of reflection (Langer 1989; Shilling 1993). Experience of the world is therefore essentially a sensual experience, and is based upon feelings and comprehension as much as direct tactile or visual stimulation.

In addition to personal notions of one’s own identity – the Self, a shared, social view of the world is also relevant to the lives of individuals. This socialised arena has been called ‘existential space’ (Tilley 1994: 16-17), and it exists because individuals turn their own autonomy into reasoned, co-operative social participation. Social practice and a sense of group belonging outside of the body may thus also inform individual identity. For many cultures the individual is a social being, part of a wider network of obligations. Indeed, the post-Enlightenment Western concept of the individual as a bounded, autonomous agent may be very culturally and historically specific. People are composed partly through their continuous relationships with other human, plant and animal beings. Identity may also be the characteristics assumed by or assigned to an individual or group, by

Archaeology is dominated by the study of the plan and the section, the photograph and material culture. 7

versions of men, and though regarded as a different gender, they were not seen as a separate biological sex. Sex was a sociological not an ontological category (Cadden 1993; Fletcher 1995). Medieval and Renaissance people perceived different symbolic attributes in different animals and colours, and had different colour aesthetics to us today (Baxandall 1988; Eco 1986; Schama 1987). The age at which people were considered as separate, indivisible human entities or personalities also varied. In Roman society for instance children, though regarded as individuals, did not attain clear legal or social identities until well past infancy (Scott 1991). Being and bodies are therefore socially constructed, and we must be wary of some phenomenological approaches that seek to establish very generalised encounters between humans and landscapes (q.v. Brück 1998). This must be a particular concern for prehistory, where we have only fragmentary, material residues of people’s lives to inform us about the rich associations and beliefs they must once have had.

other individuals or groups, on the basis of perceived similarities or differences (Sørenson 1997; Weiss 1999). Human identities may thus be relational, and based as much upon difference from other people as any sense of shared belonging. Furthermore, some people may not feel comfortable in their own bodies. Their bodies and identities may be fragmented, continuously reworked, or even destroyed (Butler 1993; Gupta 1993; Probyn 1996). Cardinal directions framed by our bodies form the basis for many shared cross-cultural beliefs and perceptions, as ethnographic studies have shown (Gell 1985; Lowenthal 1975; Turner 1993). These may include ideas of orientation, methods of location, perceptions of shapes and colours, territoriality and other experiences of the lived-in world. These similarities should never be automatically assumed however, for some of these beliefs can also vary tremendously among different cultures, especially those to do with identity, embodiment and location (Ahmed and Stacey 2001; Meskell 1996; Moore 1994; Morris 1994; Short 2000). People’s innate Selves may be:

The body is thus of vital significance to social practice, as Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and others have argued. In many societies parts of the body and its boundaries may be seen as sacred or vulnerable, and other parts conversely dangerous and polluting (Lock 1993; Polhemus 1978; Yates 1993). Such notions may be fundamental to how people within societies regard themselves and each other. In the smaller-scale communities of the past, notions of identity, authority and power would have been largely carried through in face-to-face relations between individuals and between groups. Indeed, the role of personal dress and ornamentation in communicating such discourses has been commented on in a variety of contexts including bronze age3 Europe (Barrett 1994; Sørenson 1997), iron age east Yorkshire (Giles 1997, 2000), Anglo-Saxon England (Blinkhorn 1997) and ancient Egypt (Meskell 1996). Positioning of the body in respect to landscape features and monuments may have been of singular importance to people’s perceptions of these places, and control over this would have been a medium for power relationships.

...conceived to dart about nervously at night shaped like fireflies. Essential elements of their psyches, like hatred, may be thought to be lodged in granular black bodies within their livers, discoverable upon autopsy. They may share their fates with doppelgänger beasts, so that when the beast sickens or dies they sicken or die too...The Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic centre of awareness, emotion, judgement, and action organised into a distinctive whole and set contrastively both against other such wholes and against its social and natural background is, however incorrigible it may seem to us, a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world’s cultures (Geertz 1983: 59).

Most geographical and archaeological writing removes all sense of subjective, lived experience, and populates landscapes with the unidentified and the disembodied. This may encode a variety of unspoken power relationships, which post-colonial, gender and queer theory has commented much upon. We have seen that space is not neutral. In the absence of a firmly identified presence however, it is often implicitly assumed to be male, white and middle-class. The acquisitive, possessive gaze inherent to ‘viewing’ or mapping the landscape – a form of intellectual appropriation, has also been seen as part of objectifying, authoritative, masculinist or heteronormative approaches, discussed much in feminist analyses (Ford 1991; Matless 1998; Rose 1993; Voss 2000). Some authors have therefore argued that even a grammatically gender-neutral text might be considered ideologically masculine due to its striving towards a decontextualised and depersonalised ideal. ‘The Body’ is thus always a male body (Baker 1997; Butler 1993; Moore 1994).

In parts of Melanesia for example, people are not regarded as rigidly separate genders, but rather are thought of as having a series of masculine and feminine traits, some of which are more predominant in differently gendered contexts (Strathern 1988). For Warlpiri women in the Central Desert of Australia, their skin is not a boundary or surface between them and the ‘natural’ world, but rather a medium through which they can actually become the landscape or other species (Biddle 2001). Bodily decorations or kuruwarri are also an intercorporeal means of linking Ancestral bodies and presences to those modern Warlpiri in the present. Written historical sources are further evidence that ideas about the Self and understandings of the world were also very varied in many societies in the past. For example, from medieval medical and philosophical literature it appears that women were thought of as imperfect 8

deconstruct the artificial categories into which we often place past social practices and material culture, such as ‘ritual’, ‘economy’ and ‘subsistence’. Unfortunately, even many of the post-processual authors who have commented on these issues have largely failed to produce the kind of writing that would support their desire to engage with past landscapes in a more experiential and reflective manner.

Feminist geography and architecture in particular has drawn attention to the ways in which the construction of social space may differ according to maculinities, femininities, and sexualities (e.g. Bowlby, Lewis, McDowell and Foord 1989; Boys 1984; Ford 1991; McDowell 1989; Rose 1993). There was a danger of essentialism with some of the earlier work within these disciplines, and of problems with erecting reified categories such as ‘men’ and ‘women’ that themselves may conceal many differences according to ethnicity, class, age and individual experiences. This was also true of some of the earlier archaeological work on gender, as others have argued (q.v. Meskell 1996; Yates 1993). Nevertheless, it is certainly the case that women, children, the elderly and understandings of the world constituted through sexualities and desire have been excluded from most geographical and archaeological literature, though there have been welcome exceptions to this (e.g. Ardener 1993; Bell and Valentine 1995; Edmonds 1999; Finlay 1997; Gero 1991; McDowell 1989; Nast and Pile 1998; Rendell, Penner and Borden 2000; Rowles 1980; Spector 1991; Tringham 1994).

Through using contextual approaches to material culture and place, and linking them to considerations of embodiment, memory and cosmology, archaeologies of inhabitation focus on the day-to-day lives of people in the past, their social practices and material conditions. The habitual routines of people, how they moved around settlements and the landscape, their encounters with one another in streets or in fields, and their tending, hunting or harvesting of plants and animals – all these details of their daily lives need to be examined. We must take greater account of viewsheds, past vegetation, and the feel and smell of different materials. The different perspectives of different people must also be considered. Wider narratives of social change and economic systems undoubtedly have their place, but archaeologists also need to be developing approaches that foreground the experiences of ordinary life, that consider the minutiae of the mundane. It is these smaller-scale histories and engagements with the world that we have begun to explore in this volume. To inhabit is to experience the world bodily and to act in the world knowledgeably. Habit itself implies routine and thus reproduction; it is a social process carried out by people who are intricately bound in webs of relationships. Inhabitation must therefore be situated not only within the historical materiality of those lives, but it must also deal with social memory and the way in which identities are reproduced and transformed over time (Giles 1997).

Most archaeological accounts still produce universal bodies devoid of identity and mutuality, who experience landscape features in isolation from one another and who seldom seem to engage in the day-to-day labours of life (Giles 1997, 2000). Such writing lacks a sense of situated human engagement with the landscape. To remedy this, some researchers have called for archaeologies of inhabitation, embodiment or experience (Barrett 1997, 1999, 2001; Meskell 1996; Shanks 1992). Through attempting to understand the materialities and structural conditions of the lives of those in the past, such archaeologies would explore how these meanings were created and reproduced. Archaeologies of inhabitation recognise that archaeologists create histories in the present. However, they try to circumvent the problem of a centred, privileged author in the present describing the fundamental conditions of everyday existence in the past – to straddle the divide between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ worlds (Buttimer 1980). Imagining different experiences, expectations and materialities is a means of approaching this. Such archaeologies would also attempt to

Archaeologies These are archaeologies, in the plural. There are many different papers forming this volume, and those of us who have contributed to it all have our different views and ideas of the past, inevitable given our different life histories and bodily experiences. There is also you the readers, and your interpretations of our different papers. This word also refers to our explorations of the past. As we have seen, human understandings of landscapes are situated and imperfect. There will always be multiple interpretations of places and events simply because of individual experience. People in the past would have had similarly varied views and perspectives on their world. Furthermore, there is a danger when considering place and landscape that sentimental or nostalgic ideas of authenticity and belonging will become dominant. Yet these may be romantic notions, and as we have seen, there may be many multiple experiences and 9

understandings. Some radical, marginalised and alienated stories and experiences could be ignored, thus reproducing existing or new inequalities (Daniels 1989; Holloway and Hubbard 2001; Tuan 1979). There should thus be not one archaeology, but rather a series of archaeologies that engage with these multiple voices and embodied, situated perspectives.

Stories There are fundamental relationships between landscape, understanding and language (Barrett 1997). Language is part of identity and our sense (or not) of belonging, and therefore of the landscapes we dwell within. Landscapes themselves inspire stories, and in any non-literate society, oral tradition is vitally important. In Britain, it was probably not until the sixteenth century that any significant portion of the population were able to read and write (Cherry 1997). Even after that time, popular tales, legends and songs still continued to be spread and passed on down through the generations by word of mouth. Even today, in the digitally enhanced post-modern era of our developed world, gossip, rumours and urban myths still flourish, merely speeded on their way by our new communications technologies.

Several archaeologists have examined the potential of buildings or monuments to structure human encounters, and also the possibilities they offer to include or exclude different groups of people at different times. This work has been carried out on many forms of architecture from a wide range of archaeological periods, from prehistoric monuments (Barrett 1994; Bradley 1998; Edmonds 1993; Thomas 1993), to later medieval guildhalls (Giles 1999). Such situated encounters did not just take place at the level of individual sites or buildings however, for the entire landscape and world knowledge of these people was also individually constituted. We must therefore extend these sorts of studies to encompass much wider landscapes of experience.

In the archaeological past, some stories would have passed down through dozens or even hundreds of years and many generations. Some were cautionary or moral tales, useful in socialising the young about the unwritten conventions of their world, and any dangers that lurked in their landscape. Others would have recalled ancestors, both real and mythical, and happenings attributed to them. Shared stories of past people and events may have helped to link individuals and communities who met infrequently, and stories may have served to ease tensions in encounters and gatherings. Stories help to open up the world (Ingold 2000: 208), and we live in a world that is literally story-shaped. Many stories would have been based upon features in the landscape, and the associations of places with real or imaginary events and people (Basso 1996; Edmonds 1999). Other stories, myths and legends may have been used or manipulated by dominant individuals or groups who wished to establish some claims to past events, in order to justify their position in the present. Stories may long outlast the span of our lives, our crumbled buildings, fallen walls and silted-up ditches. Consider the antiquity and the continued appeal of The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Aeniad, The Bible and The Koran, the Rig Veda and The Mahabharata, the Diamond Sutras and the Popol Vuh. These all began as stories and oral traditions, long before they were ever written down. At least for as long as anatomically modern humans have existed, landscapes have provided inspirations, justifications, settings and mnemonics or memory aids for such stories.

In the small-scale societies that existed in the past, ethnographic and historical evidence suggests that daily routine practices such as tending crops and livestock, gathering water and fuel, hunting and fishing and constructing or maintaining buildings were likely to have been divided up amongst people according to age, gender and other social divisions. Femininities and masculinities, the young and the elderly, the privileged and the lessprivileged – they would all had different experiences of their landscapes, based in part on the varied rhythms of their daily lives. As they went about these routine tasks, these people were not just engaged in the daily struggle for existence, but were moving between features in the landscape alive with associations, memories, stories, and myths (Bender, Edmonds, Hamilton and Tilley n.d.). These were literally paths of life. As archaeologists, we should be exploring these different lifeways and pathways, and trying to think about how everyday human existence was enriched or overshadowed by the wider beliefs and cosmologies that would have been inextricably linked to these landscapes.

As she gets older, the child recognises stories. Stories that are told many times. Details vary, but the same characters and principal events recur. This repetition is both the lessening and the maintaining of mystery. For the stories tell of events that are inexplicable and use words that are incomprehensible. No one would claim to understand every part of these stories, or to have a ready explanation for people, events or processes that are confusing or strange. These are stories that defy complete understanding. To tell and listen to them is 10

32). Talk is an intimate practice that expresses the embodied nature of human experiences of the world (Barrett 1997). Unlike texts, songs and stories do not freeze moments of human action in time, but are themselves always changing. These processes of change may be partly unconscious, but may also be the result of deliberate subversion, refashioning or reinterpretation. Metaphors of songs, stories and conversations are thus more appropriate to current understandings of human agency and the dynamic, mutable qualities of landscapes and human inhabitation. However, this is still not the full story (to continue the metaphor). The use of speech and language are all still largely conscious processes. Most landscapes are also experienced inattentively though, often without conscious thought at all. Landscapes are encountered through everyday embodied practices and movements along paths, through fields or underpasses, in forests or deserts, and along streets and rivers. This has been termed ‘muscular consciousness’ (Bachelard 1969: 11). For example, we might walk up a hill, and be aware of the goal of reaching the top, but each step is not necessarily conceived, taken and adjusted to the slope as a series of individual thoughts and actions. Different ground surfaces underfoot, textures of wood or stone, the feel of warm sunlight or frosty air, or the pressure of wind on the skin may often recede into the unconscious. Yet such haptic geographies are nevertheless crucial in our understandings of why for instance, walking through woodland is qualitatively different to walking along a cliff edge, or why winters are different to summers. The sounds of wind, water and rustling vegetation, birds and animals are also part of these experiences, and the smell of places too. Thus, although undoubtedly more pertinent than notions of texts, these ideas of stories or songs still fall somewhat short of explaining all human interactions with landscapes. In the same way that landscapes may be regarded as weaves of experience and memory however, so too can the meanings of stories also be seen as woven into the fabric of time and place. Stories are told and songs are sung as the different threads are woven.

to experience the delight and enigma of incomprehension. Mysteries are repeated, not explained. The ultimate wonder about the world remains (Brody 2001: 13). This part of the title also refers to the stories in this volume. Stories create other worlds, and other states of being. Stories also seek to explain this world. This too is the goal of archaeologists – to conjure understandings and meanings out of the unknown. Stories also invite retelling or elaboration (Shanks and Tilley 1987a: 18). We call the contributions to this volume stories because we recognise that they are our own, subjective interpretations of the archaeological past. Many archaeologists have come to realise that the past is not necessarily a series of ‘facts’ waiting to be discovered. This does not mean however that we must adopt ‘anything goes’ relativism. Empirical data and the physicality of archaeological remains and material culture can be used to support, justify or to critique certain statements. However, as other authors in many different humanities disciplines have also argued, we must recognise that much of archaeological practice is subjective and interpretative, and we should also proceed beyond simple objective : subjective dualisms (q.v. Lampeter Archaeological Workshop 1997; Shanks and Tilley 1987a). Cognition is not always recognition (Hastrup 1997: 165-172), and the truth may not be out there. In our stories therefore, we are trying to explore more interpretative and experiential ways of writing about the past that engage with issues of landscape, embodiment, and the everyday lives of these long-dead people.

It has been suggested that several different accounts of sites and landscapes could be written, from the varied perspectives of some of the many past actors who dwelt within them (Brück 1998; Kitchen 1997). These could produce a series of fragmentary and partial accounts, reflecting the discontinuous and imperfect understandings of people’s engagements with the world around them (Pluciennik 1999: 666-667). Some historians have produced semi-fictionalised narratives from written records (Le Roy Laurie 1966; Wroe 1995), and this is now an accepted medium of historical writing, albeit where there is detailed documentary evidence. In contemporary fiction, the works of authors such as Peter Ackroyd, Louise Erdrich, Neil Gaiman, Alan Garner, Alan Moore and Ian Sinclair amongst others have

I have outlined earlier how some archaeologists have understood landscapes and material culture as palimpsests or structured, ‘written’ texts. Some writers have proposed that it may be more pertinent to understand them as spoken stories or songs. In spoken discourse the situation and context in which the conversation is carried out is important, the same words may mean different things to different people, and there is more room for nuances, mistakes and misunderstandings (q.v. Barrett and Fewster 2000: 3111

oncerns itself with specific locales, not tocreate a sense of local colour, or for any Romantic effect, but to set up a kind of metaphysical space, which is essentially empty, a region of potential in which anything can happen…The ‘I’ of the lyric poem is neither poet, nor reader; its space is only temporarily inhabitable. Personal experience is transmuted; in the lyric, poetry is a form of alchemy, that is, the poem becomes a region of near-infinite potential, which anyone can inhabit (Burnside n.d.).

explored multivocality and the interdigitation of different historical actors and lifeways. This form of writing is undoubtedly very difficult, and to date there have been few such archaeological accounts (but see Edmonds 1999; Spector 1991; Tringham 1994). Nevertheless, if well written such narratives may offer one means by which we can try to engage more intimately with past life histories. Archaeological writing can sometimes give the impression that people in the past were nothing more than ciphers, mere shadows behind the material traces of their existence that they have left behind them. But archaeology should be concerned with so much more than merely trying to interpret or explain patterns of features and artefacts. All the contributors to this book have tried to use their writing to address this problem. Papers by Bill Bevan, Adrian Chadwick and Danny Hind are rather narrative in style, in order to try and convey in a more fluid, naturalistic manner how people inhabit their landscapes, either in the past or in the present. Similarly, other contributors have used alternative means to try and break down traditional ways of presenting archaeology. These include the use of poetry, drawings and photographic images (see Cornelius Barton, Melanie Giles and the Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group, this volume). Poetry in particular is literally another way of telling, another means of examining and reflecting upon these complex weaves between people, place and specific moments. Such a lyrical poetry of place:

This work is not self-indulgently ‘arty’ for its own sake, and there is sometimes a fine line between experimentation and pretentiousness. We are though attempting to move beyond the confines of normal academic discourse, to tell alternative stories. We are not suggesting that every archaeologist should go out and start writing novels or poems based on their work. Conventional site monographs and reports have their places too. However, we also feel strongly that more interpretative and even speculative accounts should be encouraged at times, and that archaeologists should experiment more with some of their publications. The nature of the contributions to this volume mean that it cannot be considered a definitive guide to landscape archaeology, or as any form of ‘textbook’. There have been many well-written books published in the last ten years that cover such ground, and we cannot hope to


more deeply into it…since…the process of dwelling is fundamentally temporal, the apprehension of the landscape in the dwelling perspective must begin from a recognition of its temporality. Only through such recognition, by temporalising the landscape, can we move beyond the division that has afflicted most enquiries up to now, between the scientific study of an atemporalised nature, and the humanistic study of a dematerialised history. And no discipline is better placed to take this step than archaeology (Ingold 2000: 208).

emulate them. Instead, this volume aims to show many diverse strands of recent archaeological thought. What allthe papers have in common is that the authors have been working through theoretical ideas to do with landscapes, identity and the nature of human inhabitation, and have been applying them to their own work. What seest thou else In the dark backward and abysm of time? 4 There are several other theoretical ideas that need further exploration, if we are to understand how humans inhabit their landscapes. The first of these concerns the role of material culture in the world. By material culture, I mean all those constructs of human society that go to make up the physical world. These may be buildings, or items such as tools, pottery, or clothing. These may be the objects and structures associated with everyday life, but it is often in these spheres of the domestic and the utilitarian that the structuring principles of a society are most firmly founded (Cumberpatch 1997; Miller 1985; Yates 1989). The unwritten, unexamined values and beliefs of societies are not only represented in the routines of their daily practices, but also in how they produce, use and then dispose of items of their material culture. Such beliefs and values are often all the more powerful precisely because they are usually taken for granted by those who carry them through.

Two key contributors to these broader discussions have been the theorists Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens. Bourdieu’s idea of the habitus (Bourdieu 1977) and Giddens’ structuration theory (1984) try to explain how people’s practical consciousness or ideas of ‘how to go on’ in the world are acquired. The habitus consists of situated human social practices, both the everyday routines of their lives, and their shared cultural and spiritual beliefs. It is the day-to-day interactions between people, objects and landscapes that allow the cultural beliefs and practices of the habitus to be reproduced through time. This happens as people grow up and watch individuals reacting to the material world, and to the other people around them. As it is passed down through the generations, this knowledge itself plays an active part in conditioning or transforming future life.

Material culture can itself be a form of communication, and may contain within it a variety of explicit and implicit memories, meanings and associations. Artefacts and their production are forms of narratives. These are complex, inter-linked relationships, which operate on both conscious and subconscious levels of human experience (Hodder 1986; Tilley 1989a). Material culture may contain symbols, but does not need to be overtly symbolic to be important components of activities associated with particular social practices. These ‘meaningfully constituted’ objects therefore cannot ever be separated from each other or from the societies that produced them (Gregory 1982; N. Thomas 1991). Nevertheless, like landscapes the ‘meanings’ of objects may also change over time, and there are always multiple interpretations and understandings of them. Artefacts may be active in structuring power relationships of class or gender, and many objects and constructions may have individual names, biographies and histories attributed to them. We need to consider these aspects of engagement with the material world, as seen through the creation and consumption of artefacts and the enmeshed relationships those artefacts had with people and places.

The habitus, embodied as history, internalised as second nature and so forgotten as history, is the active presence of the whole past of which it is the product (Bourdieu 1992: 56). The present is thus a unity of perception which includes both the retained past and the anticipated future. Human consciousness unites aspects of the world already perceived and those on the point of being perceived. Actions are conducted by the social ‘rules’ which have been created through past practices, yet these actions themselves are gradually transformed through time, largely unknowingly, though sometimes as a result of deliberate or strategic manipulation by people. The concept of the habitus is thus useful in explaining the reproduction of social relations and the persistence of traditions through the meaningful actions of individuals. However, Bourdieu sees people’s individual negotiations, resistances or subversions as occurring within the confines of the habitus. Life is a messy business though. People are often caught up in a world not of their own making, and may live a series of multiple and often conflicting or contradictory habituses (Bender 1998). People also create the world through their actions and active engagement with it, through individual choices and social agency, and through working and living through their identities. Habitus is less useful at explaining this, as Bourdieu himself and others have recognised (Bourdieu and Eagleton 1991; Farnell 2000; Free 1996).

Another important role of landscape studies must involve investigating the links between the material world, social practice, place, and most especially, time. Archaeologists are in a uniquely privileged position to consider these questions. …archaeologists study the meaning of the landscape not by interpreting the many layers of its representation (adding further layers in the process) but by probing ever 13

through human agency and the actions of daily life (Barrett 1997). They are both intimately interlinked with one another, and can never be separated.

Fredrik Barth is another anthropologist who, like Bourdieu, rejected structuralist approaches. Based on a study of the Ok tribe in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, Barth tried to explain how, although neighbouring communities share key elements of cosmological belief, there are also significant local variations (Barth 1987). Barth saw such cosmologies as representing bodies of knowledge that try to explain the world. Cosmologies depend on what he termed ‘social memory’ for their reproduction. Because they are only revealed gradually to people as they progress through life stages, and are sometimes secret and mystical ideas imparted to initiates, the performance of these ideas allows for personal interpretation and creativity. This improvisation and difference enables bodies of knowledge to grow in a much more dynamic manner than classic structuralism allows. There are enough common elements shared between communities to facilitate collective ideas and ideas of mutual identity, whilst still allowing for very personal resonances and changes. Again, there is this delicate balance between structure and agency that Barth was trying to draw out. It was also partly to explore such concerns that Anthony Giddens developed his structuration theory.

It is in the engagements between the individual and other people, between people and other non-human beings (plants and animals), and between people and the landscapes they dwell within, where agency operates. Although people are indeed empowered with agency, it has increasingly been realised that agency does not lie solely in the self-aware human realm. Based upon work by Bruno Latour (1993), Actor Network Theory has proposed that humans are enmeshed within webs or networks of relational agency. Agency is not some pregiven attribute, but is the outcome of these relations between people, plants and animals and the material world, the result of processes of emergence or development (q.v. Harvey 1996; Law and Hassard 1999; Murdoch 1997; Thrift 1996). Non-human agents can also act upon their environment, and although usually less intentional than human agency, this constitutes agency nevertheless. Material culture too is caught up in this weave of relationships, for it is both a medium for agency, and may at times also be imbued with it. It is the outcome or consequence of social practices and processes constituted through agency.

Alan Pred and Anthony Giddens have both used the timegeography ideas of Hägerstrand (1975) to explore the relationships between time, space and the daily practice of human actors (Giddens 1984, 1985; Pred 1985). In Giddens’ structuration theory, ‘locales’ in space-time are unique settings for practices carried out according to the ‘structures’ of society – the unconscious rules, values and beliefs by which communities operate. These structures are based not only upon routine, repeated actions through time, but also on the consequences of previous decisions. The past provides a model for future actions. Such social practices require active social agents, able to recognise and evaluate the conditions under which they live, and to sometimes act upon them through intelligent and knowledgeable action. There may be doubt or dissatisfaction with existing social structures for example. ‘Agency’ is not just about individual choice though, although it may include it. Individual people are agents, and agency may operate through them, but agency also includes the operations and practices of collectivities or active social groupings of people extending beyond individual bodies and lifespans (q.v. Barrett 2001: 148149; Johnson 1989). Thus, although individual actions are part of agency, agency also operates outside of individual choices and decisions. This very agency itself helps to create social structures. At the same time, these structures both constrain and enable agency. There is thus a continuously operating tension or dialectic between structure and agency in human societies and individual lives. Sometimes structure and agency may be balanced, but at other times one may be dominant over the other. People’s agency may operate in circumstances beyond their own control or choosing, and there may be unintentional outcomes from even the most intentional of actions. Nevertheless, changes themselves operate through structures, and structures have to be reproduced

The time-geography of Hägerstrand has itself been criticised for failing to address how space and time can be dynamic and mutable (Harvey 1990). Giddens also highlighted problems with time-geography, principally in its conception of human agency, and the gap placed between this and social structure (Giddens 1985), a concern that structuration theory itself sought to address. Giddens also drew a distinction between structure, carried 14

continuous emergence of novelty. The present is not in time, but itself constitutes time in this ceaseless emergence, and must be understood as an active ‘presencing’ (Adam 1990; Giddens 1984). The durée of activity is thus the temporality of immediate human experience, the rhythms and routines of familiar everyday life and practice.

forward in situated social practices, and the social system that determines the subsequent pattern and effect of those practices over time and from place to place. Giddens too has been criticised though (e.g. Clark, Modgil and Modgil 1990; Mouzelis 1995), for failing to address how agency operates in societies where there are vertical hierarchies and political, military, religious or economic elites. These social agents have considerably more power than others, and can affect the lives of many people.

The work of the philosopher Martin Heidegger (1962) is also relevant to considerations of human experiences of time and landscapes. His ideas have been used in ethnography (Jackson 1989, 1996; Weiner 2001) and archaeology (J. Thomas 1991, 1993, 1996). Heidegger’s ‘Being-in-the-world’ described a state in which an individual’s presence in the world was a contingent one, and where the present had no fixed relationship with either the past or the future. Rather, time and humans are inextricably linked, for humans create time through their own engagements with the world around them, and being itself is really a process of becoming. Humans constantly project or ‘stretch’ themselves into a future, always full of hopes, fears and expectations. Life lived towards death is the one irreversible constant.

There are other, more substantive problems with aspects of Giddens’ work. His view of human agency has been criticised as too rigid, where individuals and groups adjust to society but do not have such an active part in its creation. People appear to be ‘doomed to be perpetrators rather than architects of action’ (Cohen 1994: 1001). These criticisms have been especially levelled at Giddens’ writings on post-modern societies (e.g. Giddens 1991). Giddens also largely ignores how space and place can be gendered, and how the power relations between men, women and other genders are also vital to understanding human inhabitation (cf. Bender 1998; Ford 1991; Pred 1990; Rose 1993). In particular, issues of identity and belonging are not adequately addressed by Giddens, and more recent work coming out of postcolonial, feminist and queer theory has often been critical of aspects of agency and agency theory (Bhahba 1994; Brah 1996; Butler 1993; Gero 2000; Probyn 1996).

Heidegger described this ‘being-towards-death’ experience as dasein. Through the practical actions of the durée, Heidegger suggested, humans are pulled ahead of ourselves into purposes that we are trying to fulfil, and into considering the next stage of tasks that we are working on. The past is also reflected upon. If durée is the time of activity, then we might characterise dasein as the time of an individual person’s mortal life, a life lived towards the future (Heidegger 1962). Moments of reflection and moments of unconsidered action are implicated in each other, as are explanation and interpretation. Anthony Giddens and Tim Ingold have both drawn extensively on the concept of dasein and other aspects of Heidegger’s work. Heidegger, his links with Nazism apart, has been criticised though for seeking to establish an ahistorical and romantic view of dwelling in the world, based upon an almost bucolic, timeless notion of rural activities and rustic peasantry (Bender 1998; Thomas 1996).

People who feel isolated or marginalised because of their gender or sexuality, politics, ethnicity or other aspects of Self identity may not identify with or be part of the dominant structure and agency of the communities they nevertheless dwell within. Again, this sense of difference from others. People may not be rooted, their places and lives may have been disrupted, and they may be part of wider but disparate networks of social relationships. Their constructions of place might be far more vulnerable, ephemeral or politicised than that of other people (Bell and Valentine 1995; Bender 1998; Bender and Winer 2001; Blunt and Wills 2000; Gupta 1993). Theories of life do not have to be locatable, and may not in fact be easily brought into theories of inhabitation. The occupation of space and place may be more fleeting or subversive (see the Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group, this volume). There may be raw, lived contradictions. We cannot know or explain everything through theory and archaeology. There will always be other kinds of remembering, other kinds of performance. Nevertheless, we should consider the dynamic ways that people relate to landscapes, material culture and with each other as of considerable importance.

However, despite the fact that each generation dies, identity is carried forward through the emergence of new generations. This is a third notion of time, that which surpasses individual lives, and which reproduces communities and institutions. Braudel suggested that historical time could be divided up into three different scales of temporality – time of ‘events’, of ‘conjunctures’, and the longue durée, which was his term for this longer-term, generational and institutional time (Braudel 1980). Different events and cycles in human history take place in these changing scales, and the progress of a society through time is not the same as the progress of individuals. By the same token, each individual lives through different scales of time. Some dramatic historical events, such as wars or the collapse of the former Eastern Bloc may change the lives of people over a very short space of time, and those events will form clear, distinct memories that may last a lifetime.

Despite these problems with some of the more detailed aspects of the theories of Bourdieu and Giddens, the basic ideas are nonetheless very appealing to archaeologists and other social theorists. But how can these be integrated with ideas concerning the human experiences of time? An important contribution to these theories dates from the early twentieth century, when Bergson (1910) developed the idea of durée, a time that allows the 15

established by Sahlins and Service (1960). Harvey explicitly acknowledged that time and space cannot be understood independently of social action, but he has nevertheless been criticised for failing to emphasise the structuring role of class relations (Gregory 1994). Time has also been regarded as a form of narrative, told from differently positioned locations (Ricoeur 1988). People move both consciously and unconsciously between these different temporalities. The understanding of ‘being-intime’ requires history and fiction, both of which as forms of narrative can refigure the human experience of time. There is a paradox to human existence, in that whilst the length of human lives is insignificant on cosmic time scales, for us it these brief lives that are the very places from which all our significant questions about the world and ourselves arise. Ricoeur has also detailed the two main ways in which Western philosophy and social science has treated time, either as a measurable precondition of experience, or as a way of perceiving the world.

Other social changes may proceed at slower rates however, and people living through these changes may be much less conscious of them whilst they are occurring. These ideas of different levels or scales of time were very influential to the Annales school of historians and archaeologists (e.g. Bintliff 1991; Knapp 1992), although they have been criticised for not addressing qualitatively different temporalities, but merely breaking historical time up into quantitatively different periods (J. Thomas 1991). Gurvitch (1964) also identified a series of different forms of social time, perceived subjectively by those living within them. These different temporalities depend on divergent relationships between past, present and future, and are linked to different scales of social complexity and frameworks of society. Different individuals or societies may experience time in a variety of ways. ‘Explosive’ time may correspond to radical transforming social processes such as revolutions, whereas ‘enduring time’ may be associated with smallscale rural societies. This framework of different temporalities and the ranking of different social levels is rather too typological, but the links between time scales, social structures and human relations were quite elegantly described by Gurvitch, and his work has formed the basis for other theories.

Many writers have increasingly recognised that the latter may be the case, and that time and space together are open to construction and reconstruction at a variety of levels. Fabian (1983) also outlined three main conceptions or scales of time, based on the work of theorists such as Bergson, Heidegger and Braudel. He additionally argued for a concept of Intersubjective Time though, which is inextricably bound up with and is constitutive of social life. Social practices and daily activities bind people together in time and space, and communities and communication depend on people having some shared sense of time between them.

Harvey (1990) used the ideas of Lefebvre (1974), Gurvitch (1964) and Bourdieu to outline his own framework illustrating how certain levels of social formation may be associated with different social perceptions of time. Like Gurvitch though, his definitions of these scales of social complexity were dated, and relied upon an evolutionary trajectory of human society


other ritualised behaviour for example, has shown that during such rituals the living may cross these temporal ‘boundaries’ (e.g. Bell 1992; Eliade 1964; Lewis 1989; E. Turner 1992; V. Turner 1969). Furthermore, the control exercised by ritual specialists, or by social elites referring back to the past or to ideas and promises for the future, reveals that time too can be a structure for power relations. Shanks and Tilley (1987b) and Gosden (1994) have seen the connection between power relations and time as crucial to the formation of different socially experienced temporalities.

As part of an important and wide-ranging work on the human experiences of place and temporality, Chris Gosden (1994) proposed three different socially related scales of time – ‘harmonious’, ‘disjointed’ and ‘concatenating’, which crosscut with the ‘public time’ of the social group, and the ‘habit time’ of long-term human existence. Harmonious time exists when there are no major conflicts in social practice, but when these practices become conflicting disjointed times are created. Mutually reinforcing, unstable practices lead to concatenating time. Acts do not take place in time, but rather these acts themselves create time. Although Gosden’s definitions were different to those of Braudel, there are some shared themes to their work, as both were trying to explore the tensions between individual perceptions of time, and wider social experiences of temporality. Gosden’s arguments are powerful when he suggests that archaeology should be investigating streams of action and the flux of forces that occur in societies, but by apparently rejecting social structure altogether he seems to deny the influence this has on social practice.

Numerous other explanations of the relationship between time and human societies have been put forward. Bachelard (1969) suggested that his ‘poetic space’ was a sequence of compressed fixations of memory in time, and for Tuan places are static pauses in space-time (Tuan 1977). But surely both place and temporality are far more mutable entities. Bailey (1983) also distinguished between time as an objective process and a social, subjective experience. He argued that short-term events should be separated from long-term processes, and that the latter should form the basis for archaeological enquiry. Reason (1979) took a Marxist approach, distinguishing between peasant work time, and capitalist time structures. Capitalism’s abstract and repetitious temporality is opposed to textual time, a time of experience or grasping life rather than measurement or control. In Western countries, time itself can be alienated and commodified, and exchanged on the labour market as an objective quantity. Capitalism creates abstract and repetitious temporality, which can be used, sold, exchanged or controlled. Many other authors have also set up and reinforced this apparent marked contrast between linear, Western capitalist time, and cyclical time as experienced by non-Western, often small-scale societies.

I have shown that movement in the landscape defines places where human embodiment, time and space are bound together in a recursive relationship. These have been called ‘spaces of enunciation’ (de Certeau 1988). Other work, particularly that derived from ethnography, suggests that for some human communities time does not simply operate in a forwards, linear manner however, and is not subject to universal determinisms (e.g. Adam 1990; Bourdieu 1977; Hugh-Jones 1979; Morphy 1995; Turner 1969). Instead, the social construction of such notions may vary tremendously between historically or geographically distant cultural groups. Tilley identified that capitalist or Western space might be characterised by linear time, which is largely divorced from space (Tilley 1994), but in pre-capitalist or nonWestern space, time is constitutive of rhythms of social action in space. Based on the work of Relph (1976) and Tuan (1977), Tilley saw time as a primary constituent of human categorisations of place. Landscape is also embedded in the social and individual times of memory, for movement in the world involves the losing of place, but the creation of memories of the past and expectations for the future (May 1991; J. Thomas 1991). Past, present and future all fold back upon each other. In some societies, such as many Australian Aboriginal communities for example, the ancestral past is continuously renewed and re-worked into their social present (Morphy 1995). By literally following in the footsteps of the Ancestors, people are provided with the right way to habitually occupy their landscape (Tamisari 1998). This has also been demonstrated by numerous ethnographic studies of social and calendrical systems from around the world. In a rather impenetrable book, Gell (1992) argued that it is not experiences of time but merely representations of it that are diverse, but this is contradicted by many other writers. The boundaries between past, present and future are by no means fixed in many societies. The vast literature on shamanistic and

Heidegger’s work stressed that all humans live towards death, as indeed do all beings (Heidegger 1962, 1971). This may appear to be a rather bleak perspective, although what Heidegger was trying to remind us was that it is our very mortality that enables us as selfconscious humans to appreciate our embodied existence. But we also live our lives towards futures beyond our own lifespans. Some feminist authors have argued that there are differently engendered perspectives of time, 17

Barrett has also stressed a third temporality, that of symbolic resources. This is public time, and to participants within it, it appears to be essentially timeless. Knowledgeable human actors manipulate these temporalities, particularly when structuring social relations of power (Barrett 1994). The relationship between human society and time thus fluctuates, and these temporalities can only exist because they are constituted through human biographies and social structures. Human existence concerns the ways in which we have inhabited landscapes, and lived through different temporalities (ibid. 1999). Barrett has proposed that during the third millennium BC, human existence was lived out as a process of becoming, a movement to a future state which itself involved a referencing back to ancestral time (ibid. 1994). This gradually changed during the second millennium BC to an existence of being, where the notion of a past that had gone was used to fix individuals in a more directional flow of time.

which may be positively life affirming. Women for example, are always slightly outside of clock time, due to the onset of menarche and menopause, and in between their cycles of menstruation. It has been suggested that the roles of most women in the activities of childbirth and children may mean that they more often consider longerterm, inter-generational perspectives (Adam 1990; Forman and Sowton 1989). Women may regard the future, not as being-towards-death, but as life lived both forwards and for other lives beyond their own. There is validity to this, especially in modern capitalist societies, where more men than women still tend to be bound up in repetitive clock time. But this may be slightly essentialist though, for in most human societies both men and women are often deeply concerned with ensuring the health, happiness and welfare of their children. Even if people do not have children themselves, they want to see social improvements in the future. And when confronting the awful pit of death, many of us would like to think that we could leave something of ourselves behind in the world that will outlive us. These may be children, our deeds or actions, writing, works of art, or our friendships and personal qualities that will be remembered.

Clearly then, human experiences of temporality are extremely complex. A dualistic view of Western, linear capitalist time versus non-Western, non-capitalist cyclical time is therefore far too simplistic an explanation, and has been cogently criticised by Barbara Adam (1990, 1994). Not only do individual experiences of time vary widely, but these experiences themselves change throughout each person’s lifetime. Some expressions of time are indeed culturally unique, but others are common to most or all societies, or to certain individuals within each society. In the Western, capitalist and urban world Newtonian, linear time (or clock time) does form a dominant structure, but there are still other aspects of temporal experience too.

John Barrett (1988, 1989, 1994) modified the work of Braudel, Bourdieu and Giddens, and has proposed that social structures do not simply constrain or determine actions, but also offer possibilities. He thus questions any dualism between structure and agency. Structural conditions partly define the material conditions through which people live their lives, but it is the traditions of knowledge and experience of people, and their desires and motivations, that allows them to act upon and rework these conditions. Agency therefore acts to modify or create new structural conditions, at the same time as changing structural conditions themselves alter the opportunities available to human agents (Barrett 1997: 123). Barrett suggests that in societies with vertical hierarchies, it is often the elites who are able to stand apart from their world, and to objectify, analyse and then act upon the material conditions of their lives. They then use these insights to influence or control the lives of others (Barrett 2001: 154-156). These elites are thus able to come to some theoretical (albeit in many cases intuitive) understanding of how their world and society operates, and how they can alter this through their own actions.

Similarly, although in some small-scale communities the past, present and future are much more intimately interlinked than in Western societies, this does not mean that they live some form of atemporal or ahistorical existence. Interpretations and depictions of small-scale communities as cyclical and therefore ‘timeless’ actually demonstrate that those making such statements identify time with historical, chronological dating. ‘Peoples without history’ were an invention of those European colonial powers who thought that their own history was new and progressive (Goody 1986). We all live our lives forwards and often look backwards, and even the small-scale societies once regarded as essentially ‘timeless’ or living in some cyclical time of recurring sameness have been shown to have long and eventful histories (q.v. Ingold 2000; Wolf 1982). To argue that modern small-scale communities or ancient people live or lived lives where past and future have had no bearing on their existence has the effect of depriving such cultures of something that all lifeforms share – lives lived towards death (Adam 1990: 134). By portraying such people as having no concept at all of linear time, we deprive them of a fundamental aspect of human experience. Throughout all of the modern world, everyone’s experiences of time are constituted partly through natural or seasonal rhythms or changes, social conventions or traditions, personal habits and physiological and psychological changes.

Barrett has also suggested that people live their lives through socio-political relationships based on different experiences of time. ‘Fields of discourse’ are crosscutting areas of space-time (ibid. 1988), within which a variety of social relations operate. Knowledgeable human agents carry out actions through everyday routine practices as well as ritual, and the control of aspects of these practices forms the basis for structuring power relationships within society. People inhabit their own individual temporalities of past, present and future; and their lives form the basis of biographical time. These lives are played out against human or institutional time, which is created and maintained by the recursive relationships between social structure and practices. 18

…knowledge of a past and a future entails representational, symbolically based imagination. Endowed with such imagination, human beings do not merely undergo their presents and pasts; they also shape and reshape them. With the capacity to objectify meaning, they are able not only to look back, reflect and contemplate but also to reinterpret, represent, restructure, and modify the past. They can plan alternative futures, imagine past futures, and dread future pasts (Adam 1994: 519).

Tim Ingold has evolved one of the most satisfying accounts of the relationships between landscapes, human societies and time. He has suggested that aspects of the physical world, human acts of dwelling in this world and temporality are all linked through a series of complex and recursive resonances into what he terms the ‘taskscape’ (Ingold 1993, 1995, 2000). None of these factors can therefore be considered separately, for they are all intertwined. Time is immanent in the passage of events, encompassing patterns of retentions or memories from the past, and portentions or expectations for the future. The taskscape:

The plethora of recent volumes within social geography and anthropology considering space, place and time illustrate that discussion of these subjects is still intense and ongoing (e.g. Adam 1998; Casey 1998; May and Thrift 2001; Macnaghten and Urry 1998; Urry 2000). Some more recent work has particular bearing on archaeologies of landscape and inhabitation. Gosden and Lock (1998) have proposed that different perceptions of time led to changing views of history amongst prehistoric communities. They suggest that two types of history were in operation – genealogical history, where the past was linked to known, named ancestors; and mythical history, whereby a less well known past was invoked. Mythical structures usually refer back to a previous state of the world, when humans did not exist or had no power, and were at the mercy of mysterious forces, gods and legendary beings, or undifferentiated ancestors. Genealogical histories recognise that human agency manifested as individual or group action can actually change social relations, and thus it exists when there is a framework of named figures and known historical acts. These two views of history may be in existence at the same time in any society, but one is usually more pronounced than another. By late prehistory, it is possible that in Britain genealogical history was dominant.

...enfolds the lives and times of predecessors who, over the generations, have moved around in it and played their part in its formation. To perceive the landscape is therefore to carry out an act of remembrance, and remembering is not so much a matter of calling up an internal image, stored in the mind, as of engaging perceptually with an environment that is itself pregnant with the past (Ingold 1993: 152-153). In what he has termed the ‘dwelling perspective’, Ingold has investigated the links between human agency, and between people, plants and animals in the landscape. He has proposed that the identities and characteristics of people are the result of their histories of growth and maturation within richly structured fields of social relationships (Ingold 2000). Every person emerges as a ‘locus of development’ within such a field, and these fields are carried forward and transformed by individual actions through time. Skills are transmitted through training and experience in the performance of routine tasks, which situates practitioners from birth within an active engagement with a world inhabited by both human and non-human beings (plants and animals). Human understandings of perception and cognition, landscapes and temporality, architecture and the built environment, and mapping and wayfinding are all predicated upon this situated engagement. Ingold’s 1993 paper has been criticised for not considering the historical particularity of people’s experiences of the world (Bender 1998: 37), something his more recent (2000) work partly addresses, and he may sometimes overemphasise agency at the expense of structure. Nevertheless, his is a powerful and compelling explanation of landscape inhabitation. Shanks and Tilley (1987a, b) have stressed that the practice of archaeology is itself a mediation of past, present and future - an act of specific, subjective engagement with the past. It is thus inevitable and unavoidable that the past becomes reinscribed or reinterpreted in terms of our own society and our own individual beliefs and perceptions. Archaeology is a dynamic and ever-changing relationship between what happened in the past, and its representation in the present.


extent also inhabited by the lives and biographies of those who have lived before us. These echoes of the past may be apparent in the older buildings, monuments and physical traces left upon landscapes, but may also be more elusive presences – the ‘ghosts of place’ (Bell 1997). These may take the form of memories and stories of the past, which may be potent, poignant, and pregnant with nuance. The past is thus always here in the present and there in the future, both through material traces in the landscape, and within human imaginations. It is time and temporalities that help create places, as temporality and historicity merge together in the experiences of those who carry forward the everyday practices of social life. Features in the landscape are not simply mnemonics used for maintaining these histories, but may be more actively implicated in processes of memory and forgetting, and are locales where both past and present collapse (q.v. Küchler 1993, 1999).

Our words return in patterns Our minds, encapsulating time And it’s quiet again Hidden figments, surface now Repetitious history One more time for the record. 5 What then, are the relationships between people, time, landscapes and society? Time is on one hand meaningless to mortal beings, yet on another it is all that exists. Human individuals have remembered histories and anticipated futures, and these affect how their social practices in their present are undertaken. There is no single time, but a series of temporalities, by which human action is structured and made meaningful. Time is therefore subjective, and partly constituted by where people are and how they move around their landscape. It is cognition, perception, practice and experience in the material and social world that give rise to these temporalities. However, these are not merely a series of static ‘nows’, somehow strung along like ‘beads along time’s necklace’ (q.v. Gell 1992; J. Thomas 1991). As human beings we live in history but also live through history. Our lives are constantly rewriting the content of any particular past, present or future that we care to construct at any given moment (May 1991). This was, is, and always will be a continuously dialectical and recursive relationship. Individual human biographies are thus made up of different time-space sequences. In the same way that our Self identities and our agency is partly constituted through other people and through other wider social networks than our individual embodied selves, so too are our understandings of time often experienced through others and through larger social groupings. The temporality of our lives may in turn be structured at different times and in different ways by natural cycles, custom and practice, social and power relationships, embodied and engendered individual perception, and past, present and future events of different scales and consequences. Many of these remain at the level of unconscious or unstated experience. Even when the past was its own present, it was to a considerable degree incomprehensible to most people alive at that time (Bazelmans, van Dommelen, Kolen, and Shanks 1994), and no two people ever live through exactly the same historical experience. Each generation may see the same world, but they see it with different eyes (Shepheard 1997). We take notice of dramatic social and political events in our lifetimes, but more long-term changes are often less noticeable, or are only apparent years later with the benefit of hindsight.

Landscapes are thus the places where different temporalities merge and intersect, and where people build up their own biographies, reflect on the past, and act on those experiences for the future. Journeys across landscapes take place not only as spatial and bodily movements, but may also be considered as paths between these memories, reflections and expectations. Landscapes are inextricably bound up in a web of relational links between humans, plants, animals and the material world, and our understandings of them all emerge from this weave. It is here that the ‘awkward, sometimes frighteningly powerful motivating passions of human action’ are played out (Cosgrove 1989: 120). The places we inhabit or dwell in may be used at different times and in different ways to both structure and to live through our identities, routine practices and spiritual beliefs. These may be intimate and personal, or alienating and impersonal relationships that people have with the landscapes, cityscapes and taskscapes around them, but there are always many different experiences of place, and these are ever changing.

Human existence or dwelling in the world is thus movement backwards and forwards through time as much as it may be spatial movement, although time allows for the measurement of space and place. Historical or mythical events are looked back upon with reverie, pain or anger, whilst anticipations, hopes or trepidations are also made for the future. The past may impinge upon the present and future, and our own landscapes are to some

Landscape, prospect, scenery, view: synonyms for ignorance…These words dissolve when you know a place. With knowledge the landscape becomes its constituent parts, breaks up into farms and farms into their woods, tracks and rough places, the stream beds where the moss is 20

A recent conference paper (Brophy 2001) suggested that the radical purity of the early use of phenomenology within archaeology had been somehow diluted or corrupted by later studies that attempt to establish quantifiable or statistical checks on the attributes or relationships noted. With the use of GIS and Virtual Reality (VR) reconstructions, intervisibility and viewshed analyses, such studies have become more common. There are certainly many potential theoretical and practical problems with the use of these technologies. GIS is based on map data, which means that there is an inherent Cartesianism to its use, and both GIS and VR are notably ‘ocular centric’, or primarily concerned with the visual. There is thus the potential that landscapes will be again reduced to mapped, geometrical spaces rather than meaningful places, with interpretation ‘bolted on’ after analyses. It is also the case that some work has failed to question why concerns of place, viewsheds and lines of sight might have been important to people in the past, and with any quantifiable analysis there is a danger that simplistic, deterministic models or explanations will appear. Relatively few archaeological authors have also explored or defined VR satisfactorily (but see Bateman 2000; Eiteljorg II 2000; Goodrick and Gillings 2000; Pollard and Gillings 1998). There is still a tendency amongst some archaeologists to see both GIS and VR as sophisticated models or reconstructions full of ‘scientific’ data.

thick and nightingales sing, damp places where rushes grow and after rain the water collects in little grass-drowning pools (Nicolson 1998: 13). Towards archaeologies of sentience Clearly, for archaeologists studying landscapes and how past communities interacted with them, the first stage must have to be a detailed, empirical survey of the known archaeological evidence. This may include topographic and geophysical surveying, examining aerial photographs, document and map studies, test pitting and excavation, and numerous other techniques. These are long established archaeological methodologies, and they are continually being refined and developed (e.g. Bowden 1999). Palaeo-environmental and micromorphological analyses are now providing, when preservation allows, much more specific information about local vegetation, agriculture and other social practices. There is also great potential for the development of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as powerful landscape interpretative tools. However, if all this potential wealth of information is used solely to construct plots, distribution maps, graphs and tables, then we have ultimately failed in our endeavours to understand human existence in the past, and to write these past people’s histories.

In this regard, VR in particular will inevitably disappoint, despite trends towards bigger and better computers and programmes (Goodrick and Gillings 2000). There is a continued striving for some elusive ‘photo-realism’, yet photographs are themselves highly subjective, and people have to be socially inculcated into understanding them (Molyneaux 1997). The difference between photographs and VR lies in their experiential depth, not their outward form. Few VR reconstructions have people in them – they are disembodied spaces, not inhabited places. Adding further details do not take VR reconstructions any further to this spurious authenticity. And GIS is often used merely as a mapping system, with VR as a largely untheorised end product.

This review of the many complex ideas behind constructing archaeologies of inhabitation has been necessarily brief. It may also misleadingly give the impression of some consensus amongst the writers discussed. I have drawn out of their work what I see as shared basic themes, but many disagree with one another, and some of the papers and books cited here were in fact written as critiques of others. There are still many problems with these ideas, and we will never have a ‘theory of everything’ to explain how humans inhabit their world. The writings of Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, de Certeau, Bourdieu, Giddens, Butler, Relph, Tuan, Ingold, Tilley, Bender, Barrett and others should not be regarded as finished tablets of stone. There are also ‘trends’ in archaeological thought as in many disciplines, and we should sometimes be wary of following these too slavishly. At the same time, we must be open to adopting and adapting new ideas, without worrying unnecessarily about a ‘bits and pieces’ approach. We can use some of these theorists’ ideas in a pragmatic manner without subscribing to everything they have written. Those of us who have contributed to this book have found aspects of their work tremendously useful, both for helping us to understand or explain certain conditions and qualities of human existence, but also for taking us into unexpected and previously unexplored areas of investigation. Indeed, it may be where these works take us in communicating different points of contact or contradiction and depart into new or challenging kinds of work that is most important. And there will never be a consensus of approach within archaeology. In fact, one of the many exciting things about archaeology at the present time is the sheer diversity of different viewpoints.

Yet some archaeologists are deeply concerned with using GIS and VR to explore human movements, social practices and material conditions in the past (e.g. Edmonds and McElearney 1999; Goodrick and Gillings 2000; Llobera 1996; Pollard and Gillings 1998). These researchers regard such methodologies as interpretative techniques, rather than simply new means of representing and displaying data. Instead of becoming end products in themselves, VR and GIS-based models can be employed as tools for novel access and engagement, as hermeneutic or interpretative devices to think through and attempt to understand archaeological evidence. Many elements of phenomenological or experiential encounters with landscapes will remain inherently subjective and unquantifiable. However, we ought to try to establish some form of testing for such ideas where possible, at the same time allowing for the fact that 21

landscapes are populated either by the dead, or by the disembodied.

people in the past and present have different embodied experiences. This should not be seen as a process of ‘verification’, but one of inference and assessment. For example, a researcher might propose that certain human constructions (such as kinds of prehistoric burial monument or medieval stone crosses) tend to be found in places with views along valleys. And if 70% or more of them are located in such positions, then this would seem to be a plausible argument. However, if only 20% or less of such constructions show this relationship, the original proposition must be considered weak as a general explanation for the siting of the monuments, although it may still be the case for some specific examples.

We will never know exactly how people thought in the past. However, through close-grained, contextual approaches, phenomenological insights and consideration of how routines, movements, power, embodiment, material conditions and cosmologies may have differed in the past, we can begin to write archaeologies of inhabitation for these communities. Practical field techniques should always be improving (Chadwick 1998, forthcoming), but this work needs to be carried out within research frameworks more explicitly influenced by explorations of human encounters with their landscapes. Some research projects have been very productive engagements with such ideas (Adams 1999; Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds 2002, in prep.)6, but other work, though undeniably interesting and innovative, has been more controversial (e.g. Bender, Hamilton and Tilley 1997).7 However, some archaeological projects do not have research or theory-driven project designs at all, particularly many of those undertaken as developerfunded investigations. Here, there is a real danger that archaeological work will be guided solely by the needs of developers, rather than the potential questions archaeologists could be asking.

We need tangible information that can become the basis for further discussion and debate. Without the ability to judge the veracity of our phenomenological observations, our engagements with the past just become semimystical, purely individual encounters that will ultimately tell us nothing about the lives and material conditions of past people. We must locate our self-critical use of GIS and VR within contexts that also assess all graphic representation within archaeology (Bateman 2000). And imaginative engagements with the past can only come about through more nuanced encounters and experience – the aura of evocation.

It is therefore promising that even within the restrictions of developer-funded archaeology, several contract field units have been developing more experiential recording systems or ways of working that explicitly explore themes of movement around the landscape and inhabitation in the past (e.g. Andrews, Barrett and Lewis 2000; Knight 2002; Woodward and Hughes 1998). At the same time, these projects have been deconstructing modern material culture categories, and have tried to examine through contextual approaches both mundane and more symbolic links between humans, animals, artefacts and landscapes. The interesting approaches used on these projects have yet to be implemented more widely within commercial field archaeology though, and more work is needed on how to incorporate such ideas in everyday archaeological practice (Chadwick 2003). In general, with a few exceptions the current trends in British contract field archaeology are leading to ever more hierarchical project and unit structures, and decontextualised and depersonalised practices and reports. These are often stifling creativity and enjoyment. It remains to be seen if this situation can be altered.

Some recent phenomenology-based interpretation has been justifiably criticised for seemingly attempting to establish universal ideas of human encounters with the material world, so ignoring cultural and historical specificity, and considerations of identity, power and social structure (Brück 1998). This is why Tilley’s Phenomenology of Landscape, though an important work, did not fully live up to the promise of his theoretical arguments. Not only was his treatment of temporality rather perfunctory, and his case studies sometimes equivocal (Fleming 1999), but it could be argued that his solitary strolls and musings were very much in an appropriating, antiquarian tradition, ironically in much the same manner as Massingham (1925) before him. Tilley rarely suggested how the landscapes he studied would have structured the routine, daily existence of different people and communities in the past, and his

Ultimately, through having confidence in our contexts and our abilities to write imaginative histories, we need to put people, and their engagements with other beings and the world(s) in which they lived, firmly into our accounts of landscapes and occupation. Discussions of themes such as power, production, economy and cosmology are of course vital to this, but before we can write grand period narratives we need to consider how such issues were constructed and mediated through the everyday lives of people, plants and animals and their relationships 22

to landscapes. At the same time, we should also be careful not to create ahistoric taskscapes or visions of rural life rooted in rhythms of rustic simplicity. We must take into account the ruptures and social transformations that appear to be observable through historically situated social and material culture changes. At many different periods in the past people actively coppiced trees for example, but they had very different materialities, political or social organisation, and cosmologies to one another.

Roberts, Sharon Webb and Helen Wickstead for their ideas and support. Anne Leaver worked hard on some of the visual concepts and presentation of this book, and was an invaluable source of advice. Mark Edmonds, Lesley McFadyen, Joshua Pollard and Helen Wickstead graciously commented on drafts of this paper, but they must be absolved of any responsibility for it.

One of the challenges of contemporary archaeology is the construction of methodologies that investigate the complex relationships between human beings and the world around them. If our writing of the past is dull and lifeless, then the practice of archaeology will itself become dead – a self-serving, intellectually barren exercise. I believe that archaeologists have responsibilities, and an ethical commitment to writing the histories of these dead people’s lives, and to imagining different kinds of humanities. This will involve moving towards much closer understandings of the lives and agencies of plants and animals, and how the flows of objects and their biographies were bound up in routine life. Examining situated and embodied human acts of dwelling in the past, and past people’s changing views of place, identity, time and history, are vital to any attempts to explore the lives of these communities and the landscapes they once dwelt in. This is how we can begin to write archaeologies of inhabitation, and geographies of sentience.

1. The cast. 1955 Oklahoma. (Lyrics and music Rogers and Hammerstein). From the original soundtrack album Oklahoma. MCA Records. 2. Leonard Cohen. 1992. The Future. From the album The Future. (Lyrics and music L. Cohen). Columbia (Sony Music). 3. Throughout this book, most traditional chronological periods have been deliberately put in lower case letters, to try and soften their often arbitrary and reifying nature. This reflects current attempts within archaeology to place less emphasis on period boundaries (e.g. Pluciennik 1998). Not only are changes between periods not clear cut, but the people who inhabited them in the past would not themselves have recognised such distinctions during the spans of their own lives. This convention is not possible for the Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon periods however, due to the derivation of these terms from proper nouns. 4. William Shakespeare. The Tempest. Act I, scene II: 48. 5. The Fall. 1983. Hotel Blöedel. (Lyrics M.E. Smith, music Brix Smith). From the album Perverted by Language. Rough Trade. 6. The excellent Gardom’s Edge website is available at 7. The Leskernick project on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall has investigated a prehistoric upland community in its landscape setting (Bender, Hamilton and Tilley 1996; Tilley 1996; Tilley, Hamilton, Harrison and Anderson 2000). Detailed survey and excavation has drawn out some of the often subtle connections between people and their surroundings that were being played out across this landscape in the late neolithic and bronze age. In addition to established recording techniques, different ways of showing and telling were explored through photo-montage, horizon silhouette drawings, and the (re)placing of wooden frames in the remnants of stone roundhouse doorways, to literally frame and record the resulting views. This work was fun, but derived from serious theoretical ideas. Subsequent work also included the ‘wrapping’ of rocks in coloured plastic sheeting, or sculpting spoil heaps into the profiles of local skylined tors (Tilley, Hamilton and Bender 2000). This was an attempt, through Landscape or Environmental installation art (e.g. Kastner and Wallis 1998), to work through practices of representation and interpretation. Along with many colleagues, I was somewhat worried by this further step, because of the danger that other people within the archaeological discipline could


There cannot be one grand history, one grand human geography, whose telling only awaits an appropriate metanarrative. Through their participation in a multitude of practices and associated power relations, through their participation in a multitude of structuring processes, people make a plurality of histories and construct a plurality of human geographies (Pred 1990: 14). Acknowledgements Though I am the editor of this volume, this was not a sole endeavour. Everyone who contributed a paper also had ideas about the ‘look’ and the layout of the book, and I would like to thank all those who were involved in the discussions that we had. Their commitment to this book project has involved working in their limited and precious spare time. I would also like to thank John Burnside and Anthony Thwaite for their correspondence and permission to reproduce their poems. There are many friends and colleagues that have inspired my own work over the years. I would particularly like to thank Tim Allen, John Barrett, Chantal Conneller, Anwen Cooper, Chris Cumberpatch, Anthony Dickson, Mark Edmonds, Helen Evans, Duncan Garrow, Melanie Giles, Mark Knight, Emily La Trobe Bateman, Lesley McFadyen, Joshua Pollard, Graham Robbins, John 23

Barnatt, J., Bevan, B. and Edmonds, M. 2002. Gardom’s Edge: a landscape through time. Antiquity 76: 51-56. Barnatt, J., Bevan, B. and Edmonds, M. in prep. A MultiPeriod Landscape at Gardom’s Edge, Baslow, Derbyshire. Barrett, J.C. 1988. Fields of discourse: reconstituting a social archaeology. Critique of Anthropology 7: 5-16. Barrett, J.C. 1989. Time and tradition: the rituals of everyday life. In H.A. Nordstrom and A. Knape (eds.) Bronze Age Studies. Stockholm: Statens Historika Museum, pp. 113-126. Barrett, J.C. 1994. Fragments from Antiquity. An Archaeology of Social Life in Britain, 2900-1200 BC. Oxford: Blackwell. Barrett, J.C. 1997. Stone age ideologies. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 29: 121-129. Barrett, J.C. 1999. Chronologies of landscape. In P.J. Ucko and R. Layton, R. (eds.) The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape. London. Routledge, pp. 21-30. Barrett, J.C. 2001. Agency, the duality of structure, and the problem of the archaeological record. In I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory Today. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 141-164. Barrett, J.C. and Fewster, K.J. 2000. Intimacy and structural transformation: Giddens and archaeology. In C. Holtorf and H. Karlsson (eds.) Philosophy and Archaeological Practice. Perspectives for the 21st Century. Göteborg: Bicoleur Press, pp. 25-33. Barth, F. 1987. Cosmologies in the Making. A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barthes, R. 1980 [1984]. Camera Lucida (trans. R. Howard). London: Fontana. Basso, K. 1996. Wisdom sits in places. Notes on a Western Apache landscape. In S. Feld and K.H. Basso (eds.) Senses of Place. Washington: University of Washington Press, pp. 53-90. Bateman, J. 2000: Immediate realities: an anthropology of computer visualisation in archaeology. Internet Archaeology 8. World Wide Web http: // Baxandall, M. 1988. Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bazelmans, J., van Dommelen, P., Kolen, J. and Shanks, M. 1994. A ruined past: experience and reality. Archaeological Dialogues 1 (1): 56-76. Bell, C. 1992. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bell, D. and Valentine, G. (eds.) 1995. Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities. London: Routledge. Bell, M.M. 1997. The ghosts of place. Theory and Society 26: 813-836. Belyea, B. 1996. Inland journeys, native maps. Cartographica 33: 1-16. Bender, B. 1993. Landscape – meaning and action. In B. Bender (ed.) Landscape. Politics and Perspectives. Oxford: Berg, pp. 1-17. Bender, B. 1998. Stonehenge: Making Space. Oxford: Berg.

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Mountains and hills Mountains and hills loom large in human experience and imagination. They may be barriers to journeys, trade and armies. They provide refuge in times of trouble and war, and often act as places of resistance to invaders. Mountains and hills may be entangled with patterns of transhumance, and may contain stone and minerals, animals and plants that humans wish to hunt, harvest or quarry. For some people they are remote and dangerous, for others they provide shelter and sustenance. They are the backbones of landscapes. Mountains and hills are as different as the rocks that make them up. They may be the gentle slopes of the English chalk downs, the undulating limestone folds and valleys of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Wolds and the White Peak, or the more rugged, fractured landscapes of Argyll, the Brecon Beacons, the Dark Peak and the Pennines, and the Cheviots. The granite boulders of Dartmoor tors or the limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales. From lakeland to falls and peakland in Cumbria. The snowy fastnesses of Snowdonia or the Cairngorms. During winters and storms these places can be bleak, windswept, snowcapped or sodden, looming in a foreboding way over the affairs of people. At other times the sun may illuminate their highest peaks, crowning them with ethereal light, and inspiring awe and wonder. In their elevated realms the sense of space, sound and vista is very different to lowlands, and for many peoples around the world hills and mountains may be sacred spaces, the dwelling places of gods and other beings, or even gods themselves. Volcanoes with their powers of life and death, destruction and regeneration may be especially venerated. They may thus be the settings of acts of worship, ritual deposition and pilgrimages. Inca sacrificial burials and placed deposits on Andean peaks are an obvious example. On Dartmoor a complete bronze age pottery vessel was found in a cliff-face cleft at Dewerstone Rocks, and a hoard of iron age metal artefacts was discovered under a boulder on Cadair Idris in Snowdonia. In the Peak District, Welsh uplands and Scottish Highlands many prehistoric cairns and barrows were built on hilltops or elevated ridgelines. The Stonehenge bluestone sources in the Preselli Hills and axe quarries of Mynydd Rhiw, Killin and Great Langdale had particular significance in prehistory, the stone from them often being transported great distances across Britain. Mount Fuji, Cotapaxi, Mount Etna, Everest, the Matterhorn, Ingleborough, Mam Tor, Helvellyn, Ben Nevis, Pen-y-Fan, Snowdon – these all have far more than local topographic significance. Through the lifeways of countless people over many generations, they have become iconic symbols. The Welsh and the Scots derive much of their national identities from their upland areas, yet few actually live in Snowdonia and the Black Mountains, the Cuillins or the Cairngorms. For the Amungme people in occupied West Papua, their peaks are places of the gods. Yet in the name of progress and economics, the PT Freeport copper, gold and silver mine, the world’s largest, is quarrying an entire mountain away there. Many parts of upland Scotland, Wales, Dartmoor and the Peak District are still threatened by large-scale quarrying. For millennia mountains and hills mocked the efforts of humankind, but now we have the power to remove them at will from their landscapes. We disturb them at our peril. Adrian M. Chadwick



Where many paths meet: towards an integrated theory of landscape and technology Danny Hind future outcome. Fabian refers to such conceptions as Mundane Time, a mentality that devises ages and stages and ‘indulges in grand-scale periodising’ (1983: 23) to construct imposing visions of the ‘human career’. Behind these representations of time elapsed, as points on a linear scale, lay an attitude toward qualitative differences between socio-culturally meaningful events. According to Fabian, this attitude, manifested as Typological Time, underlies qualifications such as traditional versus modern. Instead of a measure of movement, time appears as a quality of states, unequally distributed among contemporary human populations. While this ‘comparative method’ purportedly allowed the ‘equal’ treatment of human ‘cultures’, ‘evolutionary sequences were anything but historically or politically neutral’ (Fabian 1983: 17, original emphasis; cf. Said 1995). Such perspectives provided the intellectual justification for the politics and economics of the colonial enterprise, by naturalising social evolution and by granting eighteenth and nineteenth century European societies a much higher place in the perceived social order than the so-called ‘primitive’ societies whose land they were occupying.

Introduction This paper explores issues of archaeological practice. My own research, into the prehistoric landscape occupation of North Derbyshire, owes much to post-processualism, especially to theories of structuration and practice, and textual analogies. Recent critical approaches, such as that of Pluciennik (1998), have questioned the extent to which the difference between the tracts of time we label ‘late mesolithic’ and ‘early neolithic’ are ‘real’ in any sense. They may simply be artefacts of research methodologies, as much as products of different lifeways. However, while contemporary archaeological praxis deconstructs certain analytical totalities, it also naïvely accepts others, and I feel that many post-processual researchers have underplayed issues of analogy in the human experience of landscapes. As my data sets were technological (see Hind this volume b), old metaphors had to be exchanged for new. Recent trends in British sociology and anthropology demonstrate, at best, ambivalence toward ‘society’ as a useful analytical tool (e.g. Clifford 1988; Rosaldo 1989; Urry 2000). Nobody has ever seen society or culture, but we have seen artefacts and landscapes, modified by meaningful human action. Paramount to my arguments then is that through engaging with these things, we should represent human action, not society or culture.

The idea of Physical Time now served not just to order material traces of the past, but to construct them as located irrecoverably in the past, giving logical and psychological firmness to the standpoint of the researcher (Fabian 1983: 28). Modern, Western temporality allows an understanding of Time that passes as if it were really abolishing the ‘past’ behind it (Latour 1993: 68), a vision in which we are separated from those times we wish to make ‘other’ in terms of revolutions and epistemological breaks. But this project is only achievable through the idea of typologies of ‘models of man’ that stand for all the people who lived in a particular epoch. Time then, is always a product of practice and of discursive representation. Clearly archaeologies of practice require different representations of Time – that grasp not just epochs and societies, but Time as experienced and produced through the practice of people.

Sociology texts suggest that one of the biggest factors in preventing archaeologists from engaging with this issue is the way in which we conceptualise time. Therefore, the first section of this paper reviews critiques of ‘common sense’ approaches to time and more workable categories of temporality that might replace them. Previous approaches to time Johannes Fabian’s Time and the Other (1983) identifies three categories of time with which researchers have shaped history. The idea of Physical Time allows us to plot uneventful data over supposedly ‘neutral’ time, to order essentially discontinuous and fragmentary archaeological ‘records’ (Fabian 1983: 13). The three-age system predated any explicit social evolutionist programme, but was already informed by the idea of ‘progress’, usually from ‘worse’ to ‘better’. The idea that this was ‘an evident or discoverable general movement of history completed the abstraction’ (Williams 1976: 206). Social evolutionists thought that time brought about things in the course of evolution (Fabian 1983: 15). Metaphorically, Time was a Changer. This attribution of ‘life-force’ to time we call teleology.

Temporality Time neither is, nor just passes. The durée (Bergson 1910) of activity is the temporality of immediate experience, the continuous flow of day-to-day life (Giddens 1981: 19). However, while durée is characterised by Giddens as operating in ‘reversible time’ (1984: 35) we must recognise that repetition can be the ‘same’ only in abstraction, by artificially excluding contexts and effects (Adam 1990: 29). An understanding of mythical societies as cyclical and therefore ‘timeless’ demonstrates that the person making that statement identifies time with historical, chronological dating. Peoples without history are an invention of those who think theirs is radically new (Goody 1986). The

Preoccupied with ‘steps’ leading to civilisation, the past was explained through reverse causation, in terms of the 35

temporality of tradition is not coincident with chronology, because it is marked not measured (Shanks and Tilley 1987: 128).

fulfil, into considering the next stage of tasks that we are working on – we live ahead of ourselves. If durée is the time of activity, then we might characterise dasein as the time of an actor’s project (literally from the Latin ‘[a thing] cast forth’). Moments of reflection and moments of unconsidered action are both implicated in each other, as are explanation and interpretation in the hermeneutic circle of thought and action. How then can we relate the time produced by human action and forward projection to the consecutive lifetimes of many people, without resorting to the reifications of arbitrary, Mundane Time periodisation?

This social time is qualitative, grounded in rhythms of the people in which it is found, and tied to the particular circumstances of place and people. The array of the latter’s related activities have been referred to as the taskscape (Ingold 1993b: 157-161). The taskscape is constituted not from just one rhythmic cycle but a network of many concurrent, interdependent cycles, and has a temporality that is intrinsic rather than externally imposed. These rhythms exist only so long as people are actually engaged in the activities of dwelling and are irreducible to a ‘culture’ that people are supposed to bring with them into their encounter with the world. They are, however, embedded in experiences of time, which constitute the durée as historical.

Giddens used Braudel’s (1980) concept of longue durée (see Chadwick this volume a) to stand for his ‘institutional time’, because both of these theorists conceptualise structures as coherences, rather than fixed relationships, between material conditions and social actors. It is essential that the longue durée intertwines with the other two forms of time discussed above. Every action, however trivial, involves the actor in the longterm history of the practice in which it occurs, and continues the reproduction of that practice. No form of durée has primacy over any other. The longue durée is not to be confused with evolutionary time, which depends on the metaphor of organisms with functions, adapting to environments. Giddens suggests that the longue durée should be approached by episodic characterisations, representing the occurrence of structural transformations in terms of practice. Giddens (1981) also coins the phrase time-space edges to emphasise the significance of simultaneous existence of practices1, rather than characterising their succession in terms of evolutionary stages.

Both Giddens and Ingold have drawn extensively on Martin Heidegger’s (1962) concept of dasein, in which time and human existence are inextricably linked, and being is really a process of becoming. ‘Man’ has no essence as a rational animal, because what comes first is humankind’s own existence which, for Heidegger, is nothing but a ‘stretching’ in which a human social actor constantly projects herself or himself forwards into a future, always expecting and hoping. This is the ultimate basis of all knowing and behaving. Our temporality is the irreversible directionality of ‘being-towards-death’.

Traditional academic historicity relies upon a peculiar kind of time-consciousness, namely that human social energies can be actively controlled to promote progressive social change in a ‘linear’ fashion across time. Giddens characterises time-space distanciation as a measure of a community’s ‘stretching over time’ (1981: 90). It entails a prior understanding of time as a quantitative measure and as a boundary within which life is enacted. It is meaningless in communities without such objectified time, and is therefore an inappropriate tool for understanding any but our own contemporary, industrial society. However, there are other forms of historicity that co-exist in our own community, and these better demonstrate how we can understand the interpenetration of durée, dasein and the longue durée (e.g. Jarman 1998: 143). Urry suggests that people remember together as much as individually, and these shared memories involve co-operative work, often in localised settings. There are complex rhetorics surrounding memory-work. At the same time there are forms of institutional commemoration in societies which can silence alternative memories of the past (Urry 1996: 50).

If humanity’s knowledge of its own mortality is certainly an important facet of dasein’s ‘being-towards death’ there is something more crucial for archaeologies of practice. Through the practical action of the durée, we are pulled ahead of ourselves into purposes that we are trying to

The way history is experienced then is fundamentally futural, in that it is an active, approach to the past with 36

work of Julian Steward, in which technological and environmental determinism were the essential ‘motors’ of the historical process (Steward 1955: 13-14). The second originated with the British school of palaeo-economy (Higgs 1972), and drew on Von Thünen’s (1966) model of relationships between spatial distributions of activities and land-use around a centre. The third was adapted, notably by Clark (1968) and Renfrew (1973a), from the mathematical models of the positivist New Geography (e.g. Chisholm 1962; Chorley and Haggett 1967; Haggett 1965, 1972). A spate of models based on the movement of materials and artefacts at supra-regional levels also emerged in the 1970s (following Hodder and Orton 1976). These approaches have been more comprehensively critiqued elsewhere (Bradley and Edmonds 1993; Hind 2000).

respect to one’s aspirations for the future. It is part of the discursive process through which a sense of community is established as people identify shared interests and common hopes. An understanding of ‘mythic’ history should therefore not rest on its ostensibly flawed reasoning, or on some deep structure inaccessible to the social actor. A myth is a statement of goals or objectives and a commitment to a line of action toward the materialisation of objectives (Sorel 1961). It is an expression of a determination to act, and its acceptance by other people ensures that the projects of others align with one’s own. In this sense, while the longue durée is a historian’s representation of the persistence of practice, it can also be understood in terms of the potential of actors to understand and rework their own historical conditions. Time then, is the product of humanity. Both chronology and history reify Time to focus on conceptual objects other than action and event, the traces of which are the only things archaeologists can actually observe. Scales of grand periodisation are essentially meaningless in terms of prehistoric practices, especially when the traditions purportedly constitutive of a ‘period’ are seen to develop at different paces. We often pay lip service regarding the individual biographies of artefacts, monuments and locales, and their passage through different regimes of value (q.v. Appadurai 1986). But the persistence of functional outlooks on the material world, even within ostensibly symbolic archaeologies, often fails to emphasise their promiscuity – their appearance in the context of different practices (N. Thomas 1991). What we lose in rejecting culture, society and chronological time as analytical tools is merely our incapacity to join the dots. What we should gain is an appreciation of the relationships between contexts, as well as the potential for links to be made between people and other places.

Ecological modelling In ecological perspectives, artefacts, apart from the purely decorative, increase our fitness or efficiency, and they have a specific function given by their physical properties. In the work of Lewis Binford for example, the assumption was that human settlement is located in response to particular sets of environmental factors. Determining these should thus permit the construction of rules governing settlement location, and the prediction of sites in areas not yet investigated. The social and the economic could be separated as different sets of behaviour (Binford 1977). For ecological approaches the character of space (the environment) becomes a determining factor, while technology is essentially functional. Site catchment analysis Site catchment analysis proposes that, other things being equal, the further away from the site, the less attractive the resource (e.g. Higgs and Vita-Finzi 1972). Typically it might assess the different types of land (forest, arable or pasture) within easy walking distance of an archaeological site. Circles are drawn around sites representing this distance, and potential resources available are identified. This mode of analysis was widely used to explore the economic potential of different categories of site, but such studies have been criticised for reconstructing economic behaviour, without recourse to excavation, on the basis of distribution maps and predictive models. Site catchment analysis is no longer an end in itself, since its implementation and interpretation are recognised as founded on other theoretical objects, such as models of social structure.

Concepts such as ‘culture’, ‘society’ and ‘time’ derived from sociology, anthropology and the natural sciences rely on visual metaphors to apprehend the social processes in which the material world is caught up. But in abstracting such processes they fail to grasp how the materiality of bodies, artefacts and the world in general, are constituted by and constitute agency. The aim of this paper is to attend to this failure through addressing that mutual constitution. I will argue that space and technology, like time, are all socially informed constructs rather than neutral a priori facts, and failure to recognise them as such has had profound consequences for the types of archaeologies that can be written. I aim here to provide a theoretical framework for the interpretation of lithic artefacts and landscapes in terms of archaeological practice.

Spatial/locational analysis This draws extensively on Christaller’s Central Place Theory (1966), first developed to account for settlement patterns of societies with developed market economies. Central Place Theory proposes that any settlement that provides services for other settlements will be located so it can be reached with the least amount of effort. One can examine interactions among complex society settlements, which functioned as local or regional distribution centres, and predict the patterning of lesser settlements at each level. In theory, central places that provide similar

Previous approaches to spatial distributions Three main approaches to the interpretation of artefact distributions have dominated archaeology since the 1970s – ecological determinism; site catchment analysis; and spatial or locational analysis. The first was assimilated by the New Archaeologists (e.g. Binford 1962) from the 37

1977). However, the logic of practice is not only comprehensible in terms of accumulation, but also in standing in the eyes of others, or ‘symbolic capital’. Bourdieu, commenting on the North African Kabyle, wrote:

services will be spaced equidistantly from each other. Archaeologists such as Colin Renfrew argued that different kinds of ‘monument’ involved different quantities of labour. Based on their distribution and the application of central place theory it was thus possible to rank them according to the labour expended on them, and their relation to the level of vertical hierarchy present in ‘society’ (Renfrew 1973: 552). ‘Monuments’ were thus understood as symbols of a corporate group’s claim to land and resources. Like the ecological and site catchment analysis models, Renfrew’s application of central place theory regarded the materiality of artefacts and architecture to be relatively unproblematic. Culture and material culture was society’s extrasomatic means of adaptation (Renfrew 1972); thus megaliths functioned as ‘focal points’ and ‘territorial markers’ to maintain the unity of dispersed segmentary societies.

Activity is valued for its own sake as there is no distinction between productive or profitable and unproductive or unprofitable work. There is only the opposition between the idler who fails in his social duty and the worker who performs… whatever the product of his effort (Bourdieu 1977: 1756). To summarise, all three methods described fail because of their historically specific conceptualisation of space and an unproblematic, under-theorised attitude to technology. Time is socially constituted through experience, action and discourse (see also Chadwick this volume a). It is now necessary to establish a similar framework for space and technology.

All three models offer a world of abrupt moments in time, and for the spatial and locational models, it is irrelevant when the activity takes place, as time is homogenous. On the other hand, Binford’s (1980) work contains a sense of activity as constitutive of temporality, and temporality in the annual round as constitutive of identity. However, there is no sense of development either of the environment or of the practices through which people engage with it. The creative capacity of human agency to alter the conditions of its existence was largely denied. In the case of site catchment and locational analysis, social actors were still reacting to environmental stimuli, but were analytically separated from the plants and animals they exploited because culture, rather than genetic makeup, works out their strategies for them.

Space as a product of discourse Foucault described different ways in which space has been defined in our Western experience, the first being ‘medieval space’ (1986: 22). This conveyed relatively simple binary relationships – the sacred and the profane, the protected and the exposed, the country and the city, and so on. In this pre-modern space every being, and each thing within it were assigned a place along a predominantly vertical axis – ‘heaven-earth-hell’, or the ‘chain of being’, preordained by God. Even incongruous events fell into a system of local comprehension that, as an articulation of ‘emplacement’, could only consider the object world within its own parameters.

These models fail to address the materiality of artefacts and landscapes. Settlement location and resource exploitation were determined by behaviour or culture, rather than meaningful action, disregarding the potentialities, as well as pressures, of institutional constraints, techniques, technologies, styles and materials (Butler 1993). The notion of adaptation to which all three models implicitly or explicitly subscribe, assumes a priori environments which people proceed to adapt. But more significant are the environments that groups perceive and use, and in particular, the set of resources and constraints that are recognised in practice. Each social group thus has its ‘own’ environment, which may be different from that of another group sharing the same territory (Sigaut 1994). New Geography and New Archaeology considered space as an abstract dimension in which human activities and events took place, technology being merely the interface. Both sitecatchment and locational analysis are based on cost/benefit principles whereby productivity is maximised and effort minimised. While site-catchment analysis at least understands humans to be rational actors, as opposed to biological specimens responding to environmental stimuli, the assumed rationale is one peculiar to modern, Western capitalist thought (Bourdieu

With the development of sciences such as astronomy and Galileo’s ‘constitution of an infinite, and infinitely open space’, the presence of the world outside the local began to infiltrate popular consciousness, destroying the notion of emplacement (Foucault 1986: 23). Modern space became understood as Euclidean, horizontal and, in principle at least, boundless. This continues in Western epistemology with regard to social practices of all kinds. In the early modern period it was the space of the humanist subject in its mercantile entrepreneurial incarnation. In the late modern period it is the space of industrial capitalism, with an exponentially increased pace of dispersal, displacement and dissemination of people and things. Foucault argued that conceptions of regulated space are accompanied by the imposition of rules, ordinances, and central governmental controls. In Foucault’s view, regulatory ideals (the potentials and constraints for action) and the organisation of space are interdependent and historically constituted. Space, like time, has a history.


Landscape and place

Empty landscapes

Space as conceived in modernity is quantitative and homogeneous. It is abstract, independent of any point of observation; it is the dimension of the map with the mind laid out upon the surface of the earth, but this is not the orientation of people situated in their environment. Geometries of abstract space will not help us to understand the ways that people move around, perceive and engage with their surroundings. Since the 1980s many researchers have become interested in the experience of space as historical, heterogeneous, perceived and contested rather than constant, homogeneous and normative (e.g. Barrett 1999; Bender 1993; Evans 1985; Ingold 1993). You can ask what a landscape is like, but not how much of it there is. Landscape is not nature, because people construct the concept of ‘nature’ as the material or the object world, as opposed to the ideal or subject world of humanity. These perspectives allow archaeologists to understand the organisation of the wider material world as social, discursive and polytemporal. This includes the rhythms of day-to-day activity, the projected goals of people, and the enduring connections between people and material conditions in different forms of social practice. If we envisage prehistoric actors as rational, but their rationality as unlikely to reflect modern economics, then it is appropriate that we should proceed by analogy with people who are motivated by other concerns. One study to explore this was Chris Tilley’s A Phenomenology of Landscape (1994).

In Phenomenology, Tilley rarely mentioned nonmonumental places, largely ignored the role of animals and crops in neolithic worlds, and dismissed the potential value of environmental evidence. If the largely open landscapes he studied were forested in prehistory, this would affect how monuments were approached, and the visibility of others. Moreover, for many communities the wooded environment is a fundamental referent for ontology and cosmology (Bahuchet n.d.; Rival 1998). Tilley sought to establish whether landscapes exist in a material sense, or were essentially resident in the human mind. Tilley’s are ‘intelligible’ landscapes, on-going mental constructions with the landscape as a cultural code for living, an anonymous ‘text’ to be read and interpreted (1994: 34). Text cannot be both anonymous and social however, and the landscape is never a code – meaning is always evoked differentially, within a historically situated, discursive framework of understanding (Moore 1986).

Tilley rejected positivism, and attempted an alternative, social archaeology grounded in the idea of landscape, an approach derived from human geography (e.g. Chadwick this volume a; Cosgrove and Daniels 1988; Tuan 1974). Tilley wished to replace Cartesian space with ‘place’ as the locus for human activity, with the notion of the journey as a metaphor, the experiential manifestation of which is a path along or within which people travel towards a place (Tilley 1994: 29-31). Paths come to represent forms of knowledge and discourse. Tilley stressed that the way in which we understand our landscapes is primarily visual, a legacy of post-Enlightenment thought where sight is the omniscient and objective sense of reason. This provided the rationale for a series of ethnographically derived studies of landscape use and perception to provide ‘a conceptual background for attempting to think through the archaeological evidence in the field’ (1994: 71). However, this may be problematic if the ‘ethnographic presents’ of non-Western communities come to represent the European past, for this has political implications (Fabian 1983; Gosden 1999: 8). The choice to use exotic ethnographic material for analogy needs to be justified on relational grounds that establish principles of connection (Spikins 2000; Wylie 1985).

Phenomenological approaches aim to provide a universally applicable interpretation of the nature of ‘Being’, and propose that ‘Being’ is constituted through the directed and practical intervention of humans in their surroundings. Tilley suggested that experience of space has a universal quality (e.g. 1994: 184). By using the body of an ‘average adult male from a specific historical context as a yardstick’ (Brück 1998: 28), he ignored the fact that ‘being’ varies according to material conditions, gender and other aspects of identity that continually come into being through practice (Butler 1993; Moore 1986). Places are unevenly experienced. These studies and others (e.g. Descola and Pálsson 1996) show that there can be fundamentally different ways of ‘being in the world’. Tilley believes that mesolithic groups altered the land with paths and clearings, but thought that through the ‘culturally embedded horizon’ of neolithic tombs and their settings the landscape became visibly encultured (Tilley 1994: 205). This re-affirms the cliché of mesolithic foragers as ‘natural’ and neolithic cultivators as ‘cultural’. The mesolithic and the early neolithic are compared as homogenous blocks, with little sense of the gradual development of landscape and taskscape.


technological somnambulism, because it views humans as sleepwalking through the process of reconstituting the conditions of existence. Technology seems to operate beyond human control, and appears to result from an automatic, inevitable process that can be considered morally and ethically neutral. Technology is about making and using objects first, and belief systems are only a last-resort explanation (Pfaffenberger 1993: 238). In archaeology Binford (e.g. 1962: 220) typifies this view.

Tilley suggested that the control of movement through space and the perspective from which a place could be approached were important in maintaining power relations. This owes much to Foucault’s (1979) exploration of the role of space in the creation of the disciplinary society. Of course, as Foucault (1979) famously wrote there is not only ‘power over’ but also ‘power to’, an idea examined by Bourdieu (1977: 194) with respect to communities whose constitution is based on face-to-face interaction. This does not deny that people are driven by self-interest, but that this is often clothed euphemistically and with the complicity of the whole group, in terms of obligation and honour. Here power is something diffuse and varied, present in many areas of life and inherent in all relationships.

Against such ideas Pfaffenberger suggests that as technologies are created and put to use, patterns of human activity and institutions also alter. This is technological determinism, where technology is a powerful agent dictating human social and cultural life. In the last two centuries, technical development in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has seemed so spectacular that it was discussed in terms of an ‘industrial revolution’ (e.g. Marx and Engels 1974), and an agricultural revolution (Gras 1925: 208-232; Lubbock 1865). This inspired Childe’s notion of the neolithic and urban revolutions, and he frequently saw technology as a determining factor in history (e.g. 1936; 1947: 71-72, 1949: 69). However, this characterised history as a chain of technological events where people were little more than helpless spectators. Instead, Pfaffenberger argues that although new technology does indeed bring a changing sets of possibilities to a situation, whether people capitalise on those possibilities depends on their ability to conceptualise the reconstructed political field (Pfaffenberger 1988: 240; cf. Torrence and van der Leeuw 1989). Both possibilism and determinism fail to appreciate that choices exist in the process of technological deployment and the consequent transformation in social relations.

In retaining the concepts of (if not the radical disjunction between) culture and nature, Tilley continues to reify human choices and the processes of life as if they were determined by some pre-existent symbol system. But if relations between humans and their environments are mediated by culture, then people can neither know nor act upon their environments directly. Approaches such as Tilley’s recognise the situated, contingent production of space and time through explicit discourse, but not through non-discursive practice. The landscape is not a stable surface to be acted upon by agents, but is itself a process of materialisation. For humans this materialisation takes place through the citational and reiterative acts of agents in the contexts of projects (Butler 1993; Giddens 1981), the latter also being the basis for the actor’s evocation of meaning (Moore 1986). Interaction with other beings are integral to this, and by failing to address the social constitution of technology Tilley fails to articulate how actors lived their past and present into the future, and into a world that is also constituted by non-humans.

As a corrective, Pfaffenberger defines technology as a set of operationally replicable behaviours: no technology can be said to exist unless the people who use it do so over and over again. If we speak of the impact of ‘technology’ upon ‘society’, we are actually identifying the effect of one form of social behaviour upon another. Pfaffenberger’s definition makes it clear that technology is not the same thing as tools or artefacts, which many people refer to instead as technics. A tool is not necessarily an artefact and an artefact is not necessarily a tool. Technology, as defined by Pfaffenberger, is not observable, but inferred from the study of technics and their context.

Towards an integrated theory of landscape and technology The standard view of technology Many definitions of humanity separate the subject world of active humanity, from the object world of passive nonhumanity. Actions towards other humans are considered social, whilst actions towards non-humans are considered technical. In these ideas, the relationship between humanity and nature is fundamentally exploitative, and ‘material culture’ is produced as artefacts inscribed by the rational intellect upon the concrete surface of nature (e.g. Clark 1968: 153). While most theorists have shared the idea of a subject-object division, the link between humanity and technology has proved somewhat more difficult to express. Technological possibilism holds that technology exerts outer limits on the scope of human action, but within these society and culture follow their own historical course, irrespective of the nature or complexity of the technological system (Ingold 1997: 106). Bryan Pfaffenberger (1988, 1993) characterised this approach as 40

physical and social spaces, and when two operations have been found to occupy the same places in both, they are ‘homologous’. It is then possible to compare the various ways in which these operations are performed by different (or sometimes the same) human groups. Generally, these ways will be different, and these different ways of carrying out homologous operations are termed ‘techniques’ (Sigaut 1994). As Sigaut demonstrates, the standard view of technology confuses effect and technique, as it cannot distinguish between workings and function in artefacts. In a goal-orientated system, function describes what an artefact is for, and its workings or how it works. We may think we are talking about function when we say that an axe is made for striking, but striking alone is not a function, but a category of working modes. For striking to be a function we must know what is struck, in what context, and to what precise purpose - we must know what operation we are talking about. Its workings, on the other hand, lie in the way an artefact or tool intervenes in the effect that is to be produced, or how it is conjoined to a technique.

A relational view of technology All artefacts such as tools or architecture emerge through actions, which are also material actions (in the sense that each effects a material change in something), and intentional actions (in that they are conjoined to projects). For example, a woman who makes an axe may follow procedures she knows to be technically efficacious. But she may also know that the axe will be exchanged, that the recipient will use it to cut down trees and that the wood will be used to make stock enclosures. The ground will be cleared for pasture, the stock in turn will provide milk, blood, meat, or evidence of their owner’s status. Likewise, she has already acquired the stone and an appropriate flaking instrument in anticipation of her task. All human activities then are responses to successive goals, which affect every aspect of life in a community. There are some activities though in which the social goals have become material imperatives for their agents, and these are what we call ‘technical facts’. Describing technical facts: operations, paths and networks The most elementary material change involves an operation or ‘doing something’, for instance removing a flake from a bifacial core, extending one’s hand (which holds an axe) to another person, or swinging one’s arm (to which the axe is appended) to strike a tree. Operations of this kind are usually part of a sequence, as exemplified by Leroi-Gourhan’s (1943, 1945) notion of the châine opératoire: a conventionalised, learned sequence of applied techniques and technical operations. So in the example of the axe-maker, the chain of operations involves flaking the core, turning it over, and flaking again, occasionally pausing to reflect on progress, before finally grinding and polishing with stone, sand and water. Raw material can be unforgiving and chance happenings demand re-evaluation of the making process. Therefore the axe-maker has in mind successive goals (rather than one outcome), or a series of ‘intermediary stages and geometric cues’ (Pelegrin 1990: 117).

For an archaeological artefact, these means of investigation allow us to describe its structure (geometric and physical properties resulting from its manufacture and use) and to figure out something about its workings, but they do not allow us to discover its function. This is only accomplished by analogy, comparing the object under study with similar objects whose function is already known. The danger comes when analogy is implicit and unreasoned – for instance, when a stone object that resembles a sickle is considered as a tool used for the function of reaping cereals. Simpler tools of other shapes can also be used for the same function, and gloss, like that observed on stone ‘sickles’ can also be caused by the cutting of grasses, reeds or rushes (AndersonGerfaud 1983). Therefore flint blades with silica gloss should not be taken as providing unequivocal evidence of arable agricultural activity. In situating technics in historically generated social space we are concerned with meaningful action, and the kind of knowledge it involves.

Operational chains that are present in any one community are woven into networks, which are socially organised and quickly extend beyond the range of any one actor’s experience of time-space. In this sense Kopytoff (1986) recognises the artefact to have a biography. Transformations, both social and physical, occur in the object’s movement through the process of production and consumption, and through different arenas of value. The ‘technical facts’ which the archaeologist observes thus have to be located within social space, and concepts such as operation, path and network are flexible metaphors with which to achieve this. As Leroi-Gourhan and others have recognised, these underlying technical paths and networks are never the only ones possible (Lemonnier 1986: 161). Superficially similar artefacts may have resulted from, or be implicated in, different sociotechnical processes, and the imposition of common-sense categories is undesirable in technological analysis.

Technological knowledge Turning the idea for an artefact into the real thing involves a process at the end of which the initial raw material components have disappeared, leaving in their place a new material object. As in the axe-maker’s châine opératoire, there are a series of successive goals and reevaluations. Every object can be regarded as a ‘collapsed act’ (Mead 1977: 97). The wider networks of projects, which account for why the woman is making an axe rather than something else, converge in on the artefact. For this reason technics cannot be reduced to the application of scientific knowledge (Ingold 1993a: 466; Sigaut 1994: 439). Neither does technical innovation result, directly or necessarily, from the ‘progress’ of knowledge alone. In the case of introduced novelties this often also involves the re-categorisation of resources and transform of ideas (N. Thomas 1991). The accumulation of knowledge therefore follows its own logic, which alone does not necessarily produce effective solutions (Lemonnier 1986). Knowledge is necessary for action

Techniques, functions and workings Identifying an operation thus means locating it in both its 41

Skill is tacit, practical mastery (Bourdieu 1977) or ‘know how,’ both practical knowledge and knowledgeable practice (Ingold 1993b), as Heidegger’s anecdote demonstrates:

but, as it is embodied in the very process of action, it is no longer the kind of ‘knowledge’ we are used to talking about, that is knowledge as the goal of action (Sigaut 1994), or discursive knowledge (Bourdieu 1977).

…an entity of this kind is not grasped thematically as an occurring thing…the less we stare at the Hammer-Thing, and the more we seize and use it, the more primordial does our relationship to it become…The kind of Being which equipment possesses - in which it manifests itself in its own right - we call ‘readinessto-hand’…‘Practical’ behaviour is not ‘atheoretical’ in the sense of ‘sightlessness’…action has its own kind of sight…The ready-to-hand is not ‘grasped’ theoretically at all (Heidegger 1962: 69). The hammer is so taken for granted that it literally may be said not to exist, until its presence forces itself upon our awareness because of a problem in the performance. Then ‘one becomes painfully aware both of oneself and of the instrument, and of the distance that separates them’ (Ingold 1993a: 460). Such attunement is not limited to the domain of technics but also characterises our relations with other beings, human and non-human. Cree hunters for example know animals in the way we ‘know’ other people, with a kind of sensitivity and responsiveness, or intuition towards the being’s moods, idiosyncrasies and past history (Ingold 1998). Similarly, in their work people submit to collective rhythms in various temporal scales and spatial structures and order their representations of reality and the community itself (Bourdieu 1977; Ingold 1993b; Moore 1986).

This illustrates the failure of any evolutionist project that relies on ‘accumulating’ techniques and ‘increasingly complex’ artefacts to distinguish successive periods or stages of civilisation. The categories of hunter-gatherer, agriculturalist and pastoralist imply that ‘societies’ are defined by their techniques. But in prehistory, the real criterion of the category ‘hunter-gatherer’ is not based on the presence of hunting and gathering, but on the absence of farming (Pluciennik 1998). Further, using techniques as a criterion for classification assumes that they are already known, which locks the researcher into false common-sense assumptions. The neolithic is often defined in terms of agriculture although very little is known about fourth to third millennium farming’s associated techniques. Some possibilities known from analogy are frequently ignored – for instance, that pastoral pursuits are often a supplement to hunting and gathering (Ingold 1980; Zvelebil and Rowley-Conwy 1986), and may be more important for skins and fleeces than for calories (Sigaut 1994). The acceptance, production and circulation of innovations do introduce new conditions and therefore affect historical trajectories of communities. They are thus valid themes for archaeologies of practice, but not in isolation from the physical and social differences of inhabited landscapes.

Efficient conduct of any kind is unconscious. Prior to mastery of a practice every act has to be thought out in advance, in the way that a child learns one movement at a time, and ways of doing things that will make it a normal social being (Sigaut 1994: 438). Once embarked upon, an action cannot be changed without further deliberation, which results in interruption and often failure (Ingold 1993a). At the point where one’s attention and movement is aligned to the movement of others (whether people, animals, tools or materials), a fluent, automatic performance is achieved. The capabilities or technical knowledge have become internalised, literally embodied or incorporated (Bourdieu 1977: 81; Ingold 1997: 113; Sigaut 1994).

Skill and practical mastery I have so far referred to technical operations, chains and networks, functions, workings and structure, which are metaphors that conceptualise technology as a system. Although technology is a useful analytical object for archaeology, the identification and understanding of meaningful technical practice is its goal. Therefore before we lose sight once more of past actors, a framework is necessary for understanding the use of technics as a fundamentally different type of knowledge, that of practical mastery. It is not sufficient to know how an axe is flaked if one is actually to make one: the condition for effective action is not knowledge but skills. Skilled activity involves qualities of care, judgement and dexterity grounded in an attentive perceptual involvement with the material world (Ingold 1997, 2000).

No context-free propositional knowledge such as ‘technology’ or ‘culture’ informed the ‘becoming’ of the artefacts and landscapes that we study. While these things were caught up in intentional action, they also resulted from situated, pre-objective knowledge, with no existence outside the context of its practical application. The habitus, which Bourdieu described as ‘history turned to nature’ (Bourdieu 1977: 78), merges objective conditions and procedural principles in and through the production of practice. 42

would have subconsciously reminded knapper and onlooker alike of the tasks to which they were to be put, and the place and meaning of those tasks in the taskscape. This would have been especially true of relatively everyday objects – it would be their very ‘every-dayness’ that reinforced those taken-for-granted views of how to be behave and who should perform what activities in a community. But when people work in the company of others, work itself can also become the object of prestigious imitation or argumentation, mistakes or successes, incompetence or prowess.

It is because subjects do not, strictly speaking, know what they are doing that what they do has more meaning than they know (Bourdieu 1977: 79). The standard view of technology takes it for granted that technical knowledge is merely utilitarian, but an archaeology of practice recognises it to be as social as any other kind, all the more so because it is unconsidered. The social production of technical skills The production and reproduction of skills is inseparable from the way people organise themselves into communities. Fentress and Wickham (1992: 97) understand the sharing of memory to be primarily orally communicated, but it is also maintained and perpetuated through materiality and embodiment. There is no innovation without tradition, and no tradition without its perpetuation by people through their communities. The coherent technical traditions and repetition that we ‘observe’ can be the ‘same’ only in abstraction, by artificially excluding contexts and effects (Adam 1990). Every technical act contributes to the diverse cyclical rhythms of history, and makes the actor’s task coherent with the past and future, recognised by us as enduring praxis. Social life requires that each person acquire a minimum number of materially and socially effective practices, and the skills underpinning these practices can be produced and reproduced only in communities. This reproduction of skill is not a property of genes or of culture, but of embodiment through training oneself, typically through play, observation and imitation in the company of others, rather than formal verbal instruction. Children grow into social maturity rather than being trained into it (Strathern 1980: 196). There is usually more than one way of achieving a material end, and embodiment is a social rather than simply utilitarian phenomenon.

Working alongside people may involve a host of classificatory distinctions and types of authorities, for people categorise themselves on various levels, ranging from individual through to various nested or overlapping group identities or relationships. The notion of relational personhood conceives each person as a non-centralised or unique unity, but also a continuous or relational entity, in connectivity with multiple selves in multiple contexts (Battaglia 1990; Bird-David 1999; Strathern 1988). Identity and social categories are specific through temporalities and places. It is heightened when two or more categories appear simultaneously, either actually or symbolically (Turner 1987). The social category adult may be made more salient by the presence of members of the category child, that of man, more salient by the presence of woman. The skill-producing group can take a wide variety of forms and enter into many combinations with other social units such as family, residence or age groups. This will depend on the kinds of skills concerned, the social values placed upon them, and indigenous ideas concerning learning, purity or pollution, or the distribution of activities by rank and gender.

The child, the adult, imitates actions which have succeeded and which he [sic] has seen successfully performed by people in whom he has confidence and who have authority over him…The individual borrows the series of movements which constitute it from the action executed in front of him or with him by others. It is precisely this notion of the prestige of the person who performs the ordered, authorised, tested action vis-à-vis the imitating individual that contains all the social element (Mauss 1979: 101). What each generation contributes to the next is the specific contexts of development (Ingold 1997). With this ‘enskillment’ a person’s identity develops in practice, but the process is not complete once a level of practical mastery has been achieved. One must continue displaying cues that signify that mastery. Butler’s (1993) concept of performativity supports Nietzsche’s argument that ‘there is no ‘being’ behind doing’ (Nietzsche 1989: 45) – identity is never finalised. The creation of stone artefacts

Somebody watching a flint-knapper might reaffirm through the actions observed aspects of their relationship, and of their place in the community. Obviously whilst there are aspects of flint-knapping which are relatively easy, certain ways of working would take considerable practice before expertise, and attendant social status, was achieved. Only some members of a community may 43

spirit of goodwill or even love (Ingold 1998: 159). Similarly, the African Mbuti recognise their dependence on the Ituri Forest, referring to it as ‘Father’ or ‘Mother’, and thus appeal to it for the benevolence normally expected from a parent (Ichikawa 1992; Turnbull 1965). They get to know the forest’s plants, animals and landforms in the same way that one becomes familiar with other people, by investing time with care and attention. In parts of Melanesia, those people who cultivate yams have to ‘breath life into’ the plants, and these plants are sentient beings who desire tranquillity and require gestures and words of respect if they are to produce food for humans (Battaglia 1990; Seaglion 1999).

make certain artefacts, and the manufacture might be performed away from sections of the community because of pollution beliefs (McBryde 1984; Paton 1994). Such ideas are inaccessible to archaeologists from the artefacts alone, but may sometimes be invoked through analogy when they repeatedly appear in combination with other objects in certain contexts (e.g. Edmonds and Thomas 1987). If we understand technical practice as the product of historically specific social acts rather than universal utilitarian logics, then the divide between society and nature must also be questioned.

Technical activity in real, inhabited landscapes Like ‘collection’ the term food production is erroneous, because the work that people do does not make plants and animals, but rather establishes the conditions for their growth and development – it provides nurturance or assistance. Among Mount Hageners and the Achuar, domesticated animals and crops are incorporated into kinship relations like children (Descola 1994; Strathern 1980). Similarly the peasant farmers of Boyacá and the Kabyle recognise the lands itself as a suitable partner for exchange (Bourdieu 1977; Gudeman and Rivera 1990). For this reason, the delegation of tasks such as ploughing is not an honourable course of action for the Kabyle peasant. According to the logic of gift exchange, the land bestows its bounty only on those who bring their care as a tribute.

Persons and things The standard view of technology regards society and nature as separate domains, with acts directed towards non-humans as technical and exploitative, as interventions in nature. Such a distinction also underlies the division between hunter-gatherers and farmers, allowing the former to be understood as people without history (q.v. Wolf 1997). In this way, coevality is denied to any form of life whose practices are fundamentally different to our own (Fabian 1983; Ingold 1997; Latour 1993). However, people who have direct relations with non-human agencies often structure those relations as they would relations with other humans, marked by the same qualities of mutualism and trust rather than domination and exploitation. For these reasons, BirdDavid rejects the word food-collection as denigrative. Instead she proposes that hunter-gatherers procure – a word that means:

Everything in the peasant’s practice actualises, in a different mode, the objective intention revealed by ritual. The land is never treated as a raw material to be exploited, but always as the object of respect mixed with fear…it ‘will settle its scores’, they say, and take revenge for the bad treatment it receives from a clumsy or over-hasty farmer. The accomplished peasant ‘presents himself’ to the land with the stance appropriate when one man meets another (i.e. face to face), and with the attitude of trusting familiarity he would show a respected kinsman (Bourdieu 1977: 175).

…to bring about, to obtain by care or effort, to prevail upon, to induce, to persuade a person to do something’. ‘Procurement’ is management, contrivance, acquisition, getting, gaining. Both terms are accurate enough for describing modern hunter-gatherers who apply care, sophistication and knowledge to their resource-getting activities (Bird-David 1992b: 40; emphasis mine). Hunters may understand their relationships with animals in terms of reciprocity (Guenther 1988; Ingold 1996b, 2000). The Native American Cree for example, hold that animals intentionally offer themselves up to hunters, in a

To speak of non-humans in terms of kinship or exchange relations acknowledges an underlying ontological 44

establishing the conditions for growth’ (Ingold 1996a: 21) and the relative positioning of the self and other visà-vis kinship or exchange identities. What is important is that we recognise contexts in which non-humans may be have been drawn into social relations. I am not suggesting that any of these accounts can be superimposed on archaeological material in any simplistic way. Rather they provide a corrective to the historically situated separation of humanity and others, which makes apprehending the materiality of social life impossible. Such a division is unlikely to have informed actions in prehistory. By the same logic, the incorporation of nonhuman elements into social relations also calls for a reevaluation of ritual or magical action.

equivalence between human and non-human components of the world (Ingold 1996b, 2000). This animism, in BirdDavid’s definition, involves responsively engaging with beings/things, then perceiving them as persons. It is not metaphorical in the sense of figuratively papering over dualities, but dualities draw attention to real relational unities, in the sense that the dog is not like a friend; it is a friend (Bird-David 1992a: 44).

Ritual, routine and the community Ritual action supposed by anthropologists to be communicative and metaphorical, is thought by its practitioners to have technical efficacy. As the Achuar or the Maori accept cultivated plants as beings, it makes sense to maintain a harmonious relationship with them by means of magical songs or friendly conversation (Descola 1994; Te Awekotuku 1996). This is no substitute for hard work, but disposes people in a particular relationship to the constituent beings of their environment so as to achieve an attunement typical of any other social relationship (Bird-David 1999; Gibson 1979; Ingold 1996a). Likewise, the qualities and values attributed to materials inform how they should be used and by whom, especially when they are understood as spiritually charged. The status attributed to Australian tools and weapons is often informed by ‘presencing’ the raw material itself with origin myths surrounding stone sources. The importance of stone may relate to whether it is on or off ancestral routes (Fullagar and Head 1999), or if it contains traces of ancestral bodies (Taçon 1991). The closest or most accessible material is not necessarily chosen for tasks, as not only the material but also the practice of procurement itself may be socially informed in terms of other social concerns (Paton 1994). Crafts too may often have mythological connotations (Battaglia 1990: 5-6), and craft experts may be regarded as ‘vehicles through which the gods expressed their power in the human domain’ (Neich 1996: 69). Some designs may be understood as visible expressions of ancestors, and poor efforts may be open to criticism in terms that imply not only poor technical competence but also spiritual ignorance.

A common animistic belief is in spirits who ‘own’ wild herds, just as domestic herds have human owners. Such spirits may be considered immanent within certain places such as caves, or sometimes within certain animals that responsively relate to humans (Bird-David 1999; Descola 1994; Ingold 1986). The sequence of events leading from the stalking of a sentient animal to its consumption as food involves a series of classificatory transformations whereby animals may in various contexts be understood as persons or things (Bird-David 1992a; 1999). There is no simple dichotomy of other beings vis-à-vis humanity, but rather, personhood emerges through the reproduction of shared relationships with others, regarded as differentiated, but nested within each other. In short, human is just one of the many possible outward forms that persons can take. Humans, animals and plants are recognised as fellow participants in the same world, not separate spheres of society and nature. Such relational epistemologies occur in many communities we know as hunter-gatherers, as well as many small-scale pastoral and cultivating communities.

The dead may also be brought within the sphere of social relations. For people with a relational ontology, death is a social relation rather than a biological or economic fact. For such people, mortuary practice is part of a relational network of transformations throughout the life cycle. The result of one transformation is necessarily implicated in the previous and next transition. The analysis of one act isolated from the relational network generated by this recursive process is inevitably partial (Barraud et al. 1994). The deceased is often reformulated, through the rites of ‘forgetting’, as an absent presence. They may be recognised, individually or in ancestral communities, in a

These examples show that the world is not constituted by actors in terms of their subsistence techniques, but through their classification in terms of social relationships. For the most part, the difference between hunting or gathering and cultivation or husbandry may merely be ‘the relative scope of human involvement in 45

(Ingold 1986: 147). He argued that hunter-gatherers are responsible for places and paths, rather than areas of land. Each place draws its unique significance from the relational context of people’s engagement with the world.

relation to or by their presence in places, substances or objects (Battaglia 1990; Küchler 1993, Morphy 1993). Mortuary practices too, are performances, coherent with and nested within other practices.

…each place embodies the whole at a particular nexus within it…[it] owes its character to the experiences it affords to those who spend time there, which in turn depend on the kinds of activities in which its inhabitants engage (Ingold 1993b: 155). Ingold relates two specific examples of how the Yolngu estates and the Kalahari equivalent focus on centres, but have no boundaries. Anthropologists who try to determine where boundaries are end up frustrated. Either you are not in the other tenurial province until you reach the centre or the people, or the boundary is just unimportant. Hunter-gatherers do have territories, but Ingold argues that territories are essentially an immediate, communicative means of effecting co-operation. They are mostly important when co-operating groups are working over an extensive but common range in an ecological situation that precludes regular face-to-face contact. Territoriality is just one aspect of the many ways that people organise their work and practical conduct in a landscape. Unlike systemic models that assume rigid boundaries enclosing tracts of land and units of people, this allows for the considerable movement of people characteristic of many small-scale communities (Bahuchet n.d.).

As the symbolic pervades all areas of life it is meaningless to assign as ritual all non-mechanical actions (Goody 1961). In the rhythms of work, gossip and lore, ritual and technical routine, all melt into one. The actors’ tasks project them into the temporality of dasein, while those projections, the forms they engender, whether in artefactual/architectural forms or body movements cohere with the many others in the constitution of the longue durée (Hind 2000). Similarly, as the bodies and materials move between locales people are conscious of the wider landscapes and communities that they inhabit.

Any community must balance its exchanges with other groups, and this depends on the efficacy of the sociotechnical skills it produces, not merely apparently utilitarian productive practices, but also exchange and hospitality. The ‘profit’ a group can expect to draw from such practices is its standing in the eyes of other groups, and often depends on the capacity of the group to acquire powerful affines, as well as to preserve its land and honour (Bourdieu 1977). Exchange in particular is often concerned with asserting the group or individual’s place in the local area (Gregory 1982; Paton 1994: 180). Access for those without tenurial privilege may involve the re-negotiation of relationships between individuals and communities (Burton 1984; McBryde 1984), but is rarely refused. Ingold (1986) and Bird-David (1999) have made persuasive cases that hunter-gatherers in particular normalise ‘demand sharing’, whether in terms of the kill in the community hunt, or allowing a neighbouring community access to a tenurial resource. Here however, we enter a realm of generalising anthropological models.

Place and the wider community Technical groups often have a well-defined and visible identity, which stems from the way their members concentrate in, and move between, specific locales to perform certain tasks and specific material practices. Like any other practice, it is necessary that we define such aggregation and transit in experiential and socially meaningful terms rather than relying on genetics or culture as agency. In discussing British prehistory, prehistoric landscapes are now frequently addressed, not in terms of space, but in socially and experientially meaningful terms such as tenure (e.g. Barrett 1994: 137; Edmonds 1999: 29). The concept of tenure allows us to accommodate into the realm of social activity the empty spaces on distribution maps, which formerly allowed people to pretend that nobody lived there.

Egalitarian human communities do experience social conflicts and recurrent attempts by individuals to dominate, take more than an equal share of resources, or hoard (Knauft 1991). However, in ‘immediate-return’ societies such attempts to breach the egalitarian distribution can be readily detected, and met by public complaint, ridicule, threat, group violence, expulsion of recalcitrant individuals, or mass emigration to another group (Boehm 1993; Woodburn 1982). In ‘immediate-

In characterising different concepts of tenure, Ingold suggested that ‘we speak of surfaces rather than planes, paths rather than lines, and places rather than points’ 46

understood as a representation of the persistence of practice, the potential of actors to understand and rework their own historical conditions. The Yolngu triadic relationship between the individual, the ancestral past, and the world in which she or he lives (Morphy 1993, 1995) is one demonstration of the durability, flexibility, materiality and active political character of mythic history.

return economies’ no one person can become so powerful as to be immune to these counter-dominant strategies. In ‘delayed-return’ societies though, some people are more able to sustain inequality and become higher status individuals by building alliances with others; and by enlisting supporters to create larger and more powerful alliances, trading stored resources as ‘payment’ for cooperation (Gellner 1988). However, we should be wary of simple oppositions like ‘immediate’ and ‘delayed’ return, lest we once more begin to place action in typological time. Whilst useful concepts for thinking about people’s attachments, these modes of exchange are by nomeans stable states. Kirch (1984) for example, describes the collapse of a delayed return system on Easter Island, apparently due, at least in part, to ruinous, violent competition between the two chiefdoms on the island. Furthermore, both types of transaction appear to have existed side-by-side in some Polynesian contexts (N. Thomas 1991: 24). People who live off the land frequently experience an attachment to place and to community, but this is rarely rigidly bounded or stable in the manner assumed by locational analysis models. Reciprocal access to tenurial resources, collective hunting expeditions or ceremonies, specialised task groups, the exigencies of kinship demands and settlement mobility can produce considerable fission and fusion of communities regardless of ‘the mode of production’. The social logic that informs technical activities also informs inhabitation of the landscapes they constitute, and thus any objectified description of institutional stability that archaeologists may employ with respect to landscape inhabitation, is likely to be simplistic in the same way as ‘observed’ stable technical traditions. We can address these issues through understanding the longue durée as constituted through social practice.

Each place is part of a network that connects places together in a chain, and the links on either side depend for their connection on the one in the middle. The condition of moving into a place to take over from other people is that links of the same type continue to remain in place. People do not move in and take over a country by imposing new myths: rather they act as if they are taken over by the new country. This makes the political struggle for land no less intense, but it preserves the illusion of continuity between people, place and ancestral past (Morphy 1995: 186). Mythic histories such as the Australian Aboriginal Dreaming are structures in the sense of coherences (rather rules), which are lived and then allow the evocation of connotations through their incorporation in subsequent history, accommodating the exigencies of successive historical events. Such representations produce landscape as memory, that is, as a process not a static form, which embodies current concerns and projects (Küchler 1993). The oral tradition’s commentary on the landscape perpetuates moral norms while allowing argumentative discourse relative to tenurial rights and community relations (Basso 1984; Morphy 1993, 1995). However, the explicit discursive links made between kinship, genealogy, morality, work and the land, are only as important as the sharing of food and shoulder-to-shoulder work that should follow them (Bourdieu 1977: 35; Gow 1995: 49; Thornton 1997). In this sense, the development of the muscular consciousness of bodies is recursively related to the developing tracks, gardens, woodland and mortuary structures of the landscapes they inhabit. This is the ‘taskscape made visible’ (Ingold 1993b: 167).

Place and the longue durée Ingold’s model of tenure stresses that it is the inhabitation of locales, rather than the maintenance of boundaries, that is most important to the way people understand themselves and their relationship to the land. Tenure is about the ways in which resource locales are worked into the biography of people, or into the developmental trajectory of those groups, domestic and otherwise of which people are members (Ingold 1986: 137). Through tenure the lands with which a person identifies constitute a kind of record of who they are, with whom they are identified or related, and where they have been. Kinship and the land are mutually implicated (Cronon 1983; Myers 1986). Where people have remained in a continuing and active relationship with their land and its other inhabitants, they learn through practice, not only about relationships between place and their ancestors, but also about themselves and their particular rights and responsibilities (Gow 1995; Morphy 1995; Smith 1999). Experiential, mythic history may provide an active, discursive approach to the past with respect to one’s aspirations for the future. In these terms the longue durée can be

With an inhabited landscape, as with the technical traditions that are part of its becoming, the array of 47

is a hermeneutic rather than a predictive operation, they have no utility except to preserve evolutionary frameworks (however subtle) and impose Typological Time.

activities, networked by projects with apparent coherences, enable us to produce prehistoric time in archaeological discourse. There can be no landscape for an actor without its constitution through technical practice. At the same time, there is no technical practice without the materiality of the constantly developing landscape. For the archaeologist studying the past, there is no access to prehistoric social life except through the durable materiality of landscape inhabitation and technical practice. Conclusions As archaeologists, we do not observe culture, society or technology. Like time and space, these are conceptual objects to help us think through the material with which we engage. However, the material we study is not the product of any of these things, but of social practices. Practices cannot be reduced to strategically programmed responses to external environmental stimuli (foraging), nor as planned interventions in nature, launched from the separate platform of society (production). It is neither genetic make-up nor cultural intelligence that acts upon the material world. It is:

The construction of closed technical systems as implied by these terms can be considered complete only when their effects are denied. Traditionally, archaeology has perpetuated this denial by developing atechnical conceptions of society and asocial conceptions of technology. As Latour would have it, they have bracketed off the work of hybridisation (the creation of entirely new types of beings, mixtures of nature and culture) on the one hand and the dual social and natural orders on the other. Pre-modern communities however, thoroughly think through close-connections between the social and the natural worlds so that no ‘dangerous hybrid will be introduced carelessly’ (Latour 1993: 41). In thinking through the emergence of new practices and new artefact forms I wish to finish by returning to Latour’s adage that:

…as entire persons, not as disembodied minds, that human beings engage with one another and, moreover, with non-human beings as well (Ingold 1996b: 129). What archaeologists actually observe is material formed by actions or operations. Often we can identify that these were intentional actions – that is, conjoined to a project – because we also identify a chain of operations. Concurrently, we understand the production of two types of experiential time, that of the durée and dasein. Through other material within and beyond the context, we apprehend metaphorically and by analogy the intersection of many projects in networks which extend, not just through these two experiences of time, but beyond the rhythm of everyday activity, beyond the birth and death of the actor. It is the coherences within the projects of actors, whether a disposition towards artefactmaking or tenurial biography, which constitute both the actor’s habitus, and the archaeologist’s longue durée. It is the materiality of artefacts and inhabited landscapes, at once physical, social, discursive and existential, never complete and always becoming, which alone can be the objects of archaeologies of practice.

We have never moved either forward or backward. We have always sorted out elements belonging to different times. We can still sort. It is the sorting that makes the times, not the times that make the sorting (Latour 1993: 76, original emphasis). Through this sorting, inhabited landscapes and technical traditions emerge. It is their material traces that allow us to discuss the times they produced. Acknowledgements This paper is derived from part of my PhD thesis, and John Barrett, Kathryn Denning, Mark Edmonds and Graeme Warren read and commented upon all or parts of that text. Needless to say, any errors therein are the author’s alone.

It becomes increasingly clear that the ‘mesolithic’ and ‘neolithic’ are inadequate terms or themes for such a project. Defined substantively, they are conceptual objects for archaeologists, with no existence outside our field of discourse. Defined functionally, they perform a ‘purification’ that prevents us from seeing underlying similarities in emerging materiality and the production of time. They have no validity unless truth is something external to materiality. They have no elegance except in an aesthetic of disembodiment. Finally, as empirical observation does not require them and analytical insight

Notes 1. Giddens’ (1981) concern, when he writes in terms of episodic characterisations and time-space edges, is in fact with societies not with practices. I do not 48

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Rivers, lakes, springs and streams Water is a very unusual substance, and has been perceived as such by many different peoples. It is a liquid, yet in temperate regions during winter, and in polar latitudes or at high altitudes it may freeze, and become the mysterious, shimmering solid of ice. Yet ice itself is ephemeral, and will eventually turn back to liquid again. The surface of water is ever changing, and has almost infinite variations of colour and shade. Sometimes water may be choppy, whipped up by wind or rapids, or full of foam and bubbles. At other times it may be still and translucent, or may reflect the world back at the viewer, and like a mirror, can thus show people how others see them. But this meniscus also contains another world below it, and many cultures regard water as the entrance to other realms of being. The deposition of artefacts and human bodies in rivers, lakes and bogs during later prehistory may reflect these beliefs. Areas such as the Somerset Levels and East Anglian Fens, distinctive today, were also in the past the settings for the deposition of wood, stone and metal artefacts in watery contexts. Water has the power to cleanse, and has thus become a symbol of purification and renewal for many different cultures. Springs, streams, rivers and lakes have often been a focus for veneration and ritual activity. Iron age and Roman shrine complexes were often built around springs, and were the sites of ritual bathing, pilgrimage and depositional activities. Christian baptism, and Hindu beliefs in ritual bathing, in the River Ganges, also illustrate this. In the Ganges too the ashes of the Hindu dead are scattered. For the ancient Egyptians, the seasonal flooding of the Nile was the work of the gods themselves, and priests had to continually make offerings to ensure its life-giving inundations. Water surrounds the body when people immerse themselves in it, and may feel like a silken sheath or outer coating. It buoys us up both physically and emotionally. Moving through it can be a deeply sensual and affecting experience. But water can also kill. It has the power to drown, and to be a mighty, destructive force. Flooding may devastate entire communities, and too much rain causes crops to blight and animals to fall ill. Ice can shatter the hardest wood and stone. Contaminated water carries disease. Lack of water brings drought and death. Rivers and streams also have contradictory qualities. They stay in place within valleys, and may thus provide continuity across human lifespans. However, even during the scale of these lifespans they are subject to transformations, and their courses and banks may alter. They are dynamic, and ever-changing, at the same time as being persistent and stable. They may act as physical, political or symbolic barriers, but may also facilitate movement and access through the landscape. Many springs and streams are seasonal, and thus appear to be born, to live and to die all in one year, only (and hopefully) to be reborn again. Again, ceremonies and propitiations may be required to ensure this happens. The ‘gypsey’ streams in the Yorkshire Wolds are an example of these seasonal flows, and iron age communities in particular may have seen these cyclical events as highly symbolic. Water is vital for people, plants and animals. Water is landscape’s lifeblood. Adrian M. Chadwick



A ‘movement of becoming’: realms of existence in the early neolithic of southern Britain Joshua Pollard and faunal material were placed within the ditches. Finds of processed animal bone, worked flints and pot sherds within a charcoal-rich soil characterised deposits in the inner ditch, and a number of partially butchered animal carcasses and items of worked chalk came from the middle ditch. From the outer ditch fronting onto the woodland edge, complete animal and human infant skeletons, along with frequent finds of disarticulated human bone. It is almost as though the deposits and activities within the inner space of the monument signified domesticity and socialised realms, the middle a transformative space, and the outer the world of nature, the dead, and the unsocialised. The very form of the Windmill Hill enclosure could thus be read as a restatement of distinctions between the realms of culture (situated physically and metaphorically within the centre of this world) and nature (at the edge). Other distinctions could be between the tame and the wild, the living and the dead, the socialised and unsocialised.

Nature, culture and being neolithic Sitting slightly askew on a low hill at the head of the upper Kennet valley in north Wiltshire, the Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure was constructed during the earlier part of the neolithic of the region, around the middle of the fourth millennium BC. Comprising three circuits of interrupted ditches and enclosing an area of 8.5 hectares, the monument was set, like so many of its kind, within a woodland clearing. Large quantities of animal bone, pottery, worked flint and other materials bear testimony to repeated use and visitation, of collective effort and an expression of communal ideals and values (Whittle, Pollard and Grigson 1999). Repeating a picture common across much of lowland Britain at this point in time, the landscape beyond was one of woodland and localised clearing. Contemporary settlements were not large, nor in any respect permanent, and the traces of those places where people lived are ephemeral by contrast to the solidity of contemporary monuments. This was, to repeat an oftcited characterisation, a landscape of woodland, paths and places, some fixed, others transitory.

Whilst attractive, such a reading of the enclosure, and of relations between people and the wider world, is problematic. On the one hand it presents a very static and prescribed view that fails to account for the way in which patterning in the record might have been produced through the improvisation of repeated action (Whittle, Pollard and Grigson 1999: 387). It also brings into play two inter-linked dimensions of the Western philosophical tradition – the idea of nature and culture as distinct domains, often diametrically opposed, and the ‘framing’ of these realms through modes of spatial (and visual)

Through the particularities of its plan and the detail of intentional deposits within each of the circuits, one interpretation has envisaged the Windmill Hill enclosure as having had something of a map-like character (Whittle and Pollard 1998). Considerable quantities of artefactual


categories of body and mind, object and subject, society and individual, have acted as potent, but rarely explicitly acknowledged, structuring devices in the way prehistory has been constructed. The nature-culture dualism can be seen to lie within a multitude of diverse theoretical positions, from crude social evolution, to functionalism and structuralism. To paraphrase Thomas, it is, along with the repeated identification between the neolithic and a set range of economic practices, one component of ‘a deeply entrenched tradition of interpretation, which often limits what can be said or thought’ (Thomas 1993: 358). The power of such concepts lies in the fact they are regularly taken for granted.

representation (q.v. Cosgrove 1984; Cosgrove and Daniels 1988; Gregory 1994). The development of these perspectives owes much to the ideologies of Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, which sought to redefine the place of humanity in relation to the physical landscape and its constituent elements (Thomas 1983). The problem lies in the realisation that such cognitive models are far from universal, and may in fact hinder rather than aid the way in which we write about the past. Inevitably something of a ‘work in progress’ as much as a polished account, here a critique is offered of the application of the nature-culture dualism in the construction of the neolithic. Instead, alternative interpretations are offered that stress the complex, and contextual, nature of relationships between prehistoric people and the world that they lived in.

The neolithic has meant many things to many people since the label was coined in 1865. This change in the definition of what constitutes the ‘neolithic’ has been outlined by Pluciennik (1998) and Thomas (1993). Thus, whilst the label has stayed the same, what this word came to define has radically altered its meaning. Initially the neolithic came to mark an evolutionary stage in prehistory. By the inter-war years it had become associated with a collection of cultural groups, defined by certain material traits such as pottery usage, polished stone implements and the keeping of domesticated livestock and cultivation of cereals. With both the collapse of the culture model and the legacy of the new functionalism in the post-war years, it became defined as an economic system: the neolithic was synonymous with the beginnings of farming. Within the symbolic and structural archaeology of the 1980s and early 1990s, the shift was towards constructing the neolithic in terms of ideational realms; more a novel way of thinking about the world, than a particular technology or stage of social development. The current conceptualisation of it as a ‘fragmented tradition’ – that is of local re-workings of particular bodies of knowledge and practice – could still be criticised for maintaining a sense of ‘the neolithic’ as a particular entity (because of the implicit identification with a certain range of material or ideological traits). In theory though, no primacy is given to any particular economic, material or cognitive aspect as the sole defining medium.

Nature-culture distinctions within neolithic studies The concept of a categorical distinction between nature and culture, the unsocialised world and the socialised, is deeply embedded within western thought. Best exemplified by the work of René Descartes, it has its origins in Judaeo-Christian traditions of philosophy, which saw a critical distinction between the human mind as a capable force for purposive self-defined action and an externalised world governed by laws of natural mechanics and causality. The power of the nature-culture dualism lies in the fact that it has, until relatively recently, been more or less taken for granted, accepted as a universal component of human thought, gaining an almost law-like validity. Given its tenacity, it is of little surprise that such dualistic categorisation has had a profound impact on the way in which Western academia has constructed its study of human behaviour and history. There has been a tendency to inscribe within the course of human history the notion of progressive control and domination of the natural world, and with it an increasing separation between the domains of nature and culture. This has been frequently linked to that other potent construct of the Western philosophical tradition – social evolution (q.v. Sherratt 1995).

Nonetheless, despite its different guises, throughout its history as an archaeological construct, what the neolithic was considered to represent has been repeatedly constructed within the framework of the nature-culture antithesis. Within a social evolutionary perspective, the transition to a neolithic way of life was identified with the appearance of novel attitudes to nature, ones of dominance and control, the ‘necessary basis’ for the eventual emergence of ‘civilisation’. Successful social relations and technological advancement were commonly viewed as coming with the control of nature that the neolithic was seen to represent. This is the theme developed in two of Gordon Childe’s most popular syntheses of early human history, Man Makes Himself (1936) and What Happened in History (1942). Both set out to delineate the ‘stream of human progress’, within which the progressive control exercised by prehistoric

The point of ‘origin’ of these increasingly asymmetric relations is repeatedly identified with the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, or to put it another way the domestication of the landscape and its resources, which itself has been equated with the inception of the neolithic. Considered to mark the foundation of a dynamic history, distinct from an earlier static and alien world of hunter-gatherers, the neolithic has thus been defined as a revolutionary step, because it is perceived as the origin of our history (Pluciennik 1998: 64; Zvelebil 1996). The nature-culture dichotomy is firmly embedded within the way we have thought and written about the neolithic. It is perhaps because of the centrality of Cartesian thought within the Western academic tradition that the nature-culture distinction, and concomitant dichotomous 56

and social theory. The influence of structuralism, though not necessarily in its classic mould, has been very strong, just as within anthropology, symbolic and structuralist archaeology “…has…[explicitly]…used the natureculture opposition as an analytical device in order to make sense of…aspects of social life” (Descola and Pálsson 1996: 2). The most explicit statements are to be found in two seminal works published in the early 1990s on the European and British neolithic respectively – Ian Hodder’s Domestication of Europe (1990), and Julian Thomas’ Rethinking the Neolithic (1991a). Thomas’s work is notable for promoting an interpretative shift away from previous characterisations of the neolithic as simply an economic system (the transition to farming), and instead situating it within ideological realms. Thus, it becomes more a distinct way of thinking about the world, a ‘conceptual and classificatory system’ based around a series of binary oppositions between the tame and the wild, culture and nature, and inside and outside. What separates the neolithic from that which came before is the symbolic potential to ‘express a fundamental division of the universe into the wild and the tame’ (Thomas 1991a: 13).

communities over nature was intertwined with the consequent emergence of greater social complexity. ‘Neolithic barbarism’ marked a new and ‘aggressive attitude to the environment’ (Childe 1942: 37) in which, to use Childe’s words, neolithic communities became ‘active partners with nature instead of parasites’ (ibid.: 36). Conceptualised as part and parcel of an economic and scientific revolution which saw the development of new material technologies (such as ceramics and secondary products), domestication was closely linked to the emergence of village and proto-urban life – that is to sedentism. So the neolithic became a stage in which human communities escaped the rhythms of nature and began to manipulate them to cultural ends through technologies of domestication and storage. Childe’s outline of the history of human development, and of the concept of a ‘neolithic revolution’, was to have a strong impact. Grahame Clark uncritically accepted the Childean three-fold scheme of social development in his 1952 Prehistoric Europe: the Economic Basis. This went from savagery (equated with the hunter-gatherers of the palaeolithic and mesolithic), to barbarism (the subsistence farmers of the neolithic and early bronze age), and the eventual emergence of urban civilisation (Clark 1952: 15). In the same work we also find the now familiar account of progressive ecological dominance by human societies. Clark states that “…the very domain of farming had to be carved out of primeval forest; at every point economic progress involved ecological change” (ibid.: 92, my emphasis). There is however, a distinct dialectical ring to this with the notion of social formations coming about through an interplay of social aspiration and environing nature, a position that also shows its debt to the Structural-Functionalism of British anthropologists such as Evans-Pritchard. Here, relationships to the environment are conceived in a systems framework, though with a reciprocal relationship between society and environing nature that avoided the trap of either ecological or cultural determinism (ibid.: 9).

Hodder’s (1990) account of the origins and spread of the European neolithic is one of the unfolding of long-term symbolic structures. In this, economic domestication (of animals and plant foods) is perceived as being preceded and structured by social and symbolic domestication – the ‘domestication of society’. The process is seen as the interplay between two structuring domains – the domus, equated with the house, domestic practices and domestication itself, and the agrios, the domain of the wild, outside, death and marginal social practices. It is these symbolic concepts that provide a metaphor and mechanism for social and economic transformation; at any time the domus or agrios providing the central metaphor for social life. It is easy to see Hodder’s domus and agrios as shorthand for culture and nature (and perhaps society and individual), and the scheme therefore becomes the most explicit statement of the application of the nature-culture dualism as a major structuring principle in the constitution of neolithic social life.

Although within British Processual archaeology the theoretical basis for modelling ecological relations developed out of the immediate post-war functionalism of prehistorians such as Clark, a much more mechanistic conceptualisation of the relationship between human communities and the environment was posited, in which the environment became a determinant of cultural behaviour. Studies continued to equate the neolithic with an economic system based upon mixed farming, such as the application of site-catchment analysis by Barker and Webley (1978) to the investigation of the siting of causewayed enclosures. These models very much reflect the idea that the form of the social landscapes is moulded by the ecological resources it offers. Nature, whether in the guise of environment or natural resource, is here externalised, and culture becomes the means by which human communities mediate the constraints and possibilities it offers.

Hodder’s scheme could be criticised for having a rigidity and dynamic that seems to ride roughshod over the historical particularity of the European neolithic in its various manifestations, as well as failing to provide a place for the agency of those communities involved. More generally, common to all of the disparate positions outlined is an implicit belief that the advent of the neolithic marked a different relationship between human communities and an externalised nature to that which went before. The culture-nature dualism thus operates as a heuristic tool, to separate periods of prehistory through meta-narratives of difference; with the distinction between foragers and farmers, or horticulturalists, being considered the most categorical (q.v. Pluciennik 1998). The Enlightenment philosophical tradition has been written into the neolithic; our notion of nature and culture as categorically opposed realms being presented as a

Our current understanding of the neolithic owes much to borrowings from symbolic and structural anthropology 57

neolithic communities would have recognised themselves as distinct from the environment they were in the process of shaping? Farmers and horticulturalists are frequently characterised in the ethnographic literature as operating in opposition to nature (Serpell 1986: 218), forming a relationship to the physical environment that is dependent upon subjugation and domination. But such perspectives contrive to form the critical problem with our conceptualisation of the mesolithic-neolithic transition, in that hunter-gatherers/foragers and farmers/ horticulturalists are frequently seen as very different kinds of people operating in mutually exclusive relationships to the environment (Ingold 1996b; Thomas 1991b). This need not be so, since both hunting and gathering and agriculture involve ‘forms of skilled, attentive ‘coping’ in the world, intentionally carried out by persons in an environment replete with other agentive powers of one kind and another’ (Ingold 1996b: 149). Although different modes of food procurement, they both employ an intimate engagement between people and active agents within the environment, an engagement that is formed around bodies of accumulated knowledge acquired through attention to the world.

central tenet within neolithic ideologies, and opposed to ‘nature-centred’ cosmologies ascribed to pre-neolithic hunter-gatherer groups. The unfortunate effect of this has been to create different traditions of thinking and writing about the mesolithic and neolithic respectively. As a number of writers have commented, the realm of huntergatherer research has long been dominated by an economic and ecological stance and a consequent decentring of the humanity of mesolithic communities, placing them with ‘nature’. Much of the interpretative direction within neolithic studies has come from the philosophies of human science where people are regarded as purposive social agents working within their own conditions of existence (Bradley 1984: 11; Pluciennik 1998; Thomas 1988a, 1991a; Zvelebil 1998). As part of the process of identifying ourselves with early farming communities and constructing palaeolithic and mesolithic peoples as ‘Other’, we ascribe to foragers an ambivalent status, ‘transitional between the conditions of nature and humanity’ (Ingold 1996a: 27). This is deeply rooted within the Western tradition, going back to early European encounter, from the sixteenth century onwards, with hunter-gatherer societies in the New World. ‘Ranked at the bottom of the scale of civility’ (Piggott 1989: 8586), these communities were perceived as somehow lost in a primordial state.

Furthermore, the true status of agriculture during the period has come under question (e.g. Entwistle and Grant 1989; Moffett, Robinson and Straker 1989; Thomas 1991a: 19-28), and this alone might seem sufficient to force us to re-think the relations between people and the wider environment. Whilst it is possible that neolithic communities might have defined an ontological realm that was equivalent to our category of ‘nature’ there is little reason to think that this was always opposed, in a dualistic fashion, with cultural life. Drawing upon a range of ethnographic studies, we could envisage situations in which relations between ‘social’ and ‘non-social’ domains were either ambivalent (Morris 1995), relational and contextual (Descola 1994), or not considered meaningfully separate at all (Strathern 1980).

Taking apart the dichotomy We are now within a position of intellectual change, and many of the building blocks of Cartesian thought are being undermined. Sustained critique of the epistemological base of Western philosophy has come from anthropology, philosophy, sociology and the more theoretically informed sections of archaeology. The universality of the categorical opposition between culture and nature and a whole series of binary oppositions that spring from it, such as the mind-body, subject-object, individual-society dualisms, have been subject to critical appraisal or deconstruction (e.g. Descola and Pálsson 1996; MacCormack and Strathern 1980; Strathern 1988; Thomas 1996). This forces a re-thinking of many categories of classification and thought we held to be true, and as Descola and Pálsson state, “…going beyond dualism opens up an entirely different intellectual landscape, one in which states and substances are replaced by processes and relations” (1996: 12).

Archaeology is an interpretative exercise that offers the potential for many different kinds of account worked through the materiality of the evidence. As such there is immense value in exploring non-dualistic modes of interpretation for the potential they might offer to rework our understandings of past lives (and the validity of modern categories). It is therefore timely to critically reassess the relationship neolithic communities might have held with the physical world in which they dwelt; trying to break free from the logic which perceives human action as little more than the outcome of underlying structural rules constructed around mutually opposed symbolic categories.

Should we then regard the ontological separation of natural and cultural realms within neolithic studies as another product of the imposition of Western categories of thought upon prehistory? After all, depositional studies of animal remains from a range of monumental contexts in southern Britain might suggest a symbolic distinction between domesticated and wild animals was regularly being played out (Pollard 1995; Richards and Thomas 1984; Thomas 1991a Chapter 4). The construction of monuments and the keeping of domestic livestock and cultivation of plant foods could also be seen as symptomatic of new, asymmetrical relationships between people and the natural world. Surely, the argument goes,

We can begin this process through a reassessment of those symbolic categories: does the evidence of material associations and contexts of action really suggest that neolithic communities perceived their worlds as structured around a dualistic distinction between cultural and natural realms? It is argued below that this may be too simplistic, if not wholly inappropriate. Critical to this is also the notion of meaning deriving not from abstracted 58

enclosure can, therefore, be immediately challenged. Constructed within the world rather than out of it, the monument and its deposits should instead be seen as the outcome of complex dealings between varied agents (humans, animals, the physical environment, spirits and so forth), and less an imposition of ‘cultural order’ onto a world of natural forms. People and other ‘agents’: neolithic landscapes It is only possible to touch upon some of the richness of understanding and the intricacy of relationships that neolithic communities might have held with their environment. The aim is to present a series of case studies, working through the detail of evidence from a variety of fourth millennium BC (that is earlier neolithic) sites and regions in southern England. The account draws upon palaeo-environmental, faunal and artefactual data from a variety of contexts – occupation sites, monuments and landscape settings – to address how routine occupancy of the landscape engendered contextually specific perceptions of the natural world and how these in turn conditioned dealings with it. Stressing that neolithic communities need not have seen themselves as outside or elevated from the world they inhabited, it is argued that the environment was perceived as composed of complex webs of different temporalities and states of being. Distinctions between animals, objects, places and people, the material and the supernatural, were highly contextual and could sometimes be deliberately blurred. Within this complex network of relationships were active concerns surrounding the reproduction of life – a process of ‘attending to’ the world.

schemes but from engagement with the world and perceptive knowledge – that is of specific understandings and cultural categories resulting from ‘Being-in-theworld’. Related to this is the need to break down the distinction between people on the one hand as fully sentient, calculating agents, and on the other a passive world that is simply shaped and moulded by human will. It seems that as archaeologists we are comfortable with modelling and describing social relations between people, but less successful when it comes to exploring the intimate relationships that existed between people and other elements of the world. If we recognise that the nonhuman world carries with it its own kinds of agency that must be dealt with and attended to by human communities, then the distinction between an animate humanity and a supposedly inanimate world of natural forms starts to dissolve. This is neatly illustrated by Ingold’s essay on building and dwelling, where he takes apart the distinction between the intentionality of humanly created ‘architecture’ and the ‘given’ nature of biological organisms (Ingold 1995). He uses the house and the tree as examples, pointing out that rather than one (the house) being an intentional imposition of the human mind on the world, and the other (the tree) a ‘fact of nature’, both are in fact shaped through their dwelling (by people and animals). They are thus products of the myriad actions of their inhabitants who are responsible in creating the conditions and forms under which they develop. Likewise, those inhabitants are themselves coexisting with and being shaped by the environmental forms in which they dwell.

Human-animal relationships It is a commonplace assumption that domestication brings with it new relationships between people and animals. A frequent characterisation is of modes of mutuality and reciprocity existing between hunters and their prey, where the giving of animals is frequently mediated through supernatural animal spirit guardians (Ingold 1986 Chapter 10). Animals are seen as mental and spiritual equals (Serpell 1986: 176). In the case of farmers and pastoralists, the relationship then shifts to a scenario that envisages an unequal ‘appropriation of nature’, with human dominance and control over the ‘animal estate’. Since it is with the inception of the neolithic that domestic livestock first appear, the point of transition in those relationships is seen to lie within the period, and has thus contributed to the persistence of ascribing the origins of the culture-nature duality to this point in history.

There is thus a mutuality and reciprocity to dwelling within the landscape which involves interaction between many and varied agents, whether between people and animals, or nominally ‘inanimate’ things such as trees, rock formations and rivers, each attending to the resonances and rhythms of the other’s existence (Ingold 1993). The rather rigid structural scheme offered at the beginning of this paper in relation to the Windmill Hill

Further reinstatement of the dualism is given through the way that archaeology has sub-divided its modes of investigation. The study of animal remains is often within the domain of environmental reconstruction and subsistence practice (Albarella 1999), as though human dealings with the animal world can be reduced to that of the exploitation of an ‘inanimate resource’. Yet it is frequently recognised that certain animal species held a 59

cattle, pig and sheep/goat regularly make up 90 percent or more of the bone record. Various interpretations for this pattern can be offered, ranging from face-value explanations that posit that wild species were simply not ‘exploited’, to interpretations of representation and depositional practice where the bones of wild animals were deliberately excluded from certain contexts. The issue is not easy to resolve.

special position within neolithic social practices. Cattle in particular are seen as holding a high status during the earlier neolithic, in part because of their value as ‘wealth on the hoof’, but perhaps also because individual animals and herds embodied networks of relationships, values and obligations (e.g. Crandall 1998). Necessarily, dealings with the animal world, and their dealings with us, are highly complex, providing a rich field for social and symbolic discourse (e.g. Douglas 1966; Ingold 1988; Serpell 1986; Tambiah 1969).

The ubiquity of lithic projectile points from sites of the period could indicate that hunting played a significant role in the earlier neolithic economy, though arrowheads may be as much a reflection of human conflict as anything else (Wysocki and Whittle 2000: 600). However the domesticated-wild split is interpreted, the evidence implies an ontological distinction between those animal species under human control, and those outside of it. So, is this clear evidence of a domestic-wild conceptual split, with domesticated and non-domesticated animals being opposed within separate ontological realms? The conclusion is tempting, but I would argue must be resisted since such a scheme fails to account for the subtleties of the evidence. Bones of wild cattle and pig do occur with those of domesticated equivalents, though generally not in large numbers, as do occasional remains of red and roe deer. At Windmill Hill and other sites, bones of wild cattle and pig, along with deer antler, occur in association with bones of domesticates, and there is little sense of any domestic-wild dichotomy being played out (Grigson 1999). These nominally wild animals were hunted, though perhaps not on any large scale. They perhaps formed a somewhat ambiguous category, like domesticated cattle and pigs being ungulates with similar patterns of behaviour and occupying comparable environmental niches, but not directly controlled by human groups, or subject to formalised ownership. Their relative distance from human social practices perhaps explains the apparent under-exploitation of wild ungulates. Embodying social relationships through biographies of ownership and exchange, it is easy to envisage how domesticated animals might have become preferentially valued over their wild cousins. Their status was not conditioned by the rigidity of predetermined symbolic schemes, but came about through the practices of life.

If anything, the detail of the ethnographic record should warn us that to envisage a simple shift from modes of equality to modes of domination in human-animal relationships between the mesolithic and neolithic may be grossly simplistic. Both domesticated and wild animals can hold an ambivalent status amongst agricultural peoples (e.g. Morris 1995; Sharples 2000). In rural Malawi, for example, wild species that inhabit woodland are seen both as hostile and antagonistic to human endeavours, but at the same time part of a domain that operates as the external source of life-giving powers (Morris 1995). How people engaged with animals is likely to have been highly context specific, with different settings, events and kinds of encounter informing humananimal interactions. For example, in the context of neolithic Orkney, Andrew Jones (1998) has drawn attention to the manner in which animal species were conceptually framed by the kinds of places they inhabited. The way that animals dwelt, their needs and actions (their agency) would have served to structure that way in which people dwelt with them and understood them. This is an understanding that developed through ‘perceptual knowledge’ (Rival 1993), deriving from encounter, rather than rigid conceptual schemes, and holds true of all species in the animal estate, whether domesticated or wild. To turn to the detail, one of the puzzling features of many earlier neolithic faunal assemblages from southern Britain is the almost total absence of bones of ‘wild’ (that is nondomesticated) species. Domesticated animals such as

What remains peculiar is the recurrent absence in the majority of fourth millennium BC faunal assemblages from central southern England of other non-domesticated 60

may have had a greater involvement in hunting and the herding of large ungulates than adult women, who might have taken greater responsibility for the keeping of smaller domesticated mammals such as pigs (although pigs are often no less difficult to handle at times). Furthermore, being away from areas of occupation for prolonged periods of time would have resulted in adult males coming into contact with a greater range of woodland species than many of their kin. This in itself may have served to redefine the identity of those individuals, since repeated encounters with notionally powerful and dangerous species could have been seen to invest people with greater access to supernatural forces. The picture is however, localised (Wysocki and Whittle 2000), and it would be premature to suggest generalised relationships between particular groups of individuals and dealings with certain animal species.

species known to be present in the neolithic landscape – cat, fox, wolf, horse, bear and so forth. Many of these are fur-bearing animals, but as a resource may rarely have been exploited. The same also holds true of birds (Grigson 1999: 235). When these species do turn up it is within very particular contexts. They are generally absent from pit depositions associated with routine occupation events, a rare exception being the occurrence of beaver bone amongst the unusual assemblage in the ‘Coneybury Anomaly’, on the edge of Salisbury Plain (Richards 1990).1 By contrast, a wider range of species is found amongst bone deposits from the ditches and mounds of contemporary long barrows and from enclosures. In these contexts, bones of cat, fox, polecat and so forth occur in small but significant numbers. Remains of horse are exceptionally rare – and the true status of this animal during the neolithic remains extremely ambiguous (Armour-Chelu 1999). Their bones have only been found in earthen long barrows and chambered tombs, in close proximity to deposits of human bone (Grigson 1966; Thomas 1988b). The most economical explanation for the absolute rarity of certain species is that taboos existed on their hunting and encounter. These proscriptions and ‘rules of engagement’ might operate within a very complex and fluid classification in which distinctions were being drawn between different species according to understandings of their habitat, practices and relationships to other beings, people included. That such animal classifications can be contextually variable is illustrated by the way that hunter-gatherers will occasionally adopt stray, young or injured animals as pets, thus converting what in one encounter would be prey into what in another context becomes a companion (Serpell 1986: 60-72). Depending upon the species and the context of its encounter, people could have many different relationships to animals during their lifetime, as herders, custodians, hunters, consumers, even companions and affines.

If we are critical about the record for the British neolithic there is certainly little sense of an rigid, antithetical distinction between those animals that were subject to human husbandry and those that dwelt ‘in the wild’. One explanation is of either a hierarchy or relational classification of animals based on proximity or distance to different kinds of people, spatially and/or ontologically. Within this the ordering of the animal estate was achieved through perceptual knowledge of species, understandings of the place of their dwelling, characteristics of their behaviour and perceived analogy or dissimilarity to people. The habits of animals could well have contributed to their understanding and classification.

There are many dimensions to this process. If we see the classification of animals being generated across networks of relationships pivoting around different kinds of encounter, then we must also recognise that neolithic people themselves did not form a single, bounded category. Identities were not fixed but continually renegotiated through dealings with other people, objects and varied agencies (Strathern 1988; Thomas 1996). Gender and age states for example might affect, and have been affected by, how individuals could approach or have dealings with certain animals, either in terms of roles and responsibilities (such as herding, husbandry or hunting), or in terms of taboos on encounter or consumption. Indirect evidence suggests relations with animals were perhaps quite closely tied to age and gender status. Bone development and musculoskeletal stress markers on the human population from the Parc le Breos chambered cairn, Gower, suggest males were both more mobile and physically active during their lifetimes than females (Whittle and Wysocki 1998: 163-5). Here, adult males

It is perhaps not coincidental that many of those species rarely encountered in faunal assemblages (for example wolf, fox, cat, bear and bird) are either carnivores or omnivores. Here a link may exist with contemporary mortuary practices, in particular processes of exposure and secondary burial (Thomas 1999: 136-137), and by implication conceptualisations of states and kinds of being. Living within proximity to areas of human habitation, these animals would occasionally have encountered human corpses set out for exposure as part of extended mortuary treatment. The transformation of bodies from fleshed state to dry bones sometimes took place in the protected environments of tombs (Whittle 1991: 94-97). However, there are plentiful instances 61

animal bones (Pryor 1998: 30-31), while at Staines all finds of disarticulated human bone occurred in association with animal bone (Robertson-Mackay 1987: 59).

where weathering and animal gnawing on human bones indicate exposure in less protected settings, as observed with human remains from Parc le Breos (Whittle and Wysocki 1998: 155-158). The pre-enclosure burial at Windmill Hill, set on the edge of woodland, provides another example (Whittle 1990a).

Human bone, animal bone, and the fragments of objects were regularly mixed together within these deposits, creating new material configurations and points of contact between seemingly disparate substances. This is neatly illustrated by the detail of placed assemblages of material in the south quarry ditch of the Hazleton North chambered cairn, Gloucestershire (Saville 1990: 24, 212). Within the lower fills a scatter of cattle, pig and human bones was sandwiched between groups of antler picks – a deposit that linked people (or at least their transformed remains), domesticated animals and species with a more ambiguous relationship to human communities. Close by, burnt cattle and sheep bone and sherds from a single pottery vessel were mixed in a spread of charcoal and ashy soil. The pot was unusual in that it had been tempered with a mixture of bone and limestone. Here, clay, stone and animal bone were all broken down, reformed into a new substance, and shaped and transformed by the action of fire.

The possibility of animals and birds consuming human flesh would most likely have ascribed them a status as ‘impure’, dangerous or powerful beings. By extension, we might even go so far as to suggest certain forest animals were being identified with, or as, spirits, carrying a close association with the human dead and certain kinds of ancestor. To allow corpses to be consumed in this manner could be seen in the context of vital exchanges of matter, a necessary process for maintaining the flow of human, animal and spirit life. Though somewhat later, such connections between woodland carnivores/ omnivores and the human dead were perhaps being played out in the placed deposits of fox, wolf and human bone in earlier third millennium BC contexts at Stonehenge (Pollard and Ruggles 2001: 77). It is argued elsewhere that ideas of transformation, renewal, the flow of life giving essences, mutability between different states and substances, lie behind the complex treatment often afforded to animal remains through deposition (Whittle, Pollard and Grigson 1999: 384-386). In terms of format and process, the deposits of animal bone encountered in earlier neolithic pits, enclosure ditches and long barrows often mimic the treatment offered to human remains, suggesting the ascription to both people and animals of similar ideas of life-cycles and symbolic transformation. On occasion, any sense of distinction between humanity and animality appears to have entirely dissolved. There are the oftquoted instances of cattle bones occurring alongside or in similar contexts to human remains within long mounds (Kinnes 1992: 110), as with the cattle skull in the wooden mortuary chamber at Fussell’s Lodge (Ashbee 1966: 8). At the Beckhampton Road long mound near Avebury, cattle skulls even seem to have stood as substitutes for human burials (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979). Returning again to Windmill Hill, more unusual depositional settings include the insertion of a human infant femur into the marrow cavity of an ox humerus, and the ‘nesting’ of the cranium of a young child within a cattle frontlet (Whittle, Pollard and Grigson 1999: 89, 110). Similar deposits are known from other neolithic enclosures. One deposit in the ditch at Etton comprised a human cranium, an antler ‘baton’ and an assortment of

To modern Western sensibilities these seem strange and ‘alien’ practices, and surely bespeak of relationships between people, animals and the material world unfamiliar within our own terms of cultural reference. Whilst in some settings, certain times, places and practices, sharp distinctions were drawn between human, animal and other material realms, there are other contexts where such distinctions appear negated and strong statements of linkage and affinity were made. At the very least, we can question the notion of fixed states of being and rigid schemes of symbolic categorisation, and so to perhaps refute the nature-culture dualism as viable metaphor for relations between people and elements of the world they lived in. In the context of the earlier neolithic it helps little to think of rigid and bounded categories, since those categories negate the connections people could see between things and the possibilities for creating new material realities. Mutability is a recurrent feature. The practices described here show how seemingly disparate things – people, animals and pottery sherds – were brought together and transformed in ways that can only be described as analogous. In so doing they became new kinds of substance, and not just fragments of an original ‘essence’. 62

out of the forest (1952: 92); a world of domestic order and routine being inscribed upon the landscape in contradistinction to the ‘wildscape’ that fringes it. These ideas of difference and boundedness within the landscape are easily transposed onto the prehistoric past, and provide yet another prop in the nature-culture dualism – physical boundaries sustain conceptual boundaries. Another is the notion of a ‘domestic domain’, associated with routine productive tasks, female labour, settlement and nurture (q.v. Hodder 1990), which is seen as separate from the untamed world around it. Again though, these may be wholly inappropriate concepts in the context of earlier neolithic worlds. We must question the universal validity of a separately defined domestic arena associated with settlement practice (Brück 1999). In addition, the absence of a robust and defined settlement architecture during the earlier neolithic of southern Britain (q.v. Darvill and Thomas 1996) implies that the boundaries between ‘lived space’ and ‘space beyond’ were rarely, if ever, given meaningful definition. Landscapes of permanent houses, compounds and fields only came into existence in many regions during the mid-second millennium BC (Barrett 1994 Chapter 6). It is not without interest that attempts to map the extent of clearances, and occupation sites themselves, through the surface distributions of lithics (e.g. Evans, Pollard and Knight 1999 Fig. 2) have proved largely unsuccessful, perhaps because routine activities constantly ‘spilled over’ the woodland edge. Even where human communities created boundaries, there could be substantial blurring between cleared ground, constructed spaces and woodland. The growth of coppice stands within the ditch of the Etton causewayed enclosure (Taylor 1998: 127), provides one case in point. Perhaps ‘accidentally’ rooted, nevertheless little attempt was made to clear them, and instead, as a source of coppice wood, they provided an affordance that was accommodated within the routines of daily activity within and beyond the enclosure.

Treescapes Given that it provided the dominant environmental context within which people lived during the earlier part of the period, it is curious that forest/woodland is given so little consideration in accounts of the British neolithic, often being presented as little more than an ecological backdrop to human action. An exception is Mark Edmonds (1999), who details the many dimensions of woodland as variously a repository from which resources could be drawn (food, fuel and timber for construction), a record of past human actions (through clearance and secondary growth), and as a potent field of metaphoric and symbolic meanings. Trees, as the living yet durable component that made up woodland, also provided a rich source symbolic meaning that was brought into being through knowledge of their growth and life-cycles. A kind of hyper-metaphor (Evans, Pollard and Knight 1999; Rival 1998), the life-cycles of trees were perhaps seen as analogous to generational or inter-generational time. It is significant that during the fourth millennium BC large timbers were almost exclusively employed for the construction of mortuary monuments, such as those at Fussell’s Lodge (Ashbee 1966), Haddenham (Hodder and Shand 1988) and Wayland’s Smithy (Whittle 1991). The completed mortuary chamber at Haddenham, containing the remains of several adults and one child, resembles a tree trunk – a fallen tree containing the dead. These ‘woody connections’ imply that both practical and metaphoric linkages were being made between mature trees, their durability, deep time, and realms of the dead and various kinds of ancestors.

People’s daily routines would have constantly taken them into woodland, in order to collect kindling and firewood, nuts, berries, fungi and other foods and materials. Integral to the rhythm of social life, woodland was far from ‘wildscape’ since, akin to the demands constantly created by people and animals, it also needed ‘attending to’ as a kind of ‘work in motion’ (Harris 1998). Many relationships pivoted around the forest margins. Coppice stands needed to be maintained, and seasonal changes in vegetation required continual perceptual alertness and appropriate response. Experience and knowledge of vegetation growth, the life cycles of trees, lesser plants and woodland animals, and of more general changes in the landscape, would surely have instilled a sense of woodland as a potent animate entity and regenerative source. It is not without reason that many of those traditional societies living in woodland environments today think of it variously as a source of real and symbolic power, danger and beneficial potency (Croll and Parkin 1992; Morris 1995; van Beck and Banga 1992).

Within the context of more recent European peasant landscapes woodland and forest have frequently been envisaged as ‘wildscape’, a place apart from those spaces of daily life, dark, powerful and dangerous (Schama 1995). A dichotomy is therefore set up between cultural places and natural spaces, each bound spatially and by the practices and potentials they respectively hold. We may recall Clark’s comment about the neolithic being carved 63

Brown (1997) has suggested that the scale and extent of purposive clearance have perhaps been over-rated. Whilst stone axes occur in large numbers, they were perhaps only used for felling small timber (i.e. pioneer and secondary woodland), or undertaking other woodworking tasks. Natural clearings, created through mechanisms such as tree-throw (q.v. Evans, Pollard and Knight 1999) and lightning strikes, were probably far more common than has been realised. Brown proposes instead a model of opportunistic exploitation of naturally created clearings, where limited cutting and fire-setting would augment the work started by natural mechanisms. Likewise, clearings would be maintained not just by human endeavour, but through the actions of other agents within the environment, for example through grazing and trampling by animals (Grigson 1999: 230). The importance of such a perspective is that illustrates the symbiotic and integrated relationships between human communities and their environments, and moves beyond models of ecological or cultural relativity which posit clearance as a variously a negative or positive impact upon an environment of pristine equilibrium (Moore 1997). The notion of a passive ‘nature’ being acted upon by ‘cultural forces’ is side-stepped. Instead, we have a situation of affordances, where people attend to the possibilities encountered by them, working with the potentials offered by the environment rather than against it.

It is perhaps more constructive to think of these environments as ‘treescapes’ rather than ‘landscapes’. Landscape may be an inappropriate category in this context, implying a sense of totality, of vista, and varied spatial categories.2 Instead we have woodland as something taken-for-given – something that was lived in and through. Dwelling within a forested environment, broken only by occasional clearings, there would be few opportunities to encounter distant views, perhaps only on hilltops where clearing took place. Consequently, visual perception may not have been quite as important as auditory and olfactory senses, much of the world being encountered through the realms of sound and smell (Gell 1995). It is possible for people to think not only in a visual manner, such as typifies recent Western experience, but in aural or other sensory media (Howes 1991). This opens the possibility of cognitive ‘mapping’ of the environment by early neolithic communities being achieved not just through spatial templates, attained by routine movement through woodland and clearing, but by a broader awareness of different sensory phenomena. Living in forested worlds might also promote certain kinds of sociality. Whilst running the risk of accusations of environmental determinism, Gell (1995) talks of the ‘vibrant, tactile, scented gloom’ of the forest world; an environment that, through the intimacy of hearing against the abstraction of visualism, engenders nostalgia and heightened sympathy, both between community members and people and their surroundings.

Monuments The final case study addresses the role of monuments in the transformation of place. Although they are not always a feature of the earliest neolithic (i.e. very late fifth to earliest fourth millennium BC), long mounds, tombs and enclosures are regularly seen as an integral component of the technology of becoming neolithic. They are regarded as having facilitated the creation of new kinds of social order and novel conceptualisations of time, space and memory (Bradley 1993, 1998). They are also viewed within the context of an active transformation of the landscape, a process of ‘altering the earth’ (Bradley 1993)3. Consequently, monumentality becomes a strategy of acculturation, replacing or modifying the symbolic significance formerly ascribed to ‘natural’ places through the imposition of humanly-made forms upon the landscape.

One other issue requires comment, that is the mechanics of woodland clearance and maintenance. By identifying the neolithic with farming, there has been a tendency to view the period as one that began a process of active alteration and manipulation of the environment. As we have seen, within this is a sub-plot of mastery over nature, of a new relationship fundamentally different to the close, embedded, identification with the landscape commonly ascribed to hunter-gatherers. Pollen and molluscan analyses certainly indicate an increase in the rate of woodland clearance in many regions at the beginning of the neolithic, and in fact, limited forest modification is also well attested in the mesolithic (Mellars 1976; Simmons 1996). This is traditionally ascribed to purposive deforestation for the creation of clearances for grazing and cultivation, undertaken through burning or felling with stone axes.

A different perspective can be offered however, one that attempts to situate the construction of monuments within the biography of the long-term transformation of places by both human and non-human agencies. It is suggested that rather than representing monuments as dramatic cultural interventions into the ‘natural world’, their construction might better be understood as an outcome of processes of on-going transformation of locales, not their sudden conversion. Bradley’s re-consideration of the origins of long mounds during the late LBK and subsequent stages of the north-west European earlier neolithic (Bradley 1996) has already prefigured the argument. Sharing many morphological similarities with earlier LBK longhouses, it has been recognised for some time that long mounds represent a symbolic translation of

Modelling woodlands as naturally dynamic entities, 64

spade working. This was a dynamic woodland environment that offered potentials to mobile or semimobile neolithic communities. Following cultivation this place was not abandoned. People came to light fires and knap flint; pottery and animal bone imply nearby occupation; a fence was constructed across the clearing; and sarsen boulders were gathered together to create, perhaps, a small shrine. At some point in the mid to late fourth millennium BC construction began on a mound using wattle fences, earth and turf. This may have been a prolonged, messy and complicated construction process (McFadyen and Pollard 2002). Unlike other mounds, it did not cover carefully assembled collections of human bone. Instead, under the proximal end of the mound, where burials would normally be found, lay the pile of sarsen stones, three of which had been deliberately modified by removing ‘slices’ from their sides. Here, transformed stones were employed in a context normally reserved for transformed bones, creating complex metaphoric relationships between products of the earth and the residues of human existence (Gillings and Pollard 1999). Quite when this place stopped being a utilised clearing and became a ‘monument’ is unclear – with the accumulation of the sarsens? with the erection of fencelines? with the assembling of the mound? – because, though differing in their character over time, each activity here was always worked out of what had gone before.

houses of a kind that no longer existed by the fourth millennium BC. One mechanism for this metaphoric translation is suggested by Bradley, who draws attention to the manner in which the decay processes of ‘dead’ LBK houses would eventually lead to the creation of a mound. These ‘naturally’ produced mounds (though worked through the transformation of a ‘cultural’ form) then provided the model and constellation of ideas and associations for the subsequent de novo creation of long barrows. The importance of his argument is the emphasis on monuments as process rather than event (q.v. Küchler 1993). It can be extended not just to explain the origins of other monumental forms, but also to the processes by which more ‘routine’ acts of monument construction during the earlier neolithic were situated within a continuous re-working of places. Several authors have remarked on the recurrent siting of long barrows, chambered tombs and enclosures in locales that had witnessed previous activity, whether earlier occupation, cultivation or flint extraction (e.g. Barrett 1988; Edmonds 1999; Saville 1989; Whittle, Rouse and Evans 1993). This pattern occurs with such frequency that it hardly seems coincidental. On the one hand it reflects a very deliberate decision to build these constructions in locations with an existing history. On the other, it could imply that the creation of monuments was inconceivable without a priori processes of landscape inhabitation. In this respect, it would be false to make a distinction between the event of monument building and previous and subsequent events within the same locales. Creating a monument was just one part of a continuous and on-going process of transformation that drew in the actions of people, and the modifications and affordances offered by animals and vegetational change. Monument building in this context is not so much about radically ‘altering the earth,’ as attending to an existing series of actions that have taken place within certain locations.

As Ingold describes with the house and the tree, the distinction between the built and the unbuilt is often less than clear, since processes of building and dwelling are on-going, and it is not just human agents who are at work in shaping the form of artefacts (Ingold 1995). Thus the monument did not achieve any kind of ‘final form’ once it was built. The mound began to slip, vegetation started to colonise its sides, and the flanking ditches began to silt-up almost immediately. By virtue of its continual transformation, the monument must be considered as much an animate form as the scrub and trees that began to colonise it. That we inappropriately separate in our minds natural processes and human constructions might explain why it seems so peculiar that, although this monument and others like it were seemingly ‘abandoned’ to decay and woodland regeneration, they still provide the focus for human activities. These were manifested in the deposition of Peterborough pottery, animal bone and flint (Evans 1990). Indeed, the potency of these sites may well have lain in the very fact that they were intimately tied into the continual cycle of transformation and regeneration, a working together of people and natural agencies.4

The point is best illustrated with reference to one situation. The South Street long barrow is situated in the upper Kennet valley, Wiltshire, two kilometres due south of Windmill Hill. It was subject to extensive investigation in 1966-1967, the excavations demonstrating a long sequence of prehistoric human activity and environmental change (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979: 250-298). The story begins at some point in the mesolithic. A small number of microliths indicate a brief human presence at this time, perhaps a hunting foray or short stay occasioned by the following of prey or the encountering of a clearing in the forest. Given the low impact mesolithic communities appear to have had on this landscape (Whittle 1990b), that clearing was perhaps created through natural processes such as a lightning strike or the windfall of a stand of trees. Whatever the specific cause, animal grazing may have prevented woodland regeneration, and the clearing became ‘a place’ in the landscape.

Notwithstanding the observation that they represent a more permanent transformation of place than activities such as cultivation and occupation, it is therefore possible to side-step the notion of monuments as active alterations of what is often considered a static or given environment. There is no doubting that the long mound constituted a deliberate constructional act effected by people, but that event was just one element of a continual reworking of a locale by various agencies, human and otherwise. It is important to recognise the way that particular places were

Early in the fourth millennium BC people again utilised this clearing. It came under cultivation, the pre-barrow soils indicating cross-ploughing and subsequent hoe or 65

as woodland, or other physical aspects of the landscape. This opens up the possibility of producing much more subtle and involved accounts of dwelling, ones that avoid presenting human agency as constantly working upon or against a static ‘nature’.

always in motion, always being worked and transformed. We must explore how monuments could embody that very process of transformation both through their spatial and temporal location within long-term workings of particular locales, and through the subsequent stages of modification brought about by a range of practices and processes. Bringing the pieces back together In the past, the neolithic has been presented as marking the point in human history when people separated themselves from nature. Varied practices such as the keeping of domesticated livestock and the construction of monuments have been used to support the idea of neolithic communities exercising a progressive control over the world in which they lived. This is then seen as promoting and being conditioned by a conceptual dualism between the wild and the tame, nature and culture. What I hope to have demonstrated here, albeit briefly, is that the evidence can be interpreted in quite a different way. Rather than envisaging any kind of fixity in terms of states or kinds of being, we could see people as undivided beings, ‘organism-persons’ (Ingold 1996b: 128), operating as part of wider communities of living things and animate substances, cross-cut by networks of relationships. The categories that made up an understanding of the world came into being through perceptual knowledge, gained through the course of living within and attending to that world, and they were relative and highly contextual.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Alasdair Whittle, John Barrett and Brian Boyd for their critical and constructive comments on an earlier draft of this paper, and Adrian Chadwick and Lesley McFadyen for general inspiration. All misunderstandings, contradictions or errors of detail remain my own.

The fixity we ascribe to states and beings, be it the distinction between people and animals, built and unbuilt constituents of the landscape, lived spaces and ‘wildscape’, is inappropriate in an earlier neolithic context. To end where we began, the setting, layout and activities within a site like Windmill Hill may well reflect the playing-out of relations between socialised and unsocialised realms, but if this is so it was probably a very particular presentation of the way of things. Underlying it all were myriad actions embodying varied and fluid relationships with the world. In other aspects of life those boundaries between people and animals, living beings and inanimate forms, were simply not considered. Within certain contexts humans and animals stood for one another as elements within a continuum of life, as indeed at Windmill Hill. Ancestral bone and animal bone constituted a source of life essences that linked together people and the landscape, fertility and regeneration; and woodland provided a source of much of the vital energy that maintained all forms of life. The world was never static, never finished, but in a ‘total movement of becoming’ (Ingold 1993: 164).

Notes 1. Associated with carinated bowl pottery and an early 4th millennium BC radiocarbon date, this deposit also contains an unusually high percentage of bones from roe deer and red deer (Maltby, in Richards 1990). It might mark an economy ‘in transition’, an amalgam of hunting and animal husbandry that draws upon practices conventionally ascribed to both late mesolithic and neolithic life-styles. 2. Following Bloch (1995), Barrett (1997: 126) contrasts the ‘closed and intimate sympathies’ of the forest with the rare vistas offered by vantage points in upland areas, places which offered the possibility of ‘narrative visions’ creating connections across the landscape. Such vantage points were occasionally chosen as the location for enclosures during the earlier neolithic (e.g. Knap Hill and Rybury on the edge of the Vale of Pewsey). Their special character as places where people, animals and objects came together, and where networks of alliance, kinship and reciprocity were forged and negotiated (Edmonds 1999), was perhaps enhanced by the unusual potential of these locations to allow reflection on distant panoramas and a sense of ‘totality’. The opening up of woodland in the later neolithic

Abandoning the nature-culture dualism involves replacing the idea of fixed states of being with notions of process and mutability, and widening our consideration of agency to include the role played by non-human elements in shaping the world of human experience – be they animals or supposedly ‘inanimate’ constituents such 66

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Trees, plants and fungi Trees and plants fed, sheltered and clothed our ancestors, and continue to do so today. For a variety of purely practical or subsistence reasons therefore, trees and plants have always been important components of human landscapes. However, they are so much more. Forests, woodlands and other plant communities are never simply static, ‘natural’ or elemental features of landscapes. The temporality of tree and plant growth has been an important aspect in human understandings of time. In temperate climates, the changing seasons are marked by patterns of budding, growth, flowering and fruiting, and leaf fall. In tropical areas, where the yearly cycle may be much less obvious, plant growth can provide a ready indication of the passage of time. Some plants appear, mature, wither and decay within periods of months or years. Trees are often regarded as special because many species appear to endure or even transcend time through their extended lives, and as a result they have been ascribed potent meanings by many different cultures around the world. Trees may be regarded as ancestral spirits or totemic beings, and are accorded great respect. Their felling often requires ceremony, offerings and propitiations. The shape of trees aids such understandings, with their trunks being seen as similar to human torsos, their branches to arms, and their roots to legs. Humans share the verticality of most trees, unlike other, quadrupedal animals. Trees reach up to the mysterious sky, and metaphors of growth, maturation and strength become entangled in their branches. Many cultures give thanks to the crops or other edible species that they cultivate or harvest, to ensure the continued bounty and co-operation of the plants. Plants become deeply implicated in human medicinal and magical practices and beliefs. People in many small-scale communities around the world can often name hundreds of different plants and their uses for different ailments and purposes. Even in the industrialised Western world such plant lore was common knowledge in rural areas until the twentieth century. Most psychoactive drugs used ritually or recreationally in many cultures are derived from plants and fungi. Parks and gardens may reflect our attempts to impose dominion or order over the natural world, but are still places where we can relax, contemplate and meditate. Plants feed our imaginations as well as feeding us. The industrialised world has come almost full circle in its attitude towards trees and plants. Trees are now seen as the lungs of the planet, filtering the air, and also locking up excess carbon dioxide that might otherwise contribute to the greenhouse effect. The creation and stabilisation of topsoil is also a vital role of trees and plants, and in many parts of the world where tree cover has been removed soil erosion and exhaustion has quickly followed. Tree planting initiatives and community forests, renewable timber resources and enhanced biodiversity in commercial plantations all reflect the growing awareness of the importance of trees and plants in maintaining ecosystem balances in both local landscapes, and at a global level. Scientists are scouring the plants of the world to find new compounds for drugs, and the increased role of ethnobotanists in this work demonstrates the importance of the plant lore and knowledge of indigenous peoples and small-scale communities. At the same time as urban sprawls continue to expand and the pace of post-modern life becomes ever more hectic, it is ironic but welcome that trees and plants are assuming even greater significance in our lives and in our landscapes. Adrian M. Chadwick



Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Woods? Forest Wilderness in the Middle Ages Helen Evans established in order to illustrate the problems that arise from the creation and dissemination of histories using little other than biased and romanticised historical sources. In general, it has only been writers looking at Arthurian legends or the Robin Hood myths who have addressed such issues in any detail.

[The]...history of the [forest] has always been compounded of both material and spiritual realities, of constant interplay between geography and symbolism, the imaginary, the economic, the social and the ideological. (Le Goff 1988:52).

Historical writers have picked up on some of these themes however. Le Goff’s The Medieval Imagination (1988), Schama’s Landscape and Memory (1996) and Tuan’s Landscapes of Fear (1979) amongst others have all dwelled on the more popularised images of the medieval forest. These texts look at many aspects of medieval society in addition to other periods and issues, not solely at the medieval use and perception of wooded landscapes. The main problem with these forms of historical investigation is that they are heavily reliant on documentary sources that are inherently biased toward the literate groups within medieval society. Without analysis of the issues and agendas that may have informed the ways in which these documents and literary sources were written, we are often left with a picture of the past skewed by the history of kings, the clergy, and the disaffected.

Introduction The emotional reaction of many people to ancient or medieval wooded landscapes in the modern day is a stirring of the primitive, a latent wish to escape the pressures of modern life and get ‘back to nature’. This stems in part from dissatisfaction with the pressures of life in modern towns and cities, but partly from the perceived freedom of the countryside, wooded areas in particular. This modern perception of the forest as ‘Other’ was not one that would have been entirely alien to many groups in medieval society. It is in general agreed that during the medieval period the concept of the forest (rather than its physical actuality) was synonymous with wilderness, exemplifying untamed nature in opposition to the domesticated culture of the town (Le Goff 1988).

Archaeological knowledge of the inhabitants and economies of medieval forests is sparse. Many of our understandings stem from the analysis and interpretation of historical documents, often derived from localised studies carried out by economic historians. In general, the sources used in these studies relate to the role of woodland in the wider economy of royal estates and medieval settlement systems rather than focusing on the woodland itself. These approaches to woodland history are useful though as they provide a historical and economic context from which to understand the ways in which the landscape was utilised. However, the approaches of traditional landscape historians (e.g. Hoskins 1955) are devoid of any sort of human or cultural context. Woodland is often seen as negative land use; a resource to be destroyed, tamed and converted (Fox 1999). Landscapes, wooded or otherwise, were seen as backdrops against which the results of human action (and ultimately the rise of modern civilisation) were measured. Further barriers to understanding these landscapes arise from the divisions between different academic specialisms, both within and between the disciplines of history and archaeology. The wide cleavage between these areas of study means that more often than not historical and archaeological sources pertaining to the same area (geographical or academic) are neither compared nor integrated. This problem in part stems from the wide variety of theoretical approaches to the evidence of past communities, as well as the ways in which interpretations are disseminated.

Popular narratives of the ‘medieval forest’ portray this landscape as existing at the margins of a colourful golden age, liberally spiced with danger and anarchy. These interpretations of the medieval forest are commonly based around an eclectic mixture of sources from throughout the medieval period (circa. 1066-1539). These include Church doctrine, the Royal Forest and Forest law, green man mythology, courtly romances and commoners’ myths such as the Robin Hood stories. The Romantic Movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has also left a legacy. These ideas in their current guise stem from modern media and contemporary academic interpretations, but are essentially lifted from medieval biblical and romantic texts which portray the forest as the haunt of witches, thieves, demons, and dragons, as well as wild animals and wild people. Norman kings hunted deer in the wildwood, knights had bizarre and spiritually meaningful encounters with hermits, and robbers lurked by the side of every trackway. There is a distinct lack of reconciliation between archaeological, historical and literary sources pertaining to the medieval period. By bringing together popular and academic approaches we might begin to understand the multiplicity of understandings of the past (and those present in the past), which are often glossed over in our interpretations of historic landscapes. A critical view of these approaches towards medieval woodland should be


occurred with the onset of the industrial revolution, along with the countryside idyll reflected by the gentrification of parkland and countryside. For the Romantics, the forest was the opposite of the court, town, and village; a sylvan remnant of Arcady, or what Shakespeare called the ‘golden world’ (Schama 1996: 142). Before the Norman Conquest, it was supposed that English woodland was a habitat where: …lord and peasant, thane and churl coexisted in pre-feudal reciprocity; the one exercising his hunting rights with moderation, the other allowed the freedom of the woods to pasture his swine and collect the wood for his wattle and hearth (Schama 1996: 140).

Many landscape features have been identified with reference to historical sources, and they are often visible to the eye when walking through ‘ancient’ woodland in the present day. Detailed earthwork surveys of estate and woodland management features have taken place in many areas (see Aston 1985; Bowden 1999). However, the interpretations generated by this sort of analysis are generally devoid of any social context. Often little is said about how the presence of these physical woodland and estate boundaries would have compounded the social realities of medieval society. The medieval forest was, along with other places or landscape ‘types’, an arena where social relations were played out. People of different social and economic backgrounds engaged with and perceived this landscape on many different levels. Medieval woodland was deemed a place safe to some but dangerous to others, depending on their place within and their perception of an increasingly structured and defined social order.

The post-Conquest forest on the other hand, was believed by Romantics to be home to the noble outlaws and peasants of medieval myth, who were persecuted by the Normans under the harsh regime of the Forest Law. It has been suggested that English medieval woodland was a place of refuge for those suffering social injustices, such as military refugees, ruined freemen, runaways, landless nobility or labour, masterless labour, and those returning from afar, from the crusades in particular. Many of these categories of people are archetypal examples of Hobsbawm’s Bandits (1969); those faced with injustice or persecution, not yielding to force or social superiority, but taking the path of resistance or outlawry against their oppressors. These outlaws are in general those whom the lord and state regard as criminals, but who remain within peasant society and are considered by their people as heroes, and fighters for justice or liberation.

The fences that separated the game from the non-aristocrats, like the moats, castle walls and monastic precincts, gave physical expression to social barriers (Dyer 1989: 61).

The eighteenth and nineteenth century Romantic Movement told of Robin Hood’s Greenwood and included the re-writing of many medieval romances. Many of these stories were already the culmination of many centuries of folk tales, with complex political and religious histories. The theme of woodland libertarians rebelling against tyrannical rulers appears repeatedly in medieval literature. The basic ingredients of the Robin Hood story: a falsely accused nobleman, outlawed, dispossessed and forced into exile then later pardoned, are rooted in stories often composed hundreds of years earlier (Ohlgren 1998).

Documentary sources, court rolls in particular, illustrate that the establishment, maintenance and ownership of woodland boundaries were at the heart of many social and legal disputes. These ideas will be discussed further in due course. Tales of the Greenwood By far the most famous inhabitant of the medieval forest is the outlaw Robin Hood, living along with his ‘merrie men’ in the forest of Sherwood. This popular idyll of the English greenwood was a later medieval construct, reinvented with vigour in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The romance of the forest fuelled the imaginations of poets and writers, and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw a Romantic revival based on medieval texts and allegories such as the Arthurian romances and the Robin Hood myths, culminating in novels such as Ivanhoe (1819). These sentimental attitudes towards woodland may have been drawn partly from the large-scale decimation of woodland that

The pre-Conquest romances were allegorical stories based on religious cosmology with the idea of the forest as wilderness, a place of both trial and paradise. These hold references to forests as ‘deserts’, lonely and treacherous, as well as being places of refuge and meditation. Many of these stories were re-written during the medieval period from earlier texts. For example, Mallory’s Morte d’Aurthur was completed around 1470, based on earlier French and German scripts, and the Black Book of Camarthen, written in the twelfth century, contained elements of pre-Conquest Welsh poems (Drabble and Stringer 1987). 74

1996). These stories were part of expressions of discontent against a corrupt social order, also manifested by a series of violent uprisings, most notably the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 (Keen 1961).

These early romances focused mainly on the adventures of knights riding through the forest, often encountering hermits or mysterious strangers. In Spencer’s Story of the Grail, Percival’s initiation includes numerous trials set in the forest, culminating in his encounter with a hermit who explains the meanings of and reasons for these tests (Le Goff 1988). In general, these stories served strong allegorical purposes. In order to prove oneself, one must face the supernatural forces present both explicitly in the forest wilderness, and implicitly within oneself. Penitence and revelation underlie the profound apocalyptic Christian significance of the forest-wilderness (ibid.).

Hobsbawm’s (1969) investigation of social banditry suggested that it is widespread in agrarian societies where peasants and landless labourers are ruled, oppressed and exploited by lords, towns, and governments. This theme of banditry occurs in three main forms: the noble robber (such as Robin Hood), the primitive resistance fighter, and the terror-bringing avenger (ibid.). Brigands are said to flourish in inaccessible areas such as mountains, fenland and forest, and often prey on major roads and trade routes, particularly where travel is often slow and cumbrous.

From the eleventh century onwards, there appeared a number of politically founded tales based around the conflict between Saxon noblemen and corrupt Norman officials. These included ‘The outlawry of Earl Godwin’ from Vita Ædwardi Regis (‘The Secret life of Edward the Confessor’), probably composed at the time of the Norman conquest, and ‘Gesta Herwardi’ (‘The deeds of Hereward’), composed in the mid-twelfth century (Ohlgren 1998).

Highwaymen and robbers appear repeatedly in modern narratives of the forest myth. There are important differences however between the ‘noble’ outlaw fighting against oppression and disorder, and the common criminals and highway robbers thought to occupy the forest. These people occupied the margins of both the social and geographical world, and it is they who were thought make the medieval forest a real place of danger, rather than just a perceived landscape of wilderness. If these people did occupy forest locations, by definition they would never have been far away from the ‘civilised’ world, as their livelihoods may largely have depended on their robberies. Most main roads of the time skirted woods, and much of the recorded highway robbery in medieval England took place on bridges or in passes, terrain where the victims would have had less chance to escape (Hanawalt 1979).

Many of the English outlaw stories dwell on dispossessed noblemen after the Norman invasion and the ensuing successions. The moral superiority of these men over the monarchy is uppermost in the stories. In fact after 1215 they had legal rights to reclaim feudal titles lost as a result of arbitrary or unjust actions by the King or his unscrupulous representatives under the provisions guaranteed in the Magna Carta (Beneke 1973, cited in Ohlgren 1998: xxiv). Some outbreaks of Hobsbawm’s (1969) ‘social banditry’ are believed to occur as a result of: …the disruption of an entire society, the rise of new classes and social structures, the resistance of entire communities or peoples against the destruction of its way of life and the social breakdown...heralding the fall of one dynasty and the rise of another (Hobsbawm 1969: 18-19). The Norman Conquest and the inception of Forest Law brought about many changes to English forests and their inhabitants, the Greenwood myth had at least some of its roots in reality. There were numerous Saxon uprisings against Norman rule during the period of disruption and chaos after the Conquest of 1066, many of which took place in woodland contexts (Gillingham 1984). By the fourteenth century stories such as ‘Gamlyn’ and ‘Robyn Hode’ had begun to emerge. These tales were set mainly against a background of honest peasants and unscrupulous landlords. The first printed Robin Hood stories appeared in the fifteenth century during the time of the Wars of the Roses. These can be traced back to a manuscript from the fourteenth century, which was again a time of usurpation and chronic rebellion (Schama

The medieval notion that the forest was a prime location for criminal activities was thus justified to some extent. In the thirteenth century, royal ordinances required woodland to be cleared back sixty feet either side of the king’s highways (Rackham 1986). There does not seem to be any actual evidence that wooded landscapes were regarded any differently in terms of crime than other ‘dangerous’ landscapes such as mountains, fens or 75

…a certain territory of woody grounds and fruitful pastures, privileged for wild beasts and fowls of forest, chase and warren to rest and abide in, in the safe protection of the king, for his princely delight and pleasure (Thomas 1983: 201).

moorland. Forests would have had more potential for harbouring criminals in terms of the wooded cover they offered, but also the potential for firewood, timber and game that they provided. We know that some medieval forests did indeed harbour criminals. Selwood Forest was a notorious haunt for bandits until a church was built there in 1712, wooded parts of Cranborne Chase harboured smugglers and deer thieves, and many other heavily wooded areas had similar reputations (Rackham 1990). But does this mean that there were outlaws lurking behind every tree and down every forest track?

‘Forest’ became a legal term defining a tract of land within which the Forest Law operated, and people breaking it were prosecuted before forest courts (Rackham 1990). There were three kinds of offences; those against the king’s venison, against the habitat of the deer, and the ‘assart’, which was the appropriation of part of the forest for private use, usually the clearance of woodland for farming or small scale industry. The location of the Royal Forest was more often determined by its proximity to royal palaces rather than terrain. Royal Forests included farmland, grasslands and meadows, both open, dense and private woodland, in addition to villages and towns. By the thirteenth century, about a third of England was deemed to be Royal Forest, and under Forest Law. Although the king and the aristocracy probably did not spend that much time in the forest, the establishment of Forest Law meant that a strong relationship was formed between the aristocratic classes and their domination of the wilderness. Hunting and the consumption of wild food meant that the supremacy over nature by the aristocracy was symbolically established (e.g. Parker Pearson 1998), even though in practice this relationship would have been a little more tenuous than we are often led to believe.

Although there is little archaeological or documentary evidence for the existence of these mythologised forest outlaws, it appears that some of the stories were rooted in the embellishment of real histories, fused with elements of earlier folk tales. However, many tales may be based exclusively on romantic notions of the restoration of social justice in the face of oppression and disorder. The noble robber was forced by political circumstances to live at the margins of the world. He was an outlawed ‘bringer of justice’, but at the end of most tales his situation was reversed and he was welcomed back into society. For real thieves and brigands the situation was very different. These people remained outcasts at the margins of society, and they were used to compound and emphasise the wildness and danger of the mythical forest landscape. There is evidence suggesting that both types of outlaw did exist, but both were used in many ways to play on the romance and danger of the medieval forest.

Crimes against the venison Infringing the Forest Law in the medieval period did not necessarily make someone an outlaw. In general it made many people poorer, and the king richer. In theory, the penalty for poaching in the royal forest was supposed to be the removal of the eyes and testicles (Schama 1996), however this punishment was normally negotiated into a fine or a prison sentence for those who could not pay (Parker 1907). The size of fines or ransoms was usually relative to the means of accused. This meant that as well as punishing small-scale infringements by commoners; forest courts were instrumental in the generation of large amounts of money for the aristocratic coffers. For the lesser elite, who often could not afford deer parks, illicit hunting became common as a reaction to peer pressure demanding the consumption of high status food. Poaching gangs prosecuted in Essex included many knights and clerics, and the occasional earl or bishop (Rackham 1989). In Inglewood Forest, Cumbria, between 1272 and 1305 sentences for deer theft were recorded against a bishop, a prior, an archdeacon, and several of the clergy (Parker 1907). However these episodes of poaching did not appear to involve any great discredit to those with high social status. For example Adam Turp,

Royal Forest and Forest Law There are various stories surrounding the newly arrived Norman monarchy and their connections with deer hunting, consuming large quantities of wild animals, and being murdered (albeit in alleged accidents) in the Royal Forests of England. Soon after the Conquest, William I decreed that all land ultimately belonged to the Crown, and that he and his successors had the right to keep and hunt deer wherever they wished. This led to the growing popularity of deer parks and chases among the nobility and gave the new dynasty the power to grant nobles large tracts of land and other gifts in return for their loyalty. The Royal Forest was deemed: 76

sinecures in the bureaucracy that surrounded its administration. On the whole, policy in the royal forests in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were designed to draw revenue from the controlled exploitation of forest resources rather than to enforce Forest Law so strictly as to prevent their use (Birrell 1969).

lord of Edenhall, repeatedly broke the Forest Law and was afterwards was given the job of verderer (ibid.). However common deer thieves often didn’t fare so well in Inglewood. There are numerous references to poachers shooting at the foresters, but also to foresters shooting poachers trying to escape. For example a pardon was granted to Richard le Escot, who slew a poacher trying to make his escape (ibid.). Court rolls from Inglewood further illustrate that one William Bucke, who was found in the forest with a bow and arrows: …took a sporting chance of getting away, however he was not quick enough and one forester shot him in the thigh with an arrow as he fled, from which he died. He finds little sympathy; the charge coldly adds that he was a habitual evildoer. And so his knell is tolled (Parker 1907: 14). Organised gangs also hunted to contract. In the New Forest in 1270, a small regiment of about sixty men armed with bows and arrows and accompanied by hounds entered the forest and took about thirty deer (Schama 1996). These large-scale infringements of the Forest Law seem to have been relatively regular occurrences, but the smaller-scale crimes would have been happening almost continually. Court records from Inglewood offer an example:

At Inglewood Forest in Cumbria, timber was both sold and supplied without charge following many major disasters, or for defence purposes (Satchell 1989). During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries three great fires occurred in Carlisle when the manors were overrun by the Scots. In 1295 the Justice of the Forest was ordered to deliver to the king’s engineer as many oaks as was needed to make engines for Carlisle Castle, and again in 1323 in order to construct wooden pele towers at places where the walls needed repair (ibid.). In the Forest of Dean the King used timber for various royal building works, to raise money through cash sales, and frequently as gifts. Between 1275-7, 935 oaks were cut and sold (Birrell 1969). In 1252, 90 oaks and 60 000 shingles were sent from Dean to Gloucester castle. During 1282 the stumps of 7497 oaks, 34 chestnuts, and 4585 beeches were seen in the forest.

Stephen Howard, Adam Geytspald of Cumdivock and John, son of Diote were in the forest with the object of wrongdoing...with bows and arrows and a dog; and they were frequent evildoers, and took a number of deer unknown (Parker 1907: 5). Forest records from Hanbury in Worcestershire mention one Adam Salesbrugg, a notorious poacher. He had ‘entered the kings park with nets and other engines’, and was accused of taking the kings deer on four separate occasions between 1370-74 (Dyer 1991: 49). Salesbrugg was only one of many Hanbury people who flouted Forest Law by cutting down trees for timber and fuel, poaching deer, and putting too many animals, or the wrong sort of animals out to graze within the park. Minor infringements such as these account for a large proportion of the fines given out in forest courts countrywide.

The parish of Hanbury in Worcestershire had a large royal park stretching across its centre. Much of the park’s woodland was intensively managed in order to supply fuel for the salt industry in nearby Droitwich (Dyer 1991). A 1591 map of the royal park shows it divided into compartments containing woodland and coppice with separate lawns for the deer.

All the King’s timber and all the King’s deer...

Deer husbandry was probably the most important economic use of Royal Forests. Medieval kings and their courts consumed astonishing quantities of deer and game, both for feasts and as gifts for other people, in order to secure favour and support. There are numerous references to deer as both carcasses and stock being given to members of the nobility (Rackham 1989). Often gifts of deer were made specifically for the purpose of stocking private parks. For example, in 1223 Henry II gave John de Erleigh eight does and two bucks from Blackmoor

Royal Foresters, who had almost complete control over the woodland, were those who implemented the Forest Law. Their jobs also involved the provision of venison, wood timber and charcoal at the king’s request. The implementation of Forest Law provided a great deal of revenue for the crown, as well as the availability of resources that could be used as gifts to secure the favour of the aristocracy. The creation of Forest Law was also a means by which the king could control and assert his authority over his own nobles, through the creation of


John Rodney who had allegedly added parts of their common pasture to his park. He enclosed eighty hectares from the Royal Forest at Mendip, pulled down tenements, and blocked up the road. He then installed deer, and killed the hounds of his tenants who tried to drive the deer of their crops. Sir John Rodney claimed that the case against him had been brought by ill-disposed persons who had already broken down his park pale and attacked him with a pitchfork, and that his deer did little harm (Proceedings of Star Chamber 34: 73-75, cited in Bond 1994).

Forest to stock his park in Duston (Cox 1908, cited in Bond 1994). Contrary to the popular belief that the king and the aristocracy spent most of their time hunting, it appears that these forays were in general only occasional rituals, and the king’s deer were mainly hunted by professionals who would catch animals to be sent to royal palaces on demand. The enjoyment of the chase was often secondary to the purpose of the deer parks as live larders (Bond 1994). For example, over Christmas 1251 records show that Henry III ordered 420 red deer, 200 fallow deer, 200 roe deer, 200 wild swine, 1300 hares, 395 swans, 115 cranes, as well as thousands of other birds and beasts (Rackham 1989: 53).

Assarting: the retreat of the deer Assarting, or the clearance of woodland for smallholdings or other purposes was punishable in the forest court by way of fines, often followed by an annual rental. This was an important source of revenue for many landowners, including the king. The first important wave of deforestation in England took place in 1204 when King John, in need of revenue after his war with France, lifted Forest Law from extensive parts of Devon and Cornwall in return for considerable fines (Bond 1994). However it was not until the fourteenth century that assarting of the Royal Forest began to overtake the importance of the chase. By the 1330s, the area under Forest Law in England had diminished to almost two-thirds of its extent a century earlier.

In Oxfordshire, the king directly owned Wychwood Forest and many of the manors surrounding it. The palace at Woodstock (now Blenheim) played an important part in the lives of many medieval kings, being not only a good hunting centre but also a convenient resting place in numerous journeys through England (Schumer 1999). Hunting in the royal and manorial woods of Wychwood Forest was the prerogative of the king and those to whom he had granted privilege or responsibility. Powerful lords were granted the manorial rights of large areas of Wychwood forest as royal gifts, but these were still subject to Forest Law. The management and letting of royal woodland also created a great deal of revenue. In Wychwood Forest, the royal coppices were leased. When the wood was harvested, a certain amount of underwood was retained, from which a fence or pale was built to protect the new growth from the kings deer (Schumer 1999). The Crown was also paid a fixed sum from the profits of the sale of the wood, gaining a significant amount of revenue as well as ensuring that the king’s investment was protected from his own deer. However this system was open to abuse, in part due to its convoluted nature which allowed many people differing rights to the same areas of land. In most royal forests, parks and chases, commoners had rights of access for grazing, and could take underwood for fuel. At Hatfield Forest in Essex for example, the king’s forestal rights gave him control over the deer and the timber, the commoners and tenants had rights to the underwood and grazing (Rackham 1989). The tenants owned the soil and the trees, but were still expected to obey the Forest Law or to pay the penalties.

In Cumbria towards the end of the eleventh century, William Rufus retained the free chase as the Royal Forest of Inglewood, whilst to the south of it he gave a number of free chases to the great magnates who had helped him secure the northern borders (Satchell 1989). By the late thirteenth century, a considerable difference had developed between the management of Inglewood and that of the private forests. The Crown’s concern was to maximise profit with a minimum of administrative cost, whilst preserving the game and its habitat. This meant assarting was discouraged but grazing the forest pastures was encouraged, contributing more than half the total income (Parker 1909). By contrast, the privately owned forests were simply regarded as a valuable upland resource, where settlement was encouraged, large blocks of land were granted away for monastic houses, and large vaccaries were established (Satchell 1989). After the fourteenth century, the royal coffers received an increasing amount of income from cultivated land. Enclosure proceeded, and the deer gradually retreated as the forest boundaries were reduced. Large parts of the royal forest as well as private deer parks and chases were leased to tenant farmers, or for small-scale industrial activity.

Records from Hatfield Forest show both the local nobility and commoners took advantage of this tenurial system. The fencing off of some areas of coppice by the local lord directly infringed the local commoners’ pasture rights as well as the habitat of the deer. The disgruntled commoners then allowed cows into the restricted areas, and set up deer traps using the illegal fences. These episodes allegedly ended in a spate of hedge burning, and a violent fracas in a gravel pit (Rackham 1989).

The Desert Fathers and beyond: the Church and the Forest-Wilderness By the fourth century AD, it had become common practice for holy men to retreat into the wilderness of the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria (Aston 2000).

A similar case was recorded in 1516, when the tenants of Rodney Stoke brought a case in Star Chamber against Sir 78

was only achieved in this case by the use of a private hunting reserve for the monastery (Aston 2000).

Wilderness meant solitude, an escape from the social and spiritual temptations inherent to the towns and cities, and where God could be approached more easily.

Poulson (1840: 289-290) described the story of the Cistercian abbey of Meaux in East Yorkshire. William Le Gros, Count of Albemarle and Earl of York founded the abbey in the twelfth century. William had vowed to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but being ‘advanced of years, and of corpulent habit’ he was disinclined to make the journey. A monk called Adam of Fountains Abbey approached the earl, and proposed that if the earl founded a Cistercian monastery, the Pope might free him from his prior obligation. This was not an altogether unusual situation, and many religious houses were founded under similar circumstances. Adam roamed the earl’s grounds, and eventually chose an area newly acquired for a deer park. After much pleading with Adam to settle on a different part of his estate, William finally agreed, and the abbey was established in 1151. Under the patronage of the Earl the abbey expanded, establishing seven granges in the first ten years. However, due more to the extravagance and waste of Adam than the lack of hard work by the monks, financial difficulties had forced the forty monks and eleven novices to disperse by 1160.

The Desert Fathers had an enormous influence on the West. During the seventh and eighth centuries (in a landscape not renowned for its dry expanses of desert), the earliest British and Irish monasteries were founded on islands, remote hilltops and in the fenlands and forests. Saxon kings began patronising the monasteries, granting them huge tracts of land, often situated in more fertile areas close to local power centres (Aston 2000). These altered circumstances led to changing ideals within the monastic orders, reflected by the development of the ‘wilderness’ into fully managed and productive countryside, with integrated feudal agrarian systems. By the eleventh century, there was widespread dissatisfaction with what had become the comfortable and well-off lifestyles of the old monastic orders. The new orders such as the Cistercians and Carthusians believed that a return to the lifestyle of the Desert Fathers was essential and they began establishing monasteries in ‘wild’ locations. They regarded the foundation of woodland chapels and monasteries as transforming overgrown or snake-infested wilderness, such as that allegedly found at the abandoned monastery of Farfa in Sabina (Moreland 1990), into idyllic garden-like temples. This ‘domestication’ of woodland and wilderness into an orderly paradise was especially important in Cistercian thought. The Garden of Eden had been created from a wilderness; the garden became the image of human achievement and ethical behaviour, and subduing the wilderness contained within it the possibility of moral redemption (Short 1991). Monks felt that the wilderness was important for their constitution as a ‘chosen’ people, as ‘other’, set apart from society as a whole (Moreland 1990).

Much has been made of the foundation of Cistercian monasteries. In fact, between 1128 and 1152, a third of the thirty-three monasteries that were founded in England and Wales had to be abandoned as their locations were allegedly too hostile (Donkin 1960-1978, Satchell n.d.). In reality many monasteries were founded on productive land, deer parks in particular were a favoured location, monastic owners holding eight or nine per cent of the regional total in Wessex (Bond 1994). One of the ten or so parks belonging to the bishop of Bath and Wells occupied the most fertile part of the manor at Westburysub-Mendip, forcing the village inhabitants to create terraced cultivation strips high in Mendip (ibid.).

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was kings, the families of the royal court, bishops, royal officials, and the nobility who all founded many abbeys (Aston 2000). This benevolence cannot be conceived as purely altruistic however, as these monastic houses then remained spiritually obligated to their founders. The reasons for this apparent philanthropy were manifold: affluent and influential members of society recognised the political advantages, and it gave them the chance to participate in public activity deemed worthy and rich with social and religious rewards (Rubin 1987). As well as being seen to be charitable and pious, prayers for the soul were of undeniable importance and their pursuit was uppermost in the minds of benefactors, as much as the rich display which they offered for spiritual efficacy. The Carthusians arrived in Britain in the 1170s. As part of the penance for Henry II murdering Thomas Becket in 1170, Witham, the first Carthusian abbey, was established in the Royal Forest of Selwood. The Countess of Salisbury moved the second Carthusian site from the Cotswolds to Hinton Park near Bath in 1227-32. Isolation

As has been described at Meaux, at least some of the abandonment of monasteries in so-called hostile areas was due to financial mismanagement rather than their location. With more successful monastic houses, the socalled ‘marginality’ of these sites was in fact the secret of their economic success. Many sites were on relatively


cults and became places of pilgrimage. Lone monks or hermits seeking refuge from the perils of civilisation often looked after them. Medieval lore had it that almost every forest was home to a hermit or a wild man (Schama 1996). Hermits sought refuge in the forest, after the Christian prototype of John the Baptist, the desert preacher. They were often revered as wise men in popular culture, and many people went to them for help and advice. In some accounts of hermits wearing furs and skins, medieval people may sometimes have conflated them with the popular stories of ‘wild men’, who were believed to be akin to savages (Bernheimer 1970). In contrast to civilised man, the wild man or hermit was perceived as a:

poor quality land, and the benefactors thought they were giving little away. However, the foundation of monasteries and granges in out-of-the way places often meant that there was a great deal of pasture and woodland that could be exploited for grazing, woodland management and industry. The Cistercian abbey at Furness in south Cumbria was the second wealthiest in Britain after Fountains Abbey. The abbey owned thousands of acres in Cumbria with land in the Isle of Man, southern Ireland, York and Lincolnshire (Evans 1991). Its huge economic success was based on large scale sheep farming and wool trading, as well as exploiting the rich iron ore deposits in the area (Hindle 1984). Sheep were grazed in the uplands, and the extensive woodland areas of the south and central Lakes were intensively managed for the production of charcoal and potash. This was used in the bloomeries, and also in the growing wool trade.

…child of nature, upon whose hidden resources he can depend since he has not removed himself from its guidance and tutelage (Bernheimer 1970: 3). Wild men are referred to in many Christian allegorical romances. Whilst Bernheimer’s interpretation is questionable, there can be little doubt that hermits did live in certain forests. Hermit monks and wild men play a persistent part in the art and literature of the Middle Ages. Their place in daily medieval life is indicated by stories, ballads, images on stove tiles, candlesticks, drinking cups, house signs, chimneys, the projecting beams of frame houses, on wooden misericords and stone carvings in ecclesiastical buildings, such as Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire.

The Christianised forest myth was not constructed simply to lend credence to or to affirm later economic success. The primary conception of forest areas as hostile wilderness was a genuine theme of medieval spiritual thought, but political and economic circumstances in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries meant that these ideas were exploited to their full potential. This served the Cistercians particularly well, who by the fifteenth century had become the richest landowners in Britain after the Crown. The examples outlined above serve to illustrate that these political realities must be taken into account when confronted purely by romantic and ecclesiastical literature concerning the establishment of monasteries and granges in ‘marginal’ or ‘wild’ locations.

As the regime of the Forest Law created the archetype of the outlaw existing outside the realm of ‘normal’ society, the doctrine of the Church created the hermit or wild man to provide a humanised metaphor for wilderness. Wild men in particular symbolised the forces of disorder and an inversion of the civilised order, but also compounded the idea of the forest as existing beyond the margin of the ‘civilised’ world. Their ubiquity must be regarded as evidence that they represented a major, if often unacknowledged, form of symbolism in the medieval period. Real people in the woods The medieval perceptions of the forest, as outlined above, helped to mythologise three of the classes of forest inhabitant: wild animals, hermits and outlaws. It is to the actual inhabitants of medieval woodland that we now turn. As well as those brought into focus by common myths and surrounded by the folklore of the later middle ages, the woodland and its surrounds were home to many communities. With the exception of forest law court rolls,

In addition to the monasteries, many chapels and shrines were also situated in untamed landscapes such as caves, woods, springs or islands (Orme 1996). There were chapels in deer parks such as those at Liskeard and Restormel in Cornwall, and in the Forests of Dean and Waltham. Many chapel sites were the home of localised 80

Food was commonly served on bread ‘trenchers’ (Hammond 1993), but wooden trenchers and platters gradually replaced these during the later medieval period. Although metal knives and ‘flesh hooks’ were used when eating, wooden spoons would have been the main utensils. Barrels, boxes, tool handles, carts, ploughs, bows and countless other widely used artefacts were all substantially wooden in construction. In addition to supplying either the wood, or manufacturing many of these objects themselves for external trade, forest dwellers would have made many of their own goods.

the presence of these real people is in general not recorded by written sources, and the lives of these people are effectively invisible. I have briefly discussed some of the rights of commoners to woodland. The medieval forest was also home to a number of small and larger scale industries that would have employed many people from local areas. Many woodland occupations would have entailed a degree of movement, often seasonally, and although there would have been some permanent settlements, people may not have worked in any one place for very long periods of time. The larger industries such as coppicing or charcoal burning for the iron industry may have provided full time occupations, but could still have involved an itinerant lifestyle. Most peasants living in or near woods were involved in some aspect of the woodland trades, either full or part time. Some were wage earners, working for landlords or entrepreneurs, whilst others were independent producers. For some people this woodland work would have been subsidiary to agriculture. Activities such as coppicing and pollarding, and the grazing of cattle, pigs and sheep in woodland would have been embedded in the seasonal rhythms of rural life and agriculture. Planting, harvesting, threshing and shearing were periods when most labour was required in the fields and byres, but in the lulls between this work there would have been time to devote to these woodland activities. For some however it may have been the other way around (Birrell 1969). They would have had to tend crops and animals in between periods when they were fully engaged with their industrial practices.

As already mentioned with regard to the wood from royal forests, timber left the forests in ever increasing amounts in various forms through the medieval period. All of these industries would have employed local peasants. The Forest of Dean had hundreds of woodcutters and charcoal burners, scores of miners and smiths, and a scattering of tanners, glassmakers, corders, potters and other craftsmen (Birrell 1969). Surname evidence from forest rentals is often suggestive of woodland professions. Carpenters, Coopers, and Turners had smallholdings in the Forest of Dean and practised mixed small-scale agriculture with wood trades in the winters. In Inglewood Forest in Cumbria, licenses for charcoal burning and summer grazing included names such as Ashburner, Colier and Wheeler (Satchell 1989). In 1326-7 for example, a John Cokeson bought a license to burn charcoal in Inglewood, as well as one to pasture forty sheep, six pigs and several cows in the forest (Birrell 1969). Timber, fuel and forest industries Woodland management was crucial to the supply of fuel needed by the producers of metals and ceramics (Crossley 1990) as well as for glassmaking, lime burning and tanning. All of these industries needed wood fuel and other products available in forested localities. Various other industrial activities not usually associated with woodland often took place in forested environments, or made use of resources available in woodland contexts. Oak bark and oak chips were used for the tanning and tawing of leather, in particular for calf, ox and cowhides (Salzman 1970; Stamper 1988). Although many tanneries were located within or on the bounds of medieval towns, it seems that the industry also took place in woodland localities. In 1184, orders were issued that no tanner or tawyer should practice his trade within the bounds of a forest except in a borough or market town (Salzman 1970). Presumably the object here was to prevent the poaching of deer within royal forests, alongside a concern with bark theft.

In addition to industries that involved woodland management for larger scale activities, there are many references to smaller ‘cottage’ industries, including the manufacture of wooden vessels. In the earlier part of the medieval period, most household vessels were made from wood, including turned wooden drinking bowls and stave built pitchers (Egan 1997; McCarthy and Brooks 1988). This was true for both rural and urban households, poor and elite, at least until the later fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Even then, in poorer households wood and leather vessels continued to be the principal ‘tableware’.

At a time when transport was slow, difficult and expensive, the proximity of ores and fuel led to the development of the iron industry in woodland contexts, and many small pre-fourteenth century iron forges were located close to raw material sources (Crossley 1990). Charcoal burning in the Forest of Dean as well as in other areas such as south Cumbria was closely linked to the iron industry. There are numerous instances where 81

taking away two loads of wood from Rivelin Chase (Jones 1989).

woodland forges have been identified in areas where iron ore also occurred (ibid.). In addition to the large forges in royal and monastic forests, many were much smaller in scale, often existing as small temporary structures. These sites could be easily abandoned, but also dismantled and moved around when necessary to where fuel was available, probably dictated by the rotation cycles of coppicing (Birrell 1969).

In Cumbria there are many references to woodland management practices such as charcoal and potash burning (Davies-Shiel 1974; Satchell 1989) from the twelfth century onwards. By the later medieval period, the growth of both the iron and lead industries had reached the point where wood shortages were common. In the 1530s fines were levied at William Blumer of Satterthwaite who had made charcoal and ‘used the smiths art’. The demands of the bloomeries for wood and charcoal were such that many smithies were closed by royal decree, in order to protect the livelihoods of other tenants, some of who were in fact ‘leasing’ their common woodland rights to these local bloomeries: …the woodes be sore decayed and dailie more and more are like to fall into great decaye not only by reason of certain iron smithies...but also for that the customarie well as for their proper fuell and for mainten’ce of their hedges and other necessaries...yearly doe...cutt the underwoodes and lopp...all other woods and trees... (Satchell 1989: 8).

At Rivelin Chase, Sheffield, the Shrewsbury records of 1442-3 contain a lease: For £10 for the farm of iron ore with the right to wood sufficient to burn it lately let to William Rhodes senior at the terms of the Nativity of the Lord and St James yearly within the forest of Revelyng and elsewhere within the lords lordship in order to get iron ore (Oxtoby 1959; Page 1912).

Many communities in Cumbria were heavily involved in lead production, which also required a great deal of wood fuel, and potash. Potash production was also a process that formed part of the later medieval cloth trade. Potash kilns produced ashes, mainly from bracken, but also from wood. Charcoal burners were often the same people as potash burners, for example in Inglewood Forest, Richard Cinerarius paid for a licence to burn charcoal in 1323-4, but was later fined for cutting down wood ‘for ashes’ (Birrell 1969). Over 200 medieval potash kilns have been located in south and east Cumbria alone (Davies-Shiel 1974). These may have been linked to the production of lyes and soap for the growing wool industry, although it is possible some may relate to the production of potash for lead smelting or glassmaking.

Small forges and peasant smiths were to be found in most forests during the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Men with surnames derived from specialisation in the iron industry are recorded in most forest documents. In the Forest of Dean in 1282, well over 80 individuals were employed in the industry, three quarters of them from local villages. Smiths and charcoal burners in Dean during this period were often the same people, making items such as crossbow bolts, nails and horseshoes (Birrell 1969). Charcoal was the main fuel for smelting iron well into the eighteenth century, and it took around three tons of charcoal to make one ton of iron (Oxtoby 1959). Industrial growth and an increasing demand for fuel therefore had a pronounced effect on many areas of woodland. This was the case with several iron producing districts, it was the availability of such coppice lands which went hand in hand with the growth or survival of the charcoal industry (Crossley 1990). From the thirteenth century onwards, there were many complaints about deforestation until an Act was laid down in 1543 that laid down rules concerning coppicing (ibid.). Among their other responsibilities, Woodwards had to deal with trespassers and thieves. For example in Sheffield during 1564, a Thomas Beaumont was fined for felling and

Direct records of the manufacture of glass are scarce. However, the chief requisites for its manufacture are wood fuel and sand. In many woodland areas extensive


quarrying took place. Quarries were an important feature of many local economies, providing full or part time employment, and materials for building or more specialised uses (Crossley 1990), including ceramic and glass production. Edward I granted the Abbot of Vale Royal a quarry in the Forest of Delamere, with other ‘easements’ for making glass. In 1309 however, the abbot complained that he was now prevented from rebuilding a house in the forest used for the manufacture of glass, which had been burnt down (Birrell 1969). In Inglewood Forest, in 1335-6 John Vitrear was granted grazing rights for cows and pigs along with the right to take dead wood and ferns (Satchell 1989).

Underwood and coppiced trees were distinctive of the medieval forest. Interspersed with grassy meadows, pollarded trees, clearings and earthworks, they were the exact opposite of the untended wilderness that is now considered the ideal norm of a forest habitat. Woodland communities had light, space and variety: a working room for an authentic woodland culture (Schama 1996: 143). This is not the whole story, and again we see romance overtaking the reality. Social distinctions were enforced in woodland as they were within other areas of medieval inhabitation. The convoluted system of ownership, tenurial and common rights in areas of royal forest meant that areas of woodland were usually strictly defined, in physical as well as legal terms. Deer fences, hedged coppice boundaries, banks, walls and ditches split up or surrounded many areas of woodland. With the exception of rentals, it is the very existence of these boundaries that make forest communities visible in the historical record, and it is these landscape divisions that leave most archaeological traces.

The fuels used for glass making were beechwood, bracken and potash. There are references that beech was encouraged in woods around medieval glass furnaces (Crossley 1990). Although glass furnaces thus do appear to have been frequently situated in forests, it may have been that most were small-scale localised industries, not unlike iron forges and bloomeries. In some regions however, such as parts of East Anglia, people specialised in glass production and it was carried out at a much larger scale and across much wider areas.

Disputes over the illegal ‘appropriation’ of forest resources such as timber, underwood, deer, pasture, and hedges illustrate that many of these boundaries were regarded as symbolic, legal and material manifestations of the different social and economic realities that existed between those who used the woodland. Court rolls in particular illustrate that many people routinely acted against the established ‘social order’, and were not the ‘sylvan peasants’ referred to in more romanticised literature. These were ordinary medieval people, living and working in and around wooded landscapes according to seasonal routines. This seasonality was important, it dictated the availability of certain resources, and framed the engagements that these people had with their world. They may have let their animals roam too widely, poached the occasional deer, and taken their chances of being caught ‘in the act’:

Perceptions of life in woods The examples above illustrate that many forests and wooded areas were home to rapidly expanding industries of different types. These areas contributed greatly both to regional economies, and those of the country as a whole. On a smaller scale, peasants exploited local woodland resources for cottage industries, and undertook part time or seasonal work as an adjunct to subsistence farming. With the exception of forest court and manorial records, the activities of these forest inhabitants are widely ignored in historical narratives concerned with medieval woodland. Theirs was not the forest referred to in popular myth. With the exception of popular literature and folklore, historical sources hold little information pertaining to either the lives of forest dwellers, or the perceptions of the forest and its inhabitants held by those living outside its bounds. So what was life really like for the medieval people who lived or worked in the forest?

…there is nothing to suggest that the penalties for killing deer were regarded with alarm. They may have added a certain excitement to the vetoed sport, but the impression left on the mind is that the risks were treated with a sublime indifference, unless the foresters came in sight at an awkward moment, in which event the culprits generally tried to make a run for it before they were recognised (Parker 1907: 30) But still the myth pervades: The woodsmen, upon whom more sedentary folk would have looked with suspicion, travelled through the forest or lived in huts often having gone there in search of space or employment. They frequently squatted illegally, being free from the constraints of the church and the 83

danger. However, the physical location of the people who actually inhabited these supposedly wilderness areas meant they became an increasingly important economic force within medieval society. The Royal Forest played a similar role. A strong relationship was formed between the aristocratic classes and their domination of the wilderness. The hunting and consumption of ‘wild food’ was an important assertion of status and dominance, over nature and over lower social classes. However in reality, the political and economic success of the forest was to far outweigh the joys of the chase.

manor courts, their subsistence mainly by pilfering timber and game. The resentment directed towards these itinerants may have related to their mobility, as well as a general mistrust of strangers (Thomas 1983). Despite the recurrent Christian symbolism of the wooded wilderness in medieval art, sermons and literature, and the other, more negative connotations of the forest as a liminal setting for wild men and bandits, there is no documentary evidence to suggest that woodland communities were marginalised or resented. Many social groups regarded as marginal or deviants were indeed persecuted throughout the medieval period (e.g. Moore 1987; Richards 1991), but studies have focused largely on the inhabitants of towns rather than the countryside. Nevertheless, the physical location of woodland communities, and their perceived place in the social order may have meant that as a group they were thought by some to exist at the margins of society. It is perhaps ironic that most of these people who lived on the physical margins of medieval communities have become far more alienated and ignored in the historical and archaeological literature.

Distinctions drawn between the ‘civilised’ town and its antithesis – the wilderness, are what lie at the root of the treatment and perception of woodland, and perhaps woodland people, during the medieval period. The town was seen as a divine symbol of social order, the body politic, and thus represented and legitimated the ‘natural’ hierarchy of medieval society. In contrast all those who were regarded as outside medieval Christian society inhabited ‘nature’ itself, in the form of the untamed disorder of the wilderness. Here were to be found wild animals, witches, demons, dragons and reckless bands of outlaws, famous for their wild, un-Christian and animalistic behaviour. To those from urban areas, the forest may have been conceived as a labyrinth through which travellers would venture at their peril. It would have been easy to lose your way, especially if you were a city dweller or a stranger without knowledge of local landmarks, unused to the multitude of tracks and paths which would have crisscrossed the woods. The forest may indeed have been physically dangerous to some, and popular perceptions of it were coloured by contemporary myth and folklore. In reality, the towns were places of equal violence and disorder than the woods. Court records attest that towns were rife with murders, rapes and robberies in addition to, as Richards (1991) put it, manifestations of Sex, Dissidence and Damnation. It was said of medieval Norwich that there was a tavern for every day of the year. This certainly outnumbers the alleged church for every week of the year.

Conclusions People relate and react strongly to different landscapes, whether these differences are ‘real’, or personally or culturally interpreted. Perceived contrasts or variations between landscapes will themselves alter between different groups of people. This depends on where they live and work, their personal experiences, and the places, or their categorisations of places, which may be informed by social, political or religious ideologies. These relations with landscapes are constituted through specific times and places and serve in the production, reproduction and transformation of the social groups who inhabit them. Different groups of people in the same society will perceive the landscape differently, both because of their individual experiences and their social positions within that society (Moreland 1990). The constructed myths and imaginary geographies that colour the perception of certain places and environments by others are especially prevalent in the way that popular cultural images of wilderness, forest and woodland localities have been exploited in the medieval period through to the present day.

To unravel these stories from the reality of the situation is to begin to understand why and how the forest myth worked in the medieval period, and also why it is still with us today. The eradication of these stories from our archaeological interpretations is not what is proposed. These too are stories after all. The forest myths are as important as the historical and archaeological record itself, for they are often what give these landscapes their character. The very existence of such stories reflects the multiplicity of themes, agendas and understandings that made up the forest myth. However, many of the sources used in discussions of the Forest-Wilderness are inherently biased towards the literate groups of medieval society, most notably the clergy and the elite. They very rarely inform us about the lives of real people, and the real landscapes that they inhabited. We need to fill our interpretations of medieval woodland with people as well as stories.

In the Middle Ages the Church and the aristocratic elite were seen to be dominant over the wilderness, through their engagements with the forest in myth and reality. They were the forces of order over the perceived wildness, disorder and ‘Otherness’ of the forest and its real and imaginary inhabitants. With the exception of hermits, monks and monasteries, those that dwelt within the forest were regarded as almost pre-social, or at least dangerous to the social fabric of institutionalised society. Monasteries, as the houses of God, were symbols of the divine within a wilderness landscape of marginality and 84

Hanawalt, B. 1979. Crime and Conflict in English Communities: 1300-1348. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Hindle, P. 1984. Roads and Trackways of the Lake District. Ashbourne: Moorland Publishing. Hobsbawm, E. 1969. Bandits. London: Ebenezer Baylis and Son Ltd. Hoskins, W. 1985 [1955]. The Making of the English Landscape. London: Penguin. Jones, M. 1989. Sheffield’s Woodland Heritage. Sheffield: Green Tree Publications. Keen, M. 1987 [1961]. The Outlaws of Medieval Legend. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Le Goff, J. 1988. The Wilderness in the Medieval West. In J. Le Goff The Medieval Imagination. London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 47-59. McCarthy, M. and Brooks, C. 1988. Medieval Pottery in Britain AD 900-1600. Leicester: Leicester University Press. Moreland, J. 1990. From the primeval to the paved: environment, perception and structural history. Scottish Archaeological Review 7: 14-22. Moore, R. 1987. The Formation of a Persecuting Society. Oxford: Blackwell. Ohlgren, T. (ed.) 1998. A Book of Medieval Outlaws: Ten Tales in Modern English. Stroud: Sutton. Orme, N. 1996. Church and chapel in medieval England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 20: 75102. Oxtoby, G. 1959. The Ironstones and iron working in the Sheffield region. The Sorby Record 2: 6-10. Page, W. 1912. The Victoria County History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire Volume 2. London: University of London Institute of Historical Research. Parker, F. 1907. Inglewood Forest, Part III – some stories of deer-stealers. Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Series 2 Vol. 7: 1-30. Parker, F. 1909. Inglewood Forest, Part IV – the revenues of the Forest. Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Series 2 Vol. 9: 24-37. Parker Pearson, M. 1998. Medieval animal bones: good to think or good to eat? Paper delivered at the 20th Theoretical Archaeology Group conference, Birmingham University, December 1998. Poulson, 1840. The History and Antiquities of the Seignority of Holderness in the East Riding of the County of York. Privately Published. Rackham, O. 1980. Ancient Woodland: Its History, Vegetation and Uses in England. London: Edward Arnold. Rackham, O. 1986. The History of the Countryside. London: John Dent and Sons Rackham, O. 1989. The Last Forest. The Story of Hatfield Forest. London: John Dent and Sons. Rackham, O. 1990 [1976]. Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd. Richards, J. 1991. Sex, Dissidence and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages. London: Routledge.

Acknowledgements Thanks must go to Mark Brennand and Tim Allen who made me give a version of this paper at a their TAG session on Theorised Approaches to Living in Medieval England at Birmingham in 1998. Mark Edmonds and John Moreland commented very helpfully on a much earlier draft. Thanks to Chad for sticking with it, and to Bean for constantly taking me to the woods.

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Flora Magicka Come hither young daughter, and gather round sons I’ve wisdom to tell before the day’s work is done. Be careful with elder, from which Christ’s cross was made And don’t cut one down less permission’s obtained From the ‘Old Gal’ who lives in this bewitched tree Never burn it, for this too is most unlucky. Hawthorn’s ill omened, connected with faerie folk But if gathered on May Day stops the Devil at work And ash will draw lightning and thunderstones down But the strong hearts of oak in our roofs, and the town Protect against wild-fire, whose earth-hurtled blaze, Can undo in minutes what took long hard days. Rowan or mountain ash, tied with red thread Into wicken crosses, repels all undead And hung next to windows and over the doors Will guard against evil in forests and moors. Before fields are ploughed, and all your seed sown Burn St. John’s Wort on the land that you own To purify soil, and let crops grow straight To be sold in the markets at double the weight. Ivy, when twined with honeysuckle flowers Keeps livestock protected from all malign powers Dried Lords and Ladies when scattered about Will help to bring rainfall to end summer drought. Elder leaves keep the flies off your stock When tied in bunches to harness and hock And bog myrtle wards against biting blackfly As troubling in household as it is in pigsty. But beware the ragwort; whose leaves poison cattle Bryony root too brings only death’s rattle. Strawberry and rosemary leaves, in May butter fried Is good for all aches, and for sinews tired. And for children weak in the limbs who can’t walk Take leaves of the sage, and sweet marjoram stalk, Then mix with ox marrow, and apply with your hands To their thighs, legs and knees, then they’re able to stand. For the buboses of plague take chopped adders tongue And sanicle and sheppard’s purse fresh from the sun With limuria and dove’s foot, then boil in deer’s suet Annoint each pustule ‘til fresh blood runs through it. Vervaine too may cure the plague and the pox And like dittander, also leprous sores stops Colt’s foot or tushylucky helps with a cough, Whilst fever or featherfew draws agues off. Dandelion or pissy bed cleans out the guts And pennyroyal heals the most ragged of cuts. Comfrey or knitbone helps set broken bones So after whetting your knife on the most fine-grained of hones Make a poultice of it, using its finely chopped paste And you’ll find a crooked limb will then heal in good haste. Thyme under the pillows prevents bad nightmares And when used in posies counters noxious airs And boiled thyme infusions bring the most restful of thoughts


Use the thick paste of celandine to remove ugly warts. Alexanders when pickled, are good general health tonics But use nettles or foxgloves for pains when they’re chronic Though with the fairy bells great care must be taken Lest like nightshade and henbane, it brings sleep of no waking. Of juniper and birthwort I’ll say little of here For knowledge of women’s plants is not for men’s ears. Though women wear mandrake when a baby is wanted And under hanged villains it’s often found planted It also kills pain, but can give strange troubled dreams And when pulled from the ground these roots give off screams. They’re used in dark magick, and it’s sometimes said With them witches and warlocks can raise up the dead. Don’t meddle in such things, leave them well alone Use plant magick for the good of farm, livestock and home. So here is your herbal, and all of your plant lore Use it and learn it, memorise what they’re for Take heed of its wisdom, about all things that grow In garden and woodland, commons, field and hedgerow. Adrian M. Chadwick


Husbandly Furniture A stable well planked, with key and with lock, walls strongly well lined, to bear off a knock; A rack and a manger, good litter and hay, sweet chaff, and some provender, every day. A pitch-fork, a dung-fork, sieve, skep, and a bin, a broom, and a pail, to put water therein; A hand-barrow, wheel-barrow, shovel, and spade, a curry-comb, mane-comb, and a whip for a jade. A buttrice, and pincers, a hammer and nail, and apern, and scissars for head and for tail, Whole bridle and saddle, whitleather, and nall, with collars and harness, for thiller and all… Strong axle-treed cart, that is clouted and shod, cart-ladder and wimble, with percer and pod; Wheel-ladder for harvest, light pitch-forks, and tough, Shave, whip-lash well knotted, and cart rope enough… A grindstone, a whetstone, a hatchet and bill, with hammer, and English nail, sorted with skill; A frower of iron, for cleaving of lath, with roll for a saw-pit, good husbandry hath. A short saw, and long saw, to cut a-two logs, an axe, and an adze, to make trough for thy hogs; A Dover Court beetle, and wedges with steel, strong lever to raise up the block from the wheel. Two ploughs and a plough-chain, two culters, three shares, with ground clouts and side clouts for soil that sow tares With ox-bows and ox-yokes, and other things mo, for ox-team and horse-team in plough for to go. A plough-beetle, plough-staff, to further the plough, great clod to asunder that breaketh so rough; A sled for a plough, and another for blocks, for chimney in winter, to burn up their docks. Sedge-collars for plough-horse, for lightness of neck, good seed, and good sower, and also seed peck; Strong oxen and horses, well shod, and well clad, well meated and used, for making thee sad. Extract from Thomas Tusser’s Husbandly Furniture of 1557, listing buildings, animals and equipment needed on English farms. From D. Zeuner 1990 The Bayleaf Medieval Farmstead. Weald and Downland Open Air Museum.




From Mexico to Mayab: a landscape voyage Bill Bevan straight boulevards and symmetrical architecture and rolls outwards to ill-defined shanty towns, industrial complexes and landfill sites. Today it is one of the largest cities in the world, overpowering and bewildering to eyes and bodies not used to it. So it was in 1519 when the Spaniard Cortez first set his eyes on another city on this site, Tenochtitlan, the thriving Aztec capital upon the ruins of which Mexico City was founded. Then the city had about 200 000 occupants, larger than any other metropolis in Europe. It had been founded by the Mexica, the dominant group within the Aztec triple alliance, in the early fourteenth century at the site where, as foretold by their gods, they would find an eagle on top a cactus eating a snake.

Arrival Flying towards Mexico City across the Altiplano at night brought me face to face with its vastness, as neon brightness replaced blackness. The lights of the city began instantly at a straight line stretching across the flight path from horizon to horizon until it seemed that the whole world was the city. As the plane approached the airport it circled over the city centre, dropping in altitude until abstract lights became streets, buildings, cars - the lives of people painted in whites, yellows and oranges. Movement was a dizzy array combining apparent chaos on the ground with the rotating view from the circling plane, then touch down, apprehension, exhilaration, anticipation. One thing you feel when arriving from a northern country such as Britain is the heat – even at night the presence and the smell of warmth is another strong indicator to the senses that you are now somewhere new, different and exotic.

Central to Mexico City is the Zócalo; the large public square that provides a distillation of Mexican society and history through its architecture. It was implanted on top of Tenochtitlan’s ceremonial plaza and is now bordered by grand colonial buildings along each of its 200 metre long sides. One side is occupied by the cathedral, constructed from 1573 to resemble those in the Spanish cities of Toledo and Granada and built of stone taken from the most important Aztec temple – the Templo Mayor. Another side is bounded by the Presidential Palace, dating to the 1700s. A range of eighteenth and nineteenth century colonial buildings, including the mayoral palace and the Hotel Majestic with its rooftop restaurant takes up the other two sides. Just beyond the square and hidden from view lies what survives of the Templo Mayor, recently rediscovered and open to tourists. The restaurant provides an elevated view across the Zócalo and the skyline of surrounding buildings, a privileged view that is removed from the bustle of the streets and restricted to Mexico’s upper classes and tourists.

This chapter aims to look at how landscapes are understood at many different levels – from the embodied experience to the abstracted conceptual, and how different individuals and groups of people can treat the same landscape in different, sometimes even contradictory ways. In the four personal tours of ancient cities, I will experiment with the format of travel account as a vehicle for writing about a wide range of interconnected issues. I use the perspective from my own body, situated in my cultural perceptions and understandings of the world, during visits to the cities as a modern tourist to write about the experience. Travel accounts share two similar concerns with archaeological interpretations – the bringing to life of both landscapes and people to an audience who may never have encountered them directly for themselves. The form and style of travel writing can suggest ways that archaeologists may be able to write about the past to express concepts central to social theory such as social relations, structuration, embodiment or phenomenology. Through my interactions with the reconstructed spaces I will interpret my actual experiences and discuss the potential of an embodied approach as a method that can contribute to the social interpretation of earlier phases of the cities' occupation. In the paper I will also discuss the cities as heritage landscapes, and how their presentation is focused on the past achievements of civilisations while marginalising modern indigenous societies.

From the rooftop restaurant your eyes are brought back down to the Zócalo via the towering flagpole which pierces the very middle of the square, and holds aloft a massive Mexican flag. Its triptych of red, white and green is emblazoned with the national emblem – the snakeeating eagle sitting on a cactus. During the day the Zócalo is a hub of animated life, movement and noise disorientate as cars circle its multi-lane periphery road, commuters cross in all directions, stallholders sell everything from mangoes to Zapatista T-shirts and tradesmen offer their services by the cathedral. While armed police watch this activity intensely, their personalities subsumed by uniforms and hidden behind sunglasses, Nahuatl dancers begin their own rhythms.

From Mexico City to Tenochtitlan Approximately two million Nahua speakers, descendants of the Aztecs, live on the Altiplano around Mexico City. Groups regularly dance in the Zócalo, forming rhythms of

The vast urban sprawl that is modern Mexico City, home to over 20 million people, starts at a colonial core of



were appropriated as the academic property of modern, Western, civilisation until later in the twentieth century when they were retaken for Mexican Mestizo national identity. During this period indigenous peoples perceived the ruined cities in different terms, in some cases coming in conflict with heritage organisations who wanted to focus on the cities as evidence for the past achievements of the Mestizo state rather than the locales of inhabitation or ceremony for currently marginalised cultures.

movement circling around the beat of the drummers. They wear Aztec clothing of plumed headdresses when performing for Mexican and foreign tourists during the day, and change back to their everyday western dress when dancing for themselves in the evening. They dance here because it was the ceremonial centre of Tenochtitlan, because it reconstitutes and reclaims Nahua/Aztec identities, because it reminds the government, which oppresses them through economics and land claims, that they are a living and vibrant culture. Though much of Mexican national identity is based on Aztec references, the eagle emblem, the glorifying of the Aztec king Moctezuma, the demonising of Cortez the conquistador, and even the Mexica-derived name of the country itself, the modern 'Aztecs' and other indigenous groups are a poor underclass. Pre-Colombian imagery is used to advance the Mexican national identity based on the idea of Mestizo, or mixed-race, to manifest distinctiveness in opposition to Spanish colonialism.

Teotihuacan I could see the vast bulk of the Pyramid of the Sun before I fully realised I was anywhere near to Teotihuacan. It shone with a warm orange glow in the morning sun, a pale shadow to how it would have looked when the city was occupied and the temple was painted red. One of the largest ancient cities in the world, Teotihuacan is now a Mecca for modern tour groups to Mexico, while to the Aztecs it was where the gods had sacrificed themselves to start the sun moving at the beginning of the fifth world, which the Aztecs inhabited. It was the Aztecs who gave the names Sun and Moon to its two largest temple pyramids and called its central avenue the Street of the Dead, not the occupants who built these edifices. The Aztecs were also the first archaeologists at Teotihuacan, and at many other cities abandoned by their time. They systematically excavated temples and rooms for masks, pot sherds and other artefacts to display or rebury as offerings in the Templo Mayor.

Mexico is a land of paradoxes, where contradictions vie with the unexpected for attention. When Andre Breton visited the country in the 1930s to promote the surrealist manifesto, he left with the statement that Mexico was such a surreal nation that it did not need a movement. It is another sort of paradox that images of the past are highlighted while the people who can claim descent from that past are marginalised. Heritage is promoted national government and their counterparts in the individual states. The past achievements of the indigenous peoples are raised to great heights and their civilisations aggrandised. This forms a major a source of tourist income as well as an arena for the promotion of ‘Mexican’ achievement and identity. These messages are not only broadcast to tourists but also to Mexican citizens, whether for adult and family visitors or through school educational projects. Sanitised versions of indigenous peoples’ folklore; traditional crafts, customs and costumes, are also produced as shows both citizens and tourists. This selects certain elements of culture, which were greatly shaped by Conquistador ideals to be presented as integral to Mexican society.

Like other archaeological zones in Mexico the entrance to the ruins is highly structured. So too is the layout of the city, and it is again the ceremonial centre which is restored as a heritage site while most of the multitude of more ordinary buildings remain as mounds and traces in the earth. The names of ceremonial buildings, the temples of the Moon and Sun, and the Avenue of the Dead are given prominence in guidebook plans while the surrounding areas remain anonymous. After leaving the bus we could see little of the city, apart from the towering pyramids, hidden as it is behind a concrete curtain wall. We walked along the road to the ticket office, entered, and found ourselves in an open air avenue of tourist shops where guidebooks, reproduction artefacts, T-shirts, postcards and toilets begged either side to distract you from reaching the ruins. The combination of wanting to get to the city as soon as possible and the inevitable attraction of the shops easily leads to a tension which builds apprehension until you reach the end of the avenue. There is a large tunnel framed by walls and buildings, a liminal zone between the commodified and reconstructed heritage, and on passing through you come to the near centre point on the Street of the Dead, its straight course extending for two kilometres in either direction. To the left it leads directly to the Pyramid of the Moon and is flanked by the remains of monumental stone buildings, to the right it is little more than a shadow adorned by parched grass, scrub and cacti.

Conversely, many indigenous peoples are marginalised in society, both culturally and geographically, and are often treated with disdain by Mestizos. During the early Hispanic history of the country indigenous peoples were either enslaved or moved into less hospitable locations, the more barren areas of the Altiplano, the mountains and the jungle. Existing cities were depopulated and allowed to decay, and those in the tropical regions became overgrown with scrub and jungle. The religious buildings, icons and texts were defiled or destroyed under the auspices of the Catholic Church during the attempts at wholesale conversion to Christianity. These lost cities were then (re-) discovered by European and American explorers during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries to be elevated as the glories of past civilisations. Where any links with modern indigenous peoples were made, the perceived ‘primitive’ nature of these peoples was used to demonstrate cultural collapse. In this, they



El Tajin was an important Totonac city during the second half of the first millennium AD. Today its ruins survive as restored and unrestored stone mounds that nestle in rainforest-cloaked hills near the Gulf Coast. As you come to the site you are first greeted by ubiquitous tourist shops, then a circular space with a 30 metre high pole at its centre, and finally the entrance complex. The monumentality of the ruins is aped by a huge square concrete tunnel, about 50 metres long, at the end of which you can glimpse green grass which contrasts with the ‘outside’ landscape of either parched yellow grass or the chaotic backdrop of rainforest trees. By passing through the tunnel you leave the contemporary world for an ancient one with the liminal space in between filled with the facilities deemed as requisite for a major heritage site – museum, bookshop, café and toilets.

At this point the Pyramid of the Moon looks somewhat insignificant, a small grey stone blimp overshadowed by the massive bulk of a volcano behind. Walking along the Avenue towards the Pyramid of the Moon you are initially met by a series of stepped cross walls, each of which shields sight of what is behind. You are therefore confronted with a sequence of surprises, as climbing the steps of each wall reveals a new view. The structure of the avenue is a sequence of sunken plazas, as much individual arenas for social and religious action as conduits for movement. As you process along the avenue each new vista creates a re-framing of the Pyramid of the Moon which grows in stature not by degrees but by leaps. As you approach the Pyramid of the Sun, set slightly to the east, the Avenue opens up into a continuous concourse bordered by grander buildings which obscure the landscape beyond, and so it is that the Pyramid of the Moon is now the central focus of the procession. As the crowds become deeper and the souvenir hawkers more persistent, the Avenue fills with movement and noise which escalates to a climax in the temple fringed square below the pyramid’s steps. Now the pyramid is dominant and the volcano is hidden behind its vast bulk. A breathdefying climb to the top reveals the magnitude of the Avenue and the walk just completed, best appreciated from a seated position.

The city is partly cleared of jungle to reveal the restored monumental buildings of its ceremonial centre, including the Pirámide de Los Nichos which contains 365 niches built into the vertical sides of its six levels. Numerous other temple pyramids, plazas and ball courts are also exposed and presented amongst short-mown grass in the archaeological zone. Beyond, still overgrown and hidden within the rainforest are further large mounds of stones that are unrestored temples and other buildings. Visitors rarely see these, the interface of grass and jungle being the boundary between heritage and nature. But the jungle is not unpopulated; voices can be heard amongst the trees. These are of Totonac people who live in a village and cultivate fields situated amongst the jungle-covered ruins. Along one jungle path there is a wellspring of clear water, sheltered by a thatched roof and encouraged by the villagers to continue its life-giving flow with a small wooden cross.

Looking back you are confronted with the monumentality of the Street and its fringe of reconstructed buildings. Immediately beyond this there is another, subtler monumentality – that of the humps and bumps of the still ruinous city which stretches across the flat, parched, plain until lost in the heat haze and amongst the camouflage of scrub. This is perhaps only appreciated if you are an archaeologist, to many of the tour groups the city stops at the last rebuilt edifice and what lies beyond is wilderness. It is perceived as an architectural wonder, guided by its presentation, while the population that inhabited it is left quietly to in the wings with only an occasional walk-on part to reinforce the sheer scale of the ancient metropolis. The whole city and the orientations made between it and the ring of distant mountains only becomes apparent from the vantage of one of the pyramid temples. A view once restricted to the priests of the city becomes the tourist’s objective open to all foolish or fit enough to attempt it and, if successful, an achievement to be framed in photography.

As I approached the ticket office I could hear the melodic sound of drum and pipes drifting through the air. The music was borne by wind currents, sometimes loud, sometimes fading to the edges of hearing, the tinny warbling of the pipes suited to such aeolian vagaries. This is the music of the Voladores, a group who perform a ritual somewhat reminiscent of a slow-motion backwards-bungee jump. After dancing to the drum and pipe around the 30 metre high pole in front of the site’s entrance, the five men of the Voladores climb upwards. The musician stands on the top to play while the other four sit on a small wooden frame immediately below and tie themselves to thick ropes wound around the pole itself. After the musician has serenaded the four cardinal points, they then drop backwards off the frame to begin their slow descent to earth, suspended upside down and spinning around the pole thirteen times as the ropes unwind.

El Tajin and the Totonac Voladores I arrived at El Tajin on Ash Wednesday by bus from Papantla, a nearby Totonac town. Totonacs are the predominant indigenous population of the region, many wear ‘western’ dress while others – predominantly in rural settlements – wear white smocks, trousers and brimmed hats that are today seen as traditional clothes but were only adopted under pressure after the Spanish Conquest. They are the descendants of the cultural group inhabiting this area when Cortez arrived in AD 1519, and who had been absorbed into the Aztec empire during the mid 1400s.

This daily enactment for tourists and their money is what remains of a rite performed by Totonacs since at least the 1400s and probably earlier. The rite is an embodiment of the religious ideal that fertility of crops and society required the god of the sky and rain, to be brought into contact with the god of the earth and maize. Both are fertility gods, each incorporated into perceptions of the 97


The jungle more than cloaks the ruins, it is now part of their fabric. Roots are embedded within stone while profiles of ruined buildings are given shape by mantles of branches and leaves and the over-riding smell of dank vegetation is given a mouldering depth within dark rooms. The jungle is inextricably part of the modern presentation of Yaxchilan, and other cities such as Bonampak, Palenque and Tikal which form part of a Maya jungle trail for adventurous package tourists and backpackers. At the time these cities were occupied the jungle had been cleared to create fields, so that the cities were set in the midst of domestic, agricultural landscapes. Locations that are now remote and marginalised were then central and densely populated.

landscape. But for fertility to be encouraged they have to bond through the meeting of sky and earth, the bringing of rain and sun to the soil and crops. The rite also includes invocations to the four corners of the universe, and a reference to the convergence of the pre-Hispanic solar and ritual calendars every fifty-two days in the thirteen revolutions made by each of the four Voladores before they reach the ground. It is a complex rite, embodying a number of aspects of cosmological importance. I admit to having contradictory feelings seeing this rite performed. On the one hand the danger and grace of the jump was exhilarating to watch, while on the other it was saddening to see it reduced to a performance for tourists apparently shorn of any sacredness. However, its performance for money does not negate the feelings of the Voladores, who enact the prescriptions required of the act and through this rework their identity within their society. They also see it as a way of communicating a significant aspect of Totonac society to a wider audience. That practice of the rite is not solely a heritage activity divorced from modern Totonac society was demonstrated on my return to Papantla that afternoon. Another group of Voladores were conducting the rite outside of the cathedral, not for tourists this time but for the hundreds of townspeople queuing for the Ash Wednesday ceremony inside. As El Tajin is a living Totonac community as well as an archaeological zone, so the Voladores rite is more than a heritage performance. It is the same ritual performed in two contexts, so has different significance in each. However, they still fly to conceptualise a worldview of the Totonacs and to encourage the gods to grant fertility, but they are now integral to Christian ceremonies.

Yaxchillan ignites culturally embedded ideas of lost cities in the jungle and notions of exploration. These still prevalent Western ideas are ones we bring to such a place. They derive from European/American politicalcolonial attitudes to the world and the incorporation of them into popular culture. The story goes like this. The ruins are those of a city of a civilisation of once great achievements, a civilisation which collapsed, abandoning the city to decay and be overgrown until it was lost in the jungle wilderness. As the early modern capitalist organisation of societies in Europe and the United States of America enabled greater political and economic influence and expansionist policies, the perspective of colonialism discovered new land. So old civilisations were found, objectified and disassociated from any contemporary cultural context. Implicit in this perception is to see living communities of indigenous people not as the direct descendants of the architects of these civilisations, but as the de-evolved barbaric remnants. This perception is not just academic; it enables the marginalisation, disenfranchisement, imprisonment, torture, murder and rape of Nuathl, Maya, Totanac and Zapotec. In Chiapas, this is highlighted by the illegal taking of land from Mayan villagers by the large cattle ranches that feed the demands of the fast-food burger industry in the US. These land grabs led to the Zapatista uprising in 1994, and ultimately the politicising of many people around the world placed by corporate commerce at the production end of the global economy.

Yacxhilan We took the small riverboat to Yaxchilan from the Mexican border post of Frontera Corezal. There is no other way for tourists to reach this most enigmatic of Mayan ruins. Roads are non-existent and foreigners are not allowed to trek through the jungle, to protect them from the Zapatistas who have taken up sanctuary in the area. Though if a tourist did come to meet the Zapatistas here, the only threat would be how much they would discover of what it is like to be an indigenous Mexican living today. Yaxchilan is situated deep in the Lacóndan jungle of Chiapas next to the Usumacinta River where rainforest comes down to the banks of the fast-flowing, chlorophyll-coloured river. As we near the site, stone structures fleetingly come into view then are lost again behind trees so heightening the anticipation of discovery as we contort to catch another glimpse. Maybe we would catch sight of an intrepid explorer, broad-brimmed hat shading his square chin. With such thoughts the world turns black and white as clichéd images of 1930s adventure movies populate the forest and the sounds of American maidens in distress fill the air. So the landscape becomes seen through the sepia-tinted glasses of nostalgia.

But, and it is a big but, the Mayan civilisation did not collapse, it simply re-organised itself in relation to changing demands. This is demonstrated by a discovery in one of the rooms at Yaxchilan not seen at any of the other ruins we have visited. The remains of a recent fire had sooted the walls and roof of one of the rooms in an apparent act of vandalism that was surprising given the remoteness of the site. Later, we found it was not an arbitrary destructive act but the remains of a fire used in religious ceremonies by the Lacóndan Maya. These people live in the surrounding rainforest in small villages, practice small-scale cultivation and celebrate their gods in the temples of Yaxchilan. While the tourist industry tries to preserve the city as a heritage site and the Western gaze confines it to romanticised nostalgia, to the Lacóndan it is still a living, dynamic ceremonial place.



estate in Manchester, or a farmer in Wales. However, many people from Western countries have come to the area to learn and to take back new understandings and tangible skills rather than simply to objectify through the tourist gaze. The Zapatistas set up the first international gathering or Encuentro in July and August 1996 in Chiapas, bringing together activists and community representatives from all over the world. There have been many subsequent Encuentros elsewhere in Mexico, and around the world. Why? Because the political and economic forces that impact on the lives of Mexican Maya also affect people living anywhere in the world – globalisation. So those groups of people worldwide who have been campaigning against globalisation and its negative effects, from the child labour used to produce clothes for GAP via the imposition of free-market economies by the IMF, to the patenting of plant staples through GMO, have all taken inspiration from the Maya of Chiapas. In a world of acronyms and anagrams, the multi-syllable Zapatistas stand out.

Return Returning to Mexico City on the long coach journey through jungle and across mountain passes I stopped at San Cristobel de la Casas. This is a remote town in ‘Alpine’ mountain country where people initially seem more serious and stern compared to the citizens of the lowlands or the Altiplano. Evidence for the social impact of climate, that the environment does determine culture I thought, and briefly compared the greyness and indoorsculture of Britain with the colour and street life of Spain in search of an analogy. The streets of San Cristobel are more Halifax than Barcelona. No. There are much deeper reasons for any perceived dourness on the faces of the townspeople. San Cristobel is the focus for the Zapatista movement. It was here on New Year’s Day 1994, the day the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force, that a small group of balaclava clad Mayans took over the town hall, armed mostly with sticks carved into the shapes of rifles. The Mexican government wanted to increase investment from abroad, increase large-scale agribusinesses at the expense of small farmers and demonstrate political stability while encouraging tourists to visit ancient cities and buy indigenous crafts. The Zapatistas wanted to show the endemic racism, enforced land expulsions, poverty and loss of culture which indigenous people were suffering.

My visit to Mexico was inextricably linked with the global economy. International flights and the backpacker industry – as evidenced by the massive increase in sales of the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books – form one aspect of globalisation. What long-term effects the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre will have is as yet unclear. Another aspect was also evident in Mexico – the subservience of local producer economies to feed large international markets, the displacement of minority groups and small farmers in favour of larger agricultural industries. Both of these effects of globalisation are strongly linked however, because in both it is the Western countries who determine the movement of people and goods, who are the takers, who have the financial advantage. Many more Western backpackers or holidaymakers will visit the jungles and monuments of Mexico than Mexicans will visit Stonehenge or the Lake District. While many Meso-American cities are presented for the benefit of American, European and Australian visitors, how many heritage sites in the UK are conceived in a way to appeal to Latin Americans or are open to reinterpretation by non-Western, non-academics?

Like most people who visit San Cristobel for the first time I hoped to meet some of the Zapatistas, and thought of visiting one of the cultural or political centres to do so. However, they were much more visible on the streets than I thought, but only in the form of little Marcos dolls being hawked by Mayan children to tourists. Both dolls and children are impossible to resist to all but the most hard-nosed backpackers; you know the ones who travel the world for ‘real’ experiences but mainly export their cynicism. While buying a handful of these tiny dolls I experienced a very strange sensation – a balaclava clad Zapatista walking down the street in daylight as if he or she was not a fugitive but just susceptible to the cold weather. The Zapatistas were in town, not in ones or twos but in a very large group and seemingly free of any police or army attention. They were organising an audacious plan – to hold their own national referendum throughout Mexico on indigenous rights which was to coincide with a large rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Mexico City’s Zócalo. The Aztec ceremonial centre was to ring to the sound of indigenous groups, social activists and the disaffected from throughout the country.

Financial demands and the supply of Western money into a relatively poor country in the form of the tourist-dollar is used to justify such policies. Indeed, this revenue is valuable. Nevertheless, the abuse of contemporary indigenous populations and the radical alteration of their occupied, living landscapes should not be masked by the sanitised heritagisation or faux presentation of ancient sites. It is very easy to overlook how much Western countries dominate the world: economically, culturally and conceptually. Backpacking is an enlightening experience allowing us to see the world and gain insights into other cultures. But it is very much a one-way experience, a modern-day extension of the European colonial world-view of the sixteenth to twentieth centuries that led to the conquest of peoples, land and resources as well as the self-belief of the explorer and the missionary. Though obviously much more benign than the imperial policies of countries such as Britain, France,

The Maya are protesting because they have had their land taken and civil liberties eroded, and they have been pushed to desperation. The Zapatista men and women I met in Chiapas were soft-spoken, mild-mannered, diminutive by Western standards and nervous of speaking in public. These traits, though surely over-simplified, impress even more than the huge risks they have taken and sacrifices they have made to confront state-endorsed oppression. Their actions may not immediately appear to have anything to do with someone living in a housing 101


James, N. 2001. Aztecs and Maya: the Ancient Peoples of Middle America. Stroud: Tempus. Royal Academy. 2002. Aztecs. London: Royal Academy of Arts. World Wide Web World Wide Web Wright, R. 1991. Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. London: Abacus.

Portugal and Spain, it still propagates a dominantsubservient relationship which is very difficult to cast off when the ‘haves’ come to look around. Further reading Chiapaslink. 2000. The Zapatistas: a Rough Guide. Bristol: Chiapaslink. Clendinnen, I. 1991. Aztecs: an Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Architecture and buildings Architecture creates new spaces and new places, and provides dynamic arenas for human social practice and interaction. Buildings provide shelter, but may also be a means of expressing identity, power, status and class. Ethnographic studies have shown that different cultures invest architecture with many political, ontological, cosmological or gendered associations, as true for a Melanesian longhouse as it is for a suburban British bungalow. Buildings provide spaces for people to make sense of and negotiate their world. Architecture is literally the construction of meaning. In landscapes, it may be the buildings and constructions created by humans to which our eyes may be drawn to first, following the focus of our modern preoccupations. Architecture can impose order or constraint, but it transforms and enables too. Architecture may create ruptures in the landscape, a marking off from what has gone before, or it might consist of organic shapes derived from the landscape. There is a danger in seeing architecture as part of some culture: nature dichotomy. This is not the case. In prehistory for example, both ‘natural’ and anthropogenic materials often appear to have been woven together into complex, meshed matrixes of construction, involving earth, timber and stone. Architecture may be the focus of communal effort and labour, or may require organisation and investment. The creation of architecture may bring people together, or might create tensions and breaks between them. Architecture makes references to the landscapes around it. Prehistoric long mounds and barrows, cairns and roundhouses may be sited in places where there have been long, pre-existing histories and memories of human activities. Romano-British temples were often situated on iron age sites or springs. Funerary monuments, stone circles, causewayed enclosures and henges often made deliberate use of localised differences in setting and aspect. Sometimes this creates particular views or vistas from within the architecture. In other places it seems to be the views into or between constructions that may be important. They might be built in natural ‘amphitheatres’, on peninsulas or headlands, or in places with spectacular panoramas. Even in townscapes and cityscapes there are often specific lines of sight or references. Here buildings have many different relationships with existing streets and buildings, in some cases complimentary or referential, in others slighting or contradicting what has gone before, or sometimes being subversive. No architecture is ever static. Architecture is thus far more than stone, timber, concrete or steel. Gatherer-hunter tents or shelters are as much architecture as skyscrapers, Roman temples or medieval jettied houses and cathedrals, and may be invested with equally complex meanings. Architecture may seem brutally functional, or spiritually and emotionally uplifting. It may appear ancient and mysterious, as with Angor Wok, Teotihuacan or Çatalhöyük, though these are of course romantic, modern perspectives. Architecture has the vitality to make us think, but is inextricably part of these processes of thought. The perceived failures or successes of particular cultures are measured in their architecture – the 1960s and 1970s high rise flats of western Europe, the grandiose scale of Soviet and Nazi architecture, the flamboyance (or excesses) of Baroque and Rococo, or the still (over?) revered Classical and Gothic traditions. Even in the construction-saturated spaces of the modern world, architecture still has the power to shock or anger, or to delight and absorb. Adrian M. Chadwick and Lesley McFadyen



We take memories into our spaces. The landscapes of Fulbourn Field 126 The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group This paper is dedicated to Sue Bagley and to all the women who have connections with Fulbourn Field 126.

The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group undertook an excavation within the grounds of Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridgeshire on the weekend of the 16th to the 19th of October 1999. The Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group along with The Freudian Slips performed ‘Living the Fragments’ at the Cambridge Drama Centre from the 13th to the 15th July 2000. In our encounters with archaeological fragments, we have discovered an archaeology of people’s lives. Captured faces in photographs; bits of the material culture of peoples lives, their pottery and possessions, the ‘prehistorical’ remains of someone’s house. All of these things are material, part of the matrix of a physical landscape, and yet nothing lasts unless we hold onto it in our drawings and stories and memories. These impressions that survived as physical marks were woven by us. Our impressions as memory marks, memory marks that had survived Fulbourn Hospital, connected with these physical marks and departed into other remembered landscapes. ○ I feel a certain amount of trepidation in writing these the first words in our attempt to communicate to others the landscapes that we have encountered in and around Fulbourn Field 126. We wanted to work an archaeology of a particular place, due to our connections with that place in terms of mental health issues. I have to start by mentioning my friendship with Sue Bagley. She is my inspiration, and any landscape that I have ever encountered around Fulbourn Field 126 is inscribed through traces of that friendship and through my knowledge of her. Before I ever knew of Fulbourn Hospital, I knew Sue. I told her stories. I told stories of the ways in which I imagined lives to be lived during the neolithic and bronze age. I worked in the East Anglian fens as an archaeologist and I would bring the material traces of that hidden fen landscape indoors, indoors into the rooms in which we talked. My body and arms would take on and encircle the dimensions of pits. My body stooped down to deposit pottery in the bases of these features and all the while I would be telling tales. I’m quite self-conscious usually, but when I talk about archaeology, materiality and the spaces of other people, I move my body out and I move my hands and I occupy those spaces again. My hands aren’t just mine if you like. They start to take on that space, they’re trying to re-enact that encounter, but without the hard material things there anymore. But the force of all that, the dynamic of that engagement, is still living through me I guess, and so holds the materialness of these places in other ways. When performed, these places materialise through action. Sue talked about how in moments of mania you leave yourself, and how you need to get yourself out, and if you can work that for long enough, the force of yourself is out in the room and all around. And how it is safer out there, and being worked on out there. How there is a materiality to the body that is not bound by skin. Bodies that have to leave their skin wraps. That people can and sometimes have to construct their identities, or presence themselves, in other ways. So from the fragments worked through the practice of archaeology to the fragmentation associated with mental health problems, and a connection between the two that was worked by the tales that Sue and I told. Sue died in Fulbourn Hospital. I came to realise that archaeology was a way for her to identify with me in quite a dramatic way. At times it seemed like a material recognition of who and what I was, through an engagement with the stories I would tell of excavation and the different and varied pasts and landscapes of neolithic and bronze age people. I came to realise through Sue that archaeological work necessarily involves a performativity in and between people and things and places that transforms mind::body differences, the previously considered material and non-material aspects to our identities, the ways in which we perceive of ourselves and others.


○ We will use dynamic imagery to recount the landscapes of our memories of Fulbourn Field 126. This argues that concrete memories transform a place. That concrete memories can transform a place from a psychiatric hospital, Fulbourn Hospital, into landscapes of paths and places where nostalgia strolls and reveries are established. Landscapes where distant images of people are focussed upon once more, and brought back from the margins in order to live the lives of our encounters in geographies of remembrance. ○ Fulbourn Hospital, as a site, was a place of resistance by Sue and a place of hate and fear for me. Fulbourn Hospital, as a site, was a place where Sue’s resistance was not seen in a positive light, as proof that she was aware of herself. This was a place where her vibrancy was not seen as evidence of her being alert, or as evidence of her being, if not fully, then at least partly in control of her mind and body. Sue killed herself because this was the final political stance she could make to tell the world that a system was not coping with the ways in which people can live their lives. Sue killed herself because a system said that there could only be particular configurations to a person, and she would not conform. Sue killed herself because she was angry and frustrated, because she lived at a time when a system said only particular bodies existed in the world, and at a time when she was acutely aware of how articulately she could communicate other ways of being. I couldn’t let her life breaths that communicated other ways of being stop. I kept outside in the fresh air imagining her all around in order to keep her thoughts alive. I couldn’t stop and focus on that place. To think of that place was to be caught up again in a system of dominance and exclusive representation. So I moved around elsewhere for a long time, until with the support of the Cambridge Women and Homelessness Group and several women archaeologists from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit we were equipped to work at challenging representation. We did this through our archaeologies of Fulbourn Field 126. Not Fulbourn Hospital itself but, through archaeology, the possibility of a landscape that had existed before there had ever been a hospital. A landscape that held its shape through the promises of other histories of place. ○ Did someone in this field once know the strangeness of themselves standing beneath the sky? Would they grind roots and twigs to drink, to treat the inexplicable feelings? Here, next to the hospital, where the packaging from a strip of anti-depressants lies in the turned soil. Did that someone sit with others around a stone hearth, where members of the therapy group now sit on vinyl chairs? Trying still to make sense of possessing a mind in a body, watching the sun move past the horizon daily. The ancient fragments uncovered this week are now enfolded within transparent plastic envelopes. In the electric light of the temporary hut, an assistant drinks from a polystyrene cup, touches a piece of flint; breaking bread with an ancestor, perhaps a former self. ○

THE FAVOURITE PLACE it is my own Favourite Place A Field A big wide Open Field where there is no one No one to bother me I can go to this Place And think Think aloud if I want to That is why it is my Favourite Because no one can hear Except God And my noble animal The horse If upset or in a Rage I come To This Place And Forget my trouble it is like being in a different world With Just me no-one else Just me 108

○ The recurrent memory that plays back inside my head is the rhythmic hypnotic sound of trowels ‘clinking’ against the chalk. The scraping action was trance-like and I remember having a real sense of space inside my head, which allowed me to think and wonder. Being ‘in’ the ground and doing physical work was very calming, and being in Fulbourn grounds seemed defiant and powerful, as if we were somehow reclaiming a visibility for women we both knew and had never met. ○ Being in the ground creates a remarkable point of connection. It holds the possibilities for many remembered landscapes. It is a point of transformation, where physical and memory marks can be (re)marked and can depart on journeys to other places that have never before been imagined. ○ Kneeling in the sieved mud – my knee prints, handprints. Grubbing about – turning over chalk, soil, worms, ants, bits and tiny pieces of something or other. Here I am looking as hard as I can and leaving a temporary print of me. ○

Fulbourn Field 126 1999 BC/AD It’s autumn. A beautiful sunny day. The sky is blue with little feathery clouds here and there. There is a cool breeze blowing across the field. I have come here to gather grass. I have come quite alone and I shall stay for a while. It’s very peaceful. I need a peaceful place to be by myself. I sometimes take myself off to other places. Sometimes like this, to a real place where no-one else is. Sometimes to another place in my head. That isn’t a peaceful place. That’s an amazing, exciting place where anything can happen. Where my thoughts go so fast you would think I am not making sense, but I am.

I see the strangest visions. I see crowds of people like us, but not like us, moving about this field. I see great collections of earth and rocks built high like mountains. And I hear terrible screams and yells and hollers. And sometimes, the most terrifying thing of all, I feel that I am drawn up among whirling spirits, lost and wailing, full of despair and desperation. I feel the fear and despair, I feel lost, as if I don’t inhabit my own body. And although I am drawn into this terrifying place, I can also leave it, because the peace and stillness of the field grounds me. The ground holds my body. My spirit returns. I am connected again. I am grounded by the white field, which is thinly covered with grass and flowers surviving the weather. Thrusting their fragile roots into the white chalk. Reaching between the layers of sea sediment. The white memorial of an ancient ocean that washed over this land. Linking me with the distant past, just as my racing mind can link me with times to come. Making nonsense of time. There is before. There is after. There is now. There is time and there is no time. It is autumn. A beautiful sunny day. The sky is blue, with little feathery clouds here and there. There is a cool breeze blowing across the field. There is a buzz of activity around the site of the dig. Women are busy scraping and sieving. Digging and cleaning. Helping and talking and taking photographs. The earth has been opened, the white chalk exposed. A mini-landscape of craters, ridges and contours. Untouched for millennia. Maybe never looked upon by a human eye. And in amongst the spoil, hidden in the layer between the grass and the chalk, tiny fragments. Evidence of those who were here before. Burnt charcoal. Clay pipe stems. A worked flint. Pottery and china from so many different 109

ages. Time telescoped into nothing. Then and now overlaid and etched into each other like the layers of the earth beneath us. The evidence of the past exposed. Their stories and our stories retold. ○

Memories of the dig at Fulbourn Hospital. I loved the friendliness and enthusiasm of those who had studied archaeology, they brought it alive and had much respect for those who had lived before us. They were approachable and warm, one of us, not at all condescending. They made me want to find out more. I had listened to dry, formal talks at the University one Saturday, on healing in medieval times. It was very different. I couldn’t stay very long. ○ It has been absorbing. We have all participated and I’ve certainly enjoyed being out in the fresh air. The climate has behaved itself. People have been doing different things on site.

○ Women and children laughing and chatting as they trowelled and sieved, marvelling at the treasures they were unearthing – fragments of pottery, flint, tobacco pipes – on a bright, sunny day; the first recollection of our project. Then the meetings and tea-drinking filter in, along with discussions, air photos, maps, desperate attempts to get the magnetometer to work, the brilliance of ‘living the fragments’, and the non-smiling faces of the hospital patients. ○ I thoroughly enjoyed the dig especially as I had never been on one before. It was exciting that some Bronze Age relics were found. I thought there was a good atmosphere on that October weekend. A patient from Burnett House joined us. The one disappointment was that Living the Fragments wasn’t videoed. It would have done Mental Health good. ○ My memories of Fulbourn hospital span almost 30 years. Fear of the place as a child, fantasies about what it was like in there, what the people inside were like. At 18 going to visit my father there, feeling awkward, embarrassed. He would have been 44 then, the age I am today. Then I visited my brother before becoming a patient myself at the age of 27. For me, one of the best things about being ‘crazy’ was the total lack of self-consciousness, so crippling to me most of the time back then. My memories of those two weeks are very mixed. I think they disconnected the phone early on because I kept phoning the emergency services - it really felt like a matter of life and death. I was so heavily drugged that first week I didn’t know who, or where I was and could hardly keep awake. A young male patient who was much liked killed himself that week, but I could barely register the event through the heavy fog that isolated me. ECT was threatened but luckily I had a good mate who said ‘over my dead body’.


I found it hard to tell the patients from the nurses, there were no badges in those days. I walked out twice, but each time someone came in a car to pick me up before I had got very far. I have no memory of anyone talking to me, trying to find out what was going on in my life or really connect with me. Some things about it were very funny, others scary. I was ‘groped’ by a male patient, a very common experience, I have no doubt. In recent years the hospital has become familiar territory as I visit women there as part of my paid work. I hate the effects that contact with the mental health system has on so many of us, leading us to feel inferior, less than fully human. I hate the debilitating effects of the ‘medication’ – a.k.a. drugs they give us in vast quantities so we keep quiet and don’t rock the boat. To be there, digging up the lawn with a bunch of sassy, intelligent women was a treat. To claim that place as ours, do things our way, together, with thought, meaning, sensitivity and fun was a brilliant contradiction to any remaining feelings of powerlessness and isolation still lingering from that first visit so long ago. I felt nervous too, aware of the blocks which still inhibit me from expressing myself creatively, and did not write, draw or take photos as others were doing. I did a lot of sieving, chatting, preparing food and people-watching and it was magic. It was a golden opportunity I couldn’t resist, a chance to begin to overcome those blocks to my creativity and to speak out on matters I feel passionately about. I loved the whole process, struggling to write and paint, dancing and laughing, all the inspiration and encouragement from such wonderful women. The response to our show was fantastic, our work meant so much to people, it bowled me over. I feel as though I have come full circle. I was involved with a theatre group, working on a play about women’s lives when I became a patient at Fulbourn but had done nothing like that since until this. I have gained such confidence from this whole process, which will stay with me. I am already more courageously speaking my mind and sharing my experience and knowledge with others. We who have survived the mental health system have much to teach others if they choose to listen. ○ It is important to recognise that archaeology has its limits. These limits can be transcended to a certain extent by working a performativity between people and things and places. Indeed, there is a particular specialness to archaeological landscapes that hold their shape through the promises of other histories of place. However, there are and always will be missed marks or blocks. It is sometimes very difficult to shake off the concrete memories that produce again and again fragments of a particularly raw, hurtful and above all frightening landscape that seem out of any one person’s control. Memories that slip through the grasp. Thinking on that seriousness, it is important to mark an awkwardness to archaeology. With that awkwardness in mind, being mindful of the blocks, we have to look at where archaeology departed into other performances, where we looked for other connections. We found the restorative power of other creative energies, and so other remembered landscapes, from ‘Living the Fragments’. ○ I enjoyed working towards the archaeological dig, but I did not go on the dig. I also enjoyed preparing stuff for the Living the Fragments, I did a piece of crocheting and stuck things on it, I did a photo of nurses and a quotation on a piece of glass and kept it as a reminder of it all. I think doing things like that helps people’s mental health, I never thought I would get interested until I started helping out. ○ I liked doing the paintings, the pictures for Living the Fragments, and I liked putting feathers on the paintings. I enjoyed doing the painting and when I’d done them, I liked the drama centre, to look around to see what everyone else had done it was so nice. To see what we had done to the drama centre and I liked the play that we had done with the paintings. I liked what everyone had done, it was all so nice. I liked it all and they were all so nice and I liked all the things that we had done it was so good.


○ I had not seen Kay since we left School (I am now 35 years old). I recognised Kay acting with the Freudian Slips’ archaeological recent play ‘Living the Fragments’. I thought she was so bold, professional and dramatic. Sheena confirmed with me that it was the Kay I knew from school. I plucked up courage to reintroduce myself to Kay. We were so pleased to see each other after all these years! We had so much to talk about. I really do admire her. I do hope we can keep in touch with each other. To me, the depiction of ‘Archaeology’ in this context means finding someone special from the past. ○ Looking back with photographs is an extremely emotive and powerful way in which to visualise remembered landscapes. Photographs, as material culture, make archaeological connections once more. It was perhaps with photography that we challenged most effectively the dominant and exclusive images used to represent mental health system survivors. Our photography was a challenge to the plethora of images that, through stereotypes, circulate notions of fear and loathing, and which leave mental health system survivors to deal in isolation with the stigma and negativity attached to these forms of imagery. Our photography was a way to at last identify with images, to at last recognise our own faces in images shown back to us. We realised that we had created an archaeology of ourselves. Our remembered landscapes, when at their most personal and intimate, had a visual narrative. ○ As I look at some of the photos taken at the dig, I am thinking about all the people who have crossed over this piece of ground and wondering about them all and where they are now! I love the marks on the ground of where we were, the hand-prints, the hole we lay in with an imprint of a body in it, the shadows of us here and not here at the same time, like the ghosts of all the people who have crossed over this piece of ground. ○ It was a long while ago now but these are my impressions of that weekend. On the first day it was just Lesley, Paula and I. It felt strange to be setting up a site without the official back-up, as it were, from the unit I work for. It was the first time I’d set up a site under any other circumstances than the usual i.e. work. It felt rather scary – as if we were frauds! We laid out the trenches according to the pegged grid set up during the geophysical survey – other than the red pegs the ground was completely untouched – a manicured lawn covering a large space. Our fenced rectangular compound looked as if it had landed from outer space – it felt a bit cheeky – surely the hospital will complain, after all we’re spoiling the view. It’s too long ago now to distinguish between the days. The over-riding thing I remember thinking was – well at least on the first day we looked official, that’s all gone now! A kind of chaos took over – unruly children and adults too! Beautiful autumn sunshine, my blaxsploitation tape in the car on the way there. Trowelling the chalk, getting to know people, not knowing who was a Fulbourn survivor or member of the collective, or a Corona House resident. Emma in a skirt with a hand brush brushing the chalk surface, Phoebe on the roof of the hut, lots of photos, King John, lots of food


(and lots of people eating it). Some Fulbourn residents watched us from afar, some came nearer and some came in. The fence around the site assumed great significance, there was a feeling that it divided two completely different worlds. I felt a bit dislocated from all the free expression taking place (lying down in a row in the trenches, outlines of people marked on the chalk surface etc.) and clung to the rules of archaeological practice. I’m obviously way out of touch with my inner self. Hard work again – this time reversing everything we’d done on Friday – taking down the fence, putting back the soil and returfing. It occurred to me, that speeded up the weekend would make a pretty wild 15 minute film. 3 flash-jacketed people busy themselves marking out a special area of ground. They dig off the turf and hundreds of people are released from the earth, confined within the fenced area they run around, engaged in all sorts of busy activity – some communal 113

and some individual – only to disappear as quickly as they came. The turf is put back by the people, the fence demolished and driven away and almost no trace remains on the smooth grass of the lawn. When we went to the offices in the hospital (to tell them we’d backfilled and returfed) one man asked me “Were you bothered much by any of the patients?” I told him, “I think it generated quite a lot of interest, and some of the patients joined in, they seemed to really enjoy it”. I don’t think he sees things from the same point of view as me. ○ How impossible it all seemed at the start, how could we possibly get the permission to go and dig up the hospital grounds. In that office with you Lesley, and Mr. Whats-his-face asking us what were we up to and why?? Then suddenly there we all were, busying away in that cage on the posh lawn, turves stacked high, machine in the corner and people everywhere. It was so homely and fun, and certainly the best on-site lunch I’ve ever had. The cage was Fulbourn’s way of trying to keep control, trying to contain us, but somehow it felt like protection from those bureaucrats who didn’t want us there. It was a cage that allowed people in and out, above and below the ground. This was an archaeology that was truly empowering, the archaeology wasn’t what was most important about the project, but it was what allowed us to make the project happen. It provided an umbrella of acceptability, how else would we have been allowed to go and have a party in someone else’s garden! I just hope it allowed people who had connections with the hospital to expel their worst experiences and have a whole new memory about the place. I think it was such a valuable experience, it must have made everyone think. I certainly hold a vivid memory of John and the connection I felt with him regarding the memory of my brother Colin, and then there was the other John, Mr Faulkes, I’m sorry Lesley but there’s a vivid purple memory of him in his cycling get up which I don’t think I’ll ever be able to dispel, anyway it was a good one, it makes me smile, like a lot of that day there is a memory of laughter. ○ In our landscapes of memory, our geographies of remembrance, we hope you find an archaeology that shrills and hums with the revolutionary power of women’s laughter. We hope you enjoy the places where our concrete and collective memories take you to, and we hope that you will remember them.



Animals Wild animals play important roles in many cultures, and even in the industrialised West this survives in myths, stories and fables. Predators in particular may be regarded with complex mixtures of fear, fascination and awe. Wild animals may be the very embodiment of mixed feelings towards uncultivated, untamed or untravelled places. The hunting of wild animals is in many cultures accompanied by ritual, designed to appease the spirits of the killed animals, or to ensure their future co-operation and bounty. For the Ainu of Japan it was bears and salmon that played a large role in their subsistence and beliefs, for many Native American groups it was wolves, eagles, deer and bison. Many of the perceived characteristics of animals may be adopted by clans, moieties or other social groupings, and may form part of the basis for animist or totemic beliefs, and heraldic and spiritual references. We also have complicated relationships with domestic animals that concern more than simple domination over the natural world. Livestock and poultry are certainly exploited for their meat, milk, eggs, wool or hides, and in modern agri-businesses and factory farming there is certainly little room (literally) for emotion. Yet on smaller farms many farmers know and name individual animals, and furthermore this recognition is returned. Trusted older sheep ‘heeaft’ younger animals, and older cows may lead others in each day for milking without any supervision from people. Many nomadic herding cultures in particular develop very close relationships and symbolic references to their sheep, cattle or reindeer, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish which species has ‘domesticated’ the other. Modern intensive farming practices aside, some evolutionary biologists argue that in the long term it is various animal species that have adopted and exploited humans. Human gatherer-hunters or nomadic herders may follow tracks across the landscape created by wild animals. Humans, animals and landscapes are all linked through complicated weaves of seasonality, movement and practice. The pursuit of wild animals may require whole communities to move to exploit a seasonal resource, or some sections of their populations may be gone for days, weeks or even months on hunting and fishing expeditions. Domestic livestock need access to water sources and areas of grazing at regular times, but these differ for different species – cattle require water more regularly than sheep for example. These habitual movements may be daily, weekly, or take place on seasonal cycles, with transhumant travels between lowland winter shelter and highland summer pastures, or between river floodplains and valley sides. Herders may be absent from their communities for much of the summer, living in shielings or small seasonal settlements. In Britain these often long-distance movements only really ceased with the coming of railways and refrigeration. For hundreds of thousands of years human inhabitation and ideas of landscapes have been enmeshed within these complicated and changing relationships. Where animal paws and hooves have trodden, humans have followed, even to where feathers fly and fins swim. All too late, perhaps too late, we have realised that with the passing of the great game herds, the end of the salmon, cod and tuna, with the demise of the wolf and the bear and the boar, we have actually lost something of ourselves. Trying to redress these animal wrongs might actually restore a lost part of our human identity. Adrian M. Chadwick



Reassembling labour Melanie Giles Introduction: the later prehistoric landscape of East Yorkshire

Poetry does this by seeking the resemblances through which people weave together an understanding of the world and their place within it; a world of metaphorical relations. Metaphors make connections between different objects and fields of practice; making sense of one thing in terms of another. They reveal the resemblances between people, animals, places, tasks and ceremonies; how the burial of the dead was tied into a cycle of fertility (Bevan 1999) or how the breeding lines of herds may have come to stand for the relations between different families (q.v. Edmonds 1999).

The following essay uses archaeology, poetry and photography to explore the inhabitation of the landscape in later prehistoric East Yorkshire. This period is marked by the appearance of large-scale linear earthworks in the later bronze age and iron age; massive banks and ditches that appear to divide areas of open pasture (Mortimer 1905). They incorporated already ancient burial mounds into new works, changing people’s relationship with the dead and altering the way in which they negotiated their relations with other groups. In the middle-later iron age, the movement of people and their stock through the valleys and dales of the Wolds was even more carefully proscribed, watched over by a community of the dead who were buried under square barrows, clustered together in dense cemeteries (Dent 1982; Stead 1991). However, by the later iron age, these communities appear to have been increasingly fragmented by the interest of individual kin groups and households, and the square barrow rite is abandoned. Instead, people appear to be investing their labour and care into the digging of separate enclosures, often centred along tracks or droveways (Bevan 1997).

Photomontage enabled me to foreground some of these metaphorical relations. But also, in contrast to the usual effect of photography (to sever an action from time; to ‘freeze frame’ an event), photomontage allows the viewer to ‘read across’ separate images, to restore individual tasks back into the context of lived experience (Berger and Mohr 1989). The end result is not narrative; it does not tell a story of people’s lives. Instead, by using analogy, it tries to evoke a coherence out of the assembled moments; a sense of the holistic way in which people may have inhabited and apprehended their world. The following three pieces relate to the archaeological poetic ‘sketch’ outlined above, of the early, middle and later iron age landscapes.

These historical processes – apprehended by us from the two-dimensional views of aerial photographs and site plans – represent long-term transformations in people’s sense of identity and conception of community. However, as archaeologists we often fall short of approaching these processes at the scale at which they were experienced: the scale of day-to-day life. Yet it is through these mundane, repeated actions that ‘history’ happens. In trying to open up interpretation, I have therefore turned to complementary ‘ways of telling’ the past (Berger and Mohr 1989), using poetry and photomontage.

Conclusion In writing and illustrating archaeology, we select the scale of focus and choose which stories to tell. We should therefore acknowledge that the way in which words are placed on the page and their nearness to images are constitutive of the interpretation the reader makes, whilst never completely constraining it. Image and text jostle and oscillate, collude and conflict. Importantly, in working at this relationship we also begin to place ourselves firmly in the frame, bringing our own archaeological labours to light.

Making connections: poetry and photomontage To begin, I want to suggest that there is something in common between archaeological work and poetry. In John Berger’s essay, Once In A Poem, he argues that poetry’s power lies in its ability to bear witness to that which is normally excluded from the writing of history. It promises that 'what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it has never been' (Berger 1984: 121). It is this attendance to experience which “…defies the space which separates. And it does this by its continual labour of reassembling what has been scattered” (Berger 1985: 249). Telling lives in this manner is therefore an archaeological task, an ethical commitment to bring together the social, material and political conditions through which certain kinds of life were lived.

Acknowledgements These poems and images were produced as part of a PhD entitled Close-knit, Open-weave: Archaeologies of Identity in the Later Prehistoric Landscape of East Yorkshire (University of Sheffield 2000). The work presented here was funded by a Yorkshire Arts Bursary, as well as the British Academy, and was completed with financial assistance from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. This work was encouraged and influenced throughout by Mark 118

Bevan, B. 1997. Bounding the landscape: place and identity during the Yorkshire Wolds Iron Age. In A. Gwilt and C. Haselgrove (eds.) Reconstructing Iron Age Societies. Oxford: Oxbow, pp. 181-191. Bevan, B. 1999. The landscape context of the Iron Age square-barrow burials, East Yorkshire. In J. Downes and T. Pollard (eds.) The Loved Body’s Corruption. Archaeological Contributions to the Study of Human Mortality. Glasgow: Cruithne Press, pp. 69-93. Dent, J. 1982. Cemeteries and settlement patterns on the Yorkshire Wolds. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 48: 437-457. Edmonds, M. 1999. Ancestral Geographies of the Neolithic. Landscapes, Monuments and Memory. London: Routledge. Mortimer, J. 1905. Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire. London. Stead, I. 1991. Iron Age Cemeteries in East Yorkshire. London: English Heritage.

Edmonds, Jim Caruth and Jon Bateman, as well as the support of my supervisors John Barrett and Mike Parker Pearson. ‘Weaverthorpe’ first appeared in Wild Cards (Virago 1999), and ‘Taking Hands’ was first published in Staple (Issue 51 2001). Permission to reprint these poems here is gratefully acknowledged. Needless to say, the shortcomings of this work remain entirely my own! Bibliography Berger, J. 1984. About Looking. London: Writers and Readers Publishing Co-operative Ltd. Berger, J. 1985. The Sense of Sight. New York: Vintage. Berger, J. and Mohr, J. 1989. Another Way of Telling. London: Granta.


Who takes hands? Who takes hands to this work? Who hacks the pastures, shoulder from hock? Splayed like a fleece, nicked and cut. Who takes it for their own? Whose words carve its flesh? White bone riven red; blows that bloody smashed brows. Who buries the trace of heel and hoof, that heeafes the flock to its grazing? Who nibbles and snips what was close-knit? These furrows are too deep For a sowing. What crop can we reap? Who is ground under foot? Who chews at its corpse? Makes the land weep clay and ash: snags the dead like wool on a thorn. Who asks where we belong? Mothers, our distaff line has spun an open-weave: our threads are seen. Our yarn unravels... N.B. This ‘song’ speaks of the transformations in land-use from the later bronze age-early iron age, in East Yorkshire, c. 800-500 BC. The landscape was progressively divided by linear earthworks, which often deliberately incorporated or cut through more ancient burial mounds. Whilst the labour of the work negotiated tensions that appear to have been brewing concerning rights of land-use (much of which may have been sheep/cattle grazing), many groups may have feared the scale of these changes in their own lifetime, which dissolved a broader sense of community. The ‘white bone riven red’ refers to the Red Chalk, a thin band found at the base of the Cretaceous Lower Chalk in the Ferriby Formation (Kent, P. 1980. British Regional Geology. Eastern England from the Tees to the Wash). ‘Heeafes’ - in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, upland breeds of sheep (which the primitive breeds of prehistory most resemble) are said to be ‘heeafed’: they know and stay on their own land, often returning to the same places to graze, rest and lamb. (Hartley and Ingilby 1990: 25, Life and Tradition in the Moorlands of North-east Yorkshire).



Weaverthorpe Aerial photography has revealed the presence of a group of crescent shaped enclosures along a raised lobe of land in the Great Wolds Valley, East Yorkshire. These are connected to trackways that run down to the seasonal stream in the base of the valley, the Gypsey Race. They suggest the movement of livestock between the Weaverthorpe settlement and open land or pasture to the south. At the juncture of these trackways and the enclosure ditches are found clusters of square barrow burials, typical of the later iron age of this area (paraphrased from Cathy Stoertz 1997 Ancient Landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds). they know the rites of way: my hand has only to flick the swaying, high-boned hip, to nudge the pendulous head, set udders swinging between hind legs patched with soil and shit. by them I am known, my herder’s gait. their names are my lineage, their smell. warm turf, sweat and hair-grease, grass with the scent of cream to it, rich on the lip, a bellyful. each jaw longer than my handspan, there is no tongue thicker its curl crop rip. I know too, the carving of breast from bone, how each death holds the slather of birth. the warm peel of hide and flesh, the blood a pulse, rich and sticky, seeping into soil. watering it, like the stream in flood guzzles at gravel. this surge is in every vein, throbbing in the neck, in the sweat and heft of ribs and flank. the gape of each body in spate, rhythms of thigh and hip and thirst. we are made through this slow stumble and trip of hooves and feet. the herd’s rise and dip where we have worn the chalk skin into scars. so we mark the land’s curve with our dead, cut them into its bone. they watch us come and go. our crossing of the land by their marks, watering at dawn 122

the noon-day graze the herding home. we are their thread, living and dead woven each day through our warp and weft.



A curse on you... and all your kin for what has been undone; Ditch-leaper, Latch-lifter, Gate-breaker, Fold-wrecker, Sod-ripper, Crop-reaper, Stock-stealer, Feud-maker; bad blood and new fences between your line and mine.



Boundaries Walls of stone, cob and brick, banks of earth and turf, ditches and pit alignments, hedges, fences and palings – all are boundaries. These may be the most distinctive human traces in a landscape. A group choosing to mark out their territory from others may create boundaries to define themselves, to say ‘this is us, and our land’. Boundaries may mark a family plot of land, or define an area of sacred space. They may also reflect a desire to keep others out, and to define other groups and areas as outsiders in some away. It might be to say “keep out of our land, for it is ours, and you are different”. Boundaries may be created in times of social stress or even conflict. Delineating and marking out certain areas may assert authority, control and stability. Boundaries may thus reflect the stamp of empires, governments and oligarchies. The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall and the Rhine frontier, some Parliamentary enclosure and many of the walls and underpasses of our modern towns and cities all follow this practice. They not only reveal a desire to control people’s movements around their landscapes, but are also imbued with some of the ethos of those who instigated them. Imperial China and Rome both sought to promulgate their own power and glory through their mammoth frontier boundaries. For them, these walls were the very edge of civilisation. Much eighteenth and nineteenth century enclosure was concerned with a desire to improve and ‘rationalise’ the landscape. Many modern urban barriers often reflect an unease with crowds and their unrestricted movement that harks back to Georgian and Victorian town planners. However, the frontiers of Imperial China and Rome eventually dissolved. Enclosure sometimes triggered riots and protest. Fencing the mid-West open prairie was one cause of the nineteenth century mid-American range wars. Modern underpasses and urban walls are colonised by graffiti painters, skateboarders and other socially marginalised groups. Boundaries may equally be subversive constructions, challenging authority, a means of establishing rights and claims over areas that are contested, in dispute. The lines of existing boundaries may be appropriated and re-used, or may shift and change in a tangled flux over time. Boundaries may also be invisible, based solely on memory and ‘natural’ features in the landscape. They may never be ratified by formal constructions, or if so, only after generations. It is important to remember though that boundaries come into existence through co-operation and agreement as much as discord. They have to be negotiated and re-negotiated, and constructing and maintaining them may take the combined labour of all the people in a family or a community. Boundaries may be imbued with ideas of liminality, and may be the focus of special acts of deposition, or with symbolic activities such as the medieval ‘beating of the bounds’. In addition to providing landscape chronologies, boundaries can thus also provide insights into social relations. Who chooses to create them, and why? They are woven together with the lives of people, plants and animals, and with issues of complexity, access and restriction, power and control, memory, persistence and discontinuity. Boundaries are often landscape histories writ small. Adrian M. Chadwick




Picking up the trail: People, landscapes and technology in the Peak District of Derbyshire during the fifth and fourth millennia BC Danny Hind partly due to the themes of this volume, but also due to the scale of the data and areas involved. Any reader expecting details of these will be disappointed, and I refer them to my thesis for the details of my methodology, the assemblages studied, and the theoretical considerations of wider narratives and interpretations of British prehistory (Hind 2000). Instead, I aim here to build on the theoretical ideas I outlined in my previous paper, and to illustrate in practice how it is possible to weave these concerns together into archaeologies of inhabitation.

Prologue This second paper of mine concerns the ‘mesolithic-neolithic transition’ in the Peak District. The archaeology, the history of research on the period and the physical conditions of the Peak District are radically different from better known regions of Britain, and there have been few large-scale research or rescue projects. The scale and density of Peak lithic scatters and monuments are often lower compared to these other regions. In many previous discussions of lithics and regions, the ‘common sense’ language jars at every turn with contemporary theories of landscape and technology. The ‘mesolithic’ and ‘neolithic’, analytical objects constructed by archaeologists, fail to express time and the materiality of practice as mutually constitutive.

Introduction – contemplating the journey There are problems with the chronological resolution of the ‘late mesolithic’ and the ‘early neolithic’, and the transition between the two. No mortuary structures in the study area have been reliably dated, but many were probably reworkings of familiar, long-inhabited locales (Hind 2000). Cereals appeared comparatively early, and domesticated animals perhaps somewhat later. The diets of some people may have remained similar to those of previous millennia (Chamberlain in prep.; Emery 1962). Some ways of working stone persisted, and others changed considerably (Edmonds 1987; Ford 1987; Hind 1995). None of the ostensibly revolutionary changes associated with ‘the transition’ happened at the same time, and it seems inappropriate to continue talking in terms of two distinct periods, each with a set of ‘essential’ practices. Rather, we should recognise different practices as being coeval and historically emergent within the same developing world.

This paper and my PhD thesis before it (Hind 2000) are the products of a long tradition of regional surveys, which attempt to characterise distributions of artefacts over large geographical areas. Artefacts are often understood to give us direct access to prehistoric technical practices, and settlement and subsistence. The geographic distribution of techniques is usually understood as a synthesis of several basic social processes, including the adaptation to surroundings, the management of resources and physical constraints, and the processes of producing and transmitting innovations. Artefact assemblages offer us no unmediated access to prehistoric settlement however. No immediate functional equivalence between assemblages similar in composition should be expected. The analysis of stone tools and waste must be integrated with other categories of evidence and interpreted in terms of the potentials offered by their social and physical context. Using the integrated theory of landscape and technology outlined in a previous chapter (Hind this volume a), I sought to understand the lithic artefacts in terms of relational metaphors, capturing both their materiality and temporality. My methodology for collection and analysis therefore privileged those specific conditions in the interpretation. Original data were analysed in terms of assemblage density, raw material and technological composition, chronological patterning and landscape situation. Through an explicitly multi-scalar approach, I tried to integrate my analyses into the regional corpus, but also attend to the constitution of social life through practice and developing tradition.

In my previous paper in this volume, I established an epistemology, or a way of theorising and working on the evidence. This recognised that through an archaeology of practice, mediated openly by metaphor and analogy, it should be possible to understand how social conditions emerged, and were reproduced in the constraining and enabling materiality of landscape and technology. It is landscape and technology, simultaneously physical, discursive, social and existential, to which archaeologists have access, not ‘nature’ or ‘society’. It is through a repetitive engagement with landscape and technology, in the production of experiential time, that humans are capable of conceiving of their past, present and future in terms other than progress. For many people this comes through the certainty that the dead and the not-yet-born are immanent in the landscape and in the reproduction of technical practice. If so, there are profound and unsettling consequences for how we envisage what are often called ‘monuments’, and the activities associated with them. The iconic status of ‘monuments’ as defining features of the neolithic has allowed them to be seen almost as things-in-themselves, rather than as the consequences of

In many archaeological accounts it is customary to produce a grand synthesis, where everything is slotted into place through a ‘plot’, and where the reader is told, epoch by epoch, ‘what happened’ in prehistory. This is neither a desirable nor a possible outcome for this paper,


between a particular arrangement of certain artefact categories and specific activities. The identification of function pre-supposes knowledge of intention and project, which is only accessible through theoretical intervention. As we are dealing with a relatively restricted range of stone working tasks and a small but flexible ‘tool-kit’ (Edmonds 1987; Hind 1995), interpretation could more usefully focus upon possible working modes with respect to the potentials offered by particular landscape settings at various times. By stressing diverse possibilities for the inhabitation of places by historically contingent, emergent identities, and relating them to discrete timings, purposes and social or physical conditions, we might produce more satisfactory accounts of prehistoric practice.

sequential actions, situated in networks of diverse, mutually referential practices. Reiterative episodes of work collapse in low-resolution patterns of material. In terms of lithic technology, the Peak District had relatively limited supplies of raw material readily available for stone working. It is thus reasonable to assume that the amount of material to be collected ‘out there’ is significantly lower than in areas rich in raw material. This prefigures the need for diverse methodological and analytical approaches, for the analysis possible due to the sheer volume of material from Wessex and Berkshire simply cannot be done in the Peak District. Interpretative strategies must correspondingly differ. While regional cross-comparison is essential, it should not take precedence over the unique conditions of the study area. Whilst the synthesis below is important for future work on the Peak District, it has wider implications for the way in which archaeologists contrast one region with another.

This synthesis therefore addresses the specific, unique and peculiar character of particular places. This aspect of my approach is by no means new: Bradley and Hart (1983) drew on Hawke-Smith’s (1979) work to suggest very broad land-use zones, though we now know some to be inappropriate. Barnatt (1996) went further than Bradley and Hart and in critiquing their work, suggested the social potentials for four major land-zones. Within those categories I wish to identify specific characteristics of individual areas and the ways in which they might have anchored the projects and practices of the people who moved through and inhabited them.

The rationale behind my approach to lithics in the study area is that many previous accounts have not paid enough attention to stone working as practice. While some analysts have been content to put dots on maps, others have been meticulous in recording the physical châine opératoire (Garton in prep.; Myers 1992). However, the latter prefer to situate those sequences and networks in explicit, generalising models or implicit, common sense metaphors based on assumed function, rather than in terms of the production of social space and time. But we should expect no immediate, functional equivalence

For all of the above reasons I will depart from the expected format of a paper divided by chronology or societal subsystems (e.g. economy or ritual). Instead, I


scale and through kinship relationships. The division of labour, crucial to identity, may have been informed as much by horizontal as vertical distinctions, the latter often being unstable and short-lived in small-scale communities.

will examine individual drainage basins of the Peak District one by one, the motives for this strategy being twofold. Firstly, each drainage basin has an uneven relationship to the major categories of archaeological material. Some have produced well-excavated monuments or faunal assemblages, and others have not. Secondly, and more importantly, the sense of intimacy this method provides will make it easier to fulfil an inhabited landscape approach. For archaeologists and prehistoric actors alike, landscape is ‘good to think with’ and drainage basins provide a manageable way of orientating the body in experiential terms. In certain micro-regions I have found greater potential for the discussion of particular aspects of social life, the expression of which is not easily articulated through the materiality of others. The style of presentation may be displeasing to some readers who are used to clearly defined sections for theory, data, interpretation and conclusion. Instead, the format is more akin to a tour guide of individual valleys, with each section drawing together the themes best evoked by the material represented therein.

The differences in lithic scatter composition suggest that some places saw persistent use over time, some over more limited periods, while others were used episodically over and over again. Their varying size suggests that residence in a place may have often involved no more than an extended family. During the course of their residents’ tasks, nearby locales would have seen activity by an even smaller range of people. There were, however, other places where the scale of social interaction was potentially much greater, at mortuary structures, communal pasture and quarries. It is rarely obvious however, whether large numbers of people were all present at the same time or whether they came to a particular place sequentially. Apparent broad similarities in material forms visible to archaeologists over large areas (Care 1982; Jacobi 1979; Myers 1986), are actually derived from what would have been very fluid inhabitation of landscapes. In taking a network approach to landscape and technology I recognise that points in those networks were human beings arranging themselves through practice, probably through principles of kinship, made and re-made on a daily basis through face-to-face contact. Some small groups of people were probably closely related. They may have recognised themselves as caught up in larger groupings too, but these were unlikely to have been as discrete, fixed or stable as social evolutionary models suggest. If there was ever any sense of a strong resolution of political hierarchy, it could change or collapse rapidly, and certainly over the scale of generations.

The journey begins In a variable but often densely wooded landscape, the paths of least resistance were the edges of precipitous dry-valleys, the banks of rivers, and high watersheds. These were not only of economic and symbolic value to the people who traversed them, but were embodied in their muscles and embedded in their consciousness. Between these pre-existent paths, the trails of animals, spirits and ancestors, human and other agencies would generate further spaces and passages for future action. Concern with cosmic and social forces could have been expressed by reference to tangible terrestrial manifestations including rivers, forests, mountains, caves and other landforms.

We can say with some confidence that many early mortuary structures could have been built by, not a thousand, but a few dozen people, and at different times were encountered by perhaps just one or two. Absolute numbers are irrelevant: what is important is the difference between face-to-face interaction experienced between a few dozen and a few thousand people. Because of the character and scale of fourth millennium mortuary structures, it is fair to say that they are likely to have been built by groups on the former scale. Nevertheless, it may be through the coming together of those few dozen bodies at certain times and in specific places, through the materiality of working, eating and exchange that some sense of broader corporate identity was given expression. It is therefore unnecessary to maintain the distinction between small ‘mesolithic’ communities, and larger ‘neolithic’ groups. What is important is to cultivate a sense of how communities articulated at the level of dayto-day practice.

Prehistoric people may have recognised watersheds not as boundaries, but as important thresholds. People’s lives and their understandings of the world did not stop at those thresholds but, through the dissemination of bodies, objects, and ideas, were presenced by broader worlds. These understandings took them not only into different parts of the study area, but also, in the procurement of flint for example, much further beyond. While encompassing borders are rarely well defined amongst small-scale communities (Casimir 1992), people with an intimate attachment to their land often make moral or normative contrasts with areas beyond that intimacy (Helms 1988). These are nested landscapes, materialising as part of the nested identities of self and community. We cannot know how these people organised their work, interaction and the dissemination of their material expressions, beyond the likelihood that it was at a small-



Through them the body could be anchored and orientated in its tasks. Over time the movement of bodies and the development of paths regularised the way each new generation came to see these places, although the stories surrounding them changed subtly and imperceptibly from mouth to mouth.

The south-east limestone plateau This section focuses on the traditional centre of Peak District prehistory. My purpose in starting here is to encourage, in the accounts that follow, a sense of places and paths developing and the inter-generational rehearsal of movement, of people following the paths their forebears walked to the places they knew as part of themselves. Part of them that is, because every year the meanings they first discovered at each, through an education of attention, would have been rediscovered in growing relationships with other inhabitants. The southern dolomite ridge The majority of the geometric microliths and the earliest pottery known in the study area were found at the intersection of the Lathkill, Matlock/Wirksworth and Parwich/Bradbourne drainage basins. This area is not really a plateau, but rather uneven territory due to two ‘spines’ of dolomitised limestone that run south-east to north-west. Great crags and ‘tors’ stand proud of the ridges, whether as isolated stacks or ‘castellated escarpments’ (Dalton, Fox and Jones 1988: 13-21). Their substance is the result of sedimentary, volcanic and geochemical processes that happened millions of years ago, their emergent forms due to subsequent differential erosion. The post-glacial regeneration of woodland may never have extended to cover the highest ground on the plateau during the Holocene, due to a combination of climatic or altitudinal factors, and human interference at an expanding woodland edge (Barnatt 1996: 48). Pollen cores from three locales in the White Peak suggest repeated incursions into a naturally expanding upland forest edge by controlled burning and grazing (Taylor et al. 1994). Perhaps only birch, hazel and willow scrub were able to colonise ground above 300 metres OD (above Ordnance Datum or sea level), and locales such as those along the dolomite ridges were relatively open scrub throughout prehistory. Hawke-Smith believed that in the fourth millennium BC ‘the limestone plateau constituted a specialised outlying habitat offering valuable resources of grazing on the base-rich soils and perhaps elm leaves and shoots as food for stock’ (HawkeSmith 1979: 177). The higher ridges of the limestone plateau may have offered seasonal grazing for wild herds in relatively open woodland for several millennia beforehand (Barnatt 1996; Garton 1991).

Picking up the trail We start at the south-east end of the lower chain, at Hopton Top [1], where one of the first White Peak scatters with geometric microliths was recognised on a ploughed field (Manby 1963: SMR 8308, 8342). The maintenance of cores, their re-use as scrapers, as well as the production of backed bladelets and microliths were the trails of these people for those who came soon after, and for us too. A range of possible tasks could be represented; some of which are demonstrable through microwear analysis at more recently discovered sites. But here, as at so many other places we will pass, the elements of this flexible tool-kit are silent as to the work they did. What we can say is that the brown translucent flint may well have been brought from the Trent gravels, perhaps up the Derwent as far as where Matlock stands today, before ascending onto the plateau. The nearest outcrops of the dark-grey chert are about 10 kilometres to the north as the crow flies, in Lathkill Dale. Perhaps it had been recently acquired from a secondary riverine or glacial source on the journey; or else it had been carried for some time. Perhaps the journey was being made in the other direction, and the flint had been acquired through exchange, or curated since the last visit to allies in the valley. Maybe no great journey was being made, and the tools were produced while watching animals move on the ridge, or in clearings below.

Tors offered shelter and pockets of standing water to deer and cattle. Repeated grazing, trampling and manuring around these locales may have led to the creation of a ‘halo of open vegetation’ which in time provided a focus for human exploitation, as at the granite tors on Dartmoor (Evans, Pollard and Knight 1999: 27). In places, progress across the areas where dolomitic limestone outcrops could be difficult, as its already de-calcified, ice-wedged character may be broken up further by tree roots, which contributed to the form of the tors. Nevertheless, for people moving through the light, open woodland of this area, the dolomite tors offered excellent landmarks.

Nevertheless, we are alert to the presence of raw materials that are relatively local – accessible within the durée of daily activities – and non-local, requiring a journey outside the more restricted daily locales. The latter may involve visits to a different area (in this case over 30 km), which nonetheless might be in the same tenurial base. If so, it might be preferable to wait until the time when one will be visiting anyway. On the other hand, obtaining non-local materials may involve entering another tenurial domain, negotiating with known or related neighbours who hold the right to and knowledge of the resource. It may be appropriate to stay and work 134

southern half of the Peak is available. But the passage directs our gaze east and slightly north along the dolomite ridge, with the Parwich/Bradbourne basin to the left and the Matlock/Wirksworth basin to the right. Part of the importance of this site and the dry, broken terrain it overlooks may have been the routine passage of the bodies of the living between tenurial acts, and the tasks which constituted identity and community.

with that group for a period of time, before eventually returning to attend to one’s own land. In the sky, in the land Moving west along the watershed, maybe a morning’s walk, depending on who we are, with whom we travel, and the purpose of our journey, we come to Harborough Rocks [2], the highest point for a great distance in any direction. A pyramidal core of the same brown flint was abandoned on the north side of the tor (Manby 1963; SMR 2452), and other debitage resulting from the same techniques was found on the south side (SMR 2409, 3479). Time and time again, people sat under this massif resting on a journey, watching animals, working stone, or telling the story of the place, demanded by the size of the rocks themselves. Stories change, but the importance of a place can grow. Mortal remains would later be left in the phreatic (caused by rainwater) cave below the summit, after being exposed on the summit itself.

Following the watershed due west to Manystones Tor one will, with difficulty, find Rains Cave [3]. The roof has since collapsed and today, entrance is through a narrow portal that leads into a large single chamber. The cave slopes inward to a low chamber where sediment partially excavated by Ward (1892, 1893) chokes a spring (Ford 1977: 85). This spring may well have been active over the study period, at least on a seasonal basis, after heavy rains. Ward found fragments of a plain ceramic bowl (Ward 1889: 39, Plate II, 3) characterised by Gilks (1990: 11) as Towthorpe Ware, and by Manby (1996: 162) as Mildenhall Ware. He also found many butchered and cut animal bones (Ward 1893: 161)1. An edge-worn narrow flake, a knife (non-invasive retouch) and a quartzite hammer stone were amongst the simple chippings (1892: 238-239), along with coarse, friable pottery.

At the pinnacle between two outcrops is a structure categorised as a ‘chambered tomb’ by Manby (1958), and by Barnatt (1996) as of passage grave type. When excavated the passage was full of a ‘confused mass of human limb and trunk bones, mostly broken’ (Ward 1890: 122). The skulls and pelvic bones were deposited in a chamber at the back of the structure. Over time, maybe generations, those using some of the earliest pottery left a ceramic vessel and four leaf-shaped arrowheads, along with the remains of at least five of their dead. Ward suggested that the ‘extreme delicateness and thinness of [the arrowheads]…render it most unlikely that they were made for use’ (1890: 129). Flint-working in the forecourt suggests that objects were made there and then, for the purpose of deposition.

This ridgeway path was more open than those that ran through the shelves and valleys it overlooked, due to its altitude, geology and the movements of herds. People could move easily here whilst watching animals on the flanks of the ridge, as well as the smoke rising from the clearings below where others might be working. Our evidence that this was a path trodden by many generations of humans and nonhumans, comes from the rediscovery of different parallel and successive craft traditions (all flexible and non-specific with respect to ‘function’) across the ridge, along with the synthesis of environmental data. But for the people who walked the ridge in prehistory, what more evidence of ancestral footsteps could they ask for than the scale of the tors themselves, or the phreatic caves with their temperamental springs?

The simple interpretative choice is to fall back on apparently self-explanatory labels, such as ‘tomb’ or ‘monument’. As with any artefact, the use of these terms carries the assumption that from the outset, we can identify a single function to the aggregation of material. It may indeed be that these residues represent the creation of an ancestral community and that the accompanying stone artefacts are grave goods. However, this ignores the range of themes that were potentially addressed through the building and maintenance of a stone structure, or the deposition of bodily fragments and arrowheads. The consequences of these acts were only appreciable in the socio-technical and temporal context in which they took place. While the meaning given to the organisation of space was context or ‘practice’ specific, it could also refer, through association, to those meanings which were invoked in other contexts (Moore 1986: 85). So, if arrowheads carried connotations of ‘maleness’ or hunting activities (Edmonds and Thomas 1987), then the dispositions worked through in those spheres may also have informed acts at Harborough Rocks. Similarly, the individual biography of each actor present contained a number of temporal stages, formed and defined by their past and future spatial movement. From the top of Harborough Rocks, a 360 degree view over most of the

Where the ancestors watch the waters rise If we move along the watershed to the north and off the dolomite ridge we come to a knoll called Slipper Low [4]. As we drop down from this hillock we have entered the vale above part of the valley head of the Matlock/Wirksworth drainage basin. The Aldwark Vale above the stream is a dry valley, but has five springs, none of which flows more than a few paces before being reabsorbed by the limestone. These springs doubtless drew herds and hunters alike for millennia, becoming bound up with the identity of this enclosed place, making it special, even sacred over time. In contrast to the dolomite ridge above, this valley head may have been relatively wooded by the fourth millennium BC, as test pits indicated that there had been no significant colluviation in this part of the valley since at least the later mesolithic period (Garton and Kennett 1994: 10). Still under light, open woodland, this locale may have 135


offered a range of fruits and nuts in late summer and autumn.

humans as well as animals, pottery and a leaf-shaped arrowhead (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 89).

There is a proliferation of activity associated with the manufacture of geometric microliths near to the springs, known from the collections of enthusiasts (Manby 1963; SMR 134; 2401, 3473, 3405, 107, 128). Below Slipper Low itself scatters of principally early flint working included cores, gravers and scrapers (SMR 2412, 2413). A recent evaluation found evidence of the manufacture of microliths, along with blades and narrow flakes (Garton and Kennett 1994). Tantalisingly, test pits also produced a fragment of the carinated girth of a Grimston Ware vessel.

At the end of this same ridge that separates the Aldwark Valley head from the neighbouring vale is the chamber tomb of Green Low [8], excavated by Bateman, and subsequently by Manby. Green Low has the deepest history of all four structures. It overlooks the Griffe Grange Valley, between three springs. Manby only briefly discussed the pre-chamber inhabitation of this site, suggested by stone axe fragments and flint flakes beneath the cairn material. These were mesolithic and heavily patinated, and may been on the site a long time before the erection of the cairn (Manby 1965: 17). They include two opposed platform blade cores (one subsequently worked to exhaustion), two piercers with careful non-invasive retouch, a diminutive end scraper and a notched flake. In the forecourt area and beneath the blocking material were found Grimston Ware pottery and numerous fragments of quartzite pebbles (potboilers) along with more flintworking, and the bones of pig, sheep/goat and ox. The subsequent development of the locale is extremely complicated, but may have started with a simple chamber and passage, the cairn, facade and blocking material coming later. The bones of at least nine humans were represented in the chamber, along with parts of domestic dog, fox and cow, and red deer.

It seems that over the fourth millennium BC, the expression and cementation of relationships between people, as well as between people and place, developed through at least four mortuary structures of enduring importance on the ridges overlooking these springs. In some cases this involved the reworking of the structures’ forms over many generations. Minninglow [5] sits on the watershed with a 360 degree view incorporating both the Roystone and Aldwark valleys, and much of the rest of the Peak. By Beaker times it had been re-constituted as a massive oval barrow with many chambers and passages. But in the fourth millennium BC it may have come into being as a long cairn orientated ENE/WSW (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 88), or perpendicular to the watershed on which its sits. Most of the chambers built into this cairn were orientated north to south along the watershed. Minninglow sits at the western end of a spur of land, at the other end of which is Rockhurst [6] long barrow, similarly orientated, but with only the Aldwark vale down to the Grange Mill gorge visible. There have probably been no excavations at this site (ibid.: 85). On the north ridge of the bowl sits the robbed out remains of the once immense chambered structure of Stoney Low, Aldwark [7], excavated by Bateman. He found at least two chambers containing the remains of adult and young

This valley head, with potentially four fourth millennium mortuary structures, highlights the danger of explaining such monuments as territorial markers. This not only fails to capture the rich variety of purposes that their establishment assisted, but overlooks the changing significance of their use across generations (Edmonds 1999b: 88). All were built near or on earlier remains, which may have been simply camps or were themselves sites of mortuary activity, traces of which have vanished. Certainly in the case of Green Low, and probably the others, the reference to water features in this arid upland locale may be significant. Each structure has a unique architectural history. Though they are both long mounds, Minninglow and Rockhurst are morphologically very different, and despite their proximity offer completely different vistas. Did each successive enterprise draw attention away from previous natural and artificial configurations, or reference them? Are we witnessing a locale to which competing or complementary claims were made? Two things only are certain. Firstly, the seasonal round brought people back to work under the gaze of ‘the dead’ as the waters rose and


communal, sometimes ceremonial activity (Bahuchet n.d.), it is possible that members of different groups occasionally combined. Alternatively, outside groups may have been granted rights to hunt at certain times, perhaps during the autumn rut when deer were gathered together. Boar would have been plentiful in the lowlands throughout the year, and the invitation to join different hunts may have been a seasonal exchange phenomenon.

the herds grazed, and through this work identity, community and world were renewed and redefined. Secondly, these ancestor-associated spaces not only commemorated historical events but also retained a sense of currency and immediacy, conditioning the present in a cumulative fashion that influenced the interpretation of current events. The pots and the people Had we entered this landscape over the Derbyshire Dales, instead of coming straight up onto the dolomite ridge, we would have experienced it in a very different way, for this is the gently rolling land overlooked by the dolomite ridge. In this area there are none of the dramatic steepsided dales that characterise the rest of the Peak. Rather, this southern fringe of the limestone massif is a confused tract of limestone inliers, a poorly defined shale boundary and sand-filled solution collapse pockets (Ford 1977: 222). Little is known of the prehistoric environment in this area, although ash may have been on the increase on the calcareous soils of the limestone (Birks 1989). As the ground rarely reaches 300 metres OD the woodland canopy may have been denser over the fifth and fourth millennia. On the high plateau over 200 metres OD, there may have been a more open canopy of mixed birch, hazel and ash woodland (Spikins 1998).

Apart from Roystone Grange, only two excavations in this area have produced remains that may relate to the study period. Big Lane, Hognaston [9], sits on locally high ground (just below 200 metres) on a terrace beneath Hognaston Winn, which, with Wigber Low, Haven Hill and Madge Hill form a miniature limestone plateau at between 200 and 300 metres OD. The shale covered flanks of this plateau drain into the small surface streams which descend steeply into Kniveton Brook, Havenhill Brook and (before the creation of Carsington Reservoir) Scow Brook. Overlooking Scow Brook, a pit dated to 3937-3345 BC (BM-2421) with Mildenhall style pottery was found sealed below the bronze age barrow (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 141). This is comparable with Mildenhall contexts in the ditches of Briar Hill causewayed enclosure2, Northamptonshire (Bamford 1985). A backed knife and a bladed assemblage, largely in translucent brown flint and on the old ground surface were also interpreted as early neolithic (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 164-165). At the far end of the limestone outlier, pottery from the old ground surface below the bronze age barrow at Wigber Low [10], Kniveton (Collis 1983), may also have Mildenhall or Abingdon associations or else features of the Ebbsfleet style (Manby 1983: 52). Rim sherds represented about twenty vessels from shouldered bowls or jars. Like the palimpsest sites on the central plateau (see below), this locale saw the deposition of polished stone axes from Langdale, Graig Llwyd and Charnwood Forest. The other lithics suggest a mixed late neolithic and early bronze age assemblage. In the faunal remains pig is as well represented as cattle, providing further indications that this may be a ‘middle’, rather than ‘early neolithic’ assemblage. Molluscan evidence suggests that although the immediate vicinity was cleared there were probably stands of trees nearby.

The distribution of fourth millennium pottery warns us against using topological, geological or current administrative boundaries to close off the study area. Grimston type sherds have been found beneath Wardlow Pasture Barrow and further away in the Trent Valley in half a dozen other contexts (Garton 1991). Connections with communities on the Trent floodplain may have been closely maintained, and the same communities may have inhabited both areas at various times. In the seventh to fifth millennia closed canopy woodlands dominated by dense lime forest (Spikins 1998) would have largely dominated the Trent Valley. Rarely attractive to large game animals, except perhaps in spring when growth was possible on the forest floor, the maintenance of clearances may have been particularly important to the people dwelling therein. But given that hunting is often a

These isolated intimations of the fourth millennium belie the extent to which this area may have been inhabited: study period activity is represented to a greater or lesser extent in all micro-topographic zones examined in the Roystone Grange [11] survey (Chadwick and Evans 2000; Hodges 1991; Myers 1992). Small concentrations of seventh to fifth millennium material are fairly evenlyspread; there are at least as many on the hills surrounding Roystone Valley as in the valley itself. In the main these are typically small concentrations or stray pieces. Concentrations of exhausted cores from around


sites. Second, all these authors emphasise procurement and mobility strategies as a continuum for understanding variability in distribution, rather than as a ‘blanket model’ for past settlement ‘types’, a point which Myers incorporates. Third, while meat from large game animals is often a preferred food (Lee 1968: 41), its contribution to the diets of many known hunter-gatherers is frequently low (Kelly 1995). Despite the prestige bound up in ‘domesticated’ resources, cultivators and pastoralists are rarely completely dependent on these, and may include wild plant and animal species too (Bahuchet n.d.).

the water source at the junction of Parwich and Roystone Meadows may suggest that preparatory manufacturing work took place at this sheltered location. Artefacts attributed to the fourth millennium appear in all the micro-topographic zones except the highest ground. There is little evidence for the inhabitation of the valley bottoms, although there was no extensive survey of this area. Relatively dense concentrations of this date appear on the slopes and hills, but even these are characterised by a range of artefacts suggesting a limited suite of activities.

Across the Roystone Grange area, there are many broadly similar lithic assemblages, which are rarely diagnostic in terms of a distinction between the seventh to fifth millennia and fourth millennium BC. One way of accounting for this is that there may have been little distinction in the range of procurement and manufacturing activities practised over this time at these locations, although with such a flexible technology this is difficult to demonstrate without microwear analysis. But while similar forms were repeatedly deposited, the material conditions within which such practices were maintained were changing. Of course, change is the norm, stability the construct (Giddens 1979, 1984), but from the early fifth to the mid-fourth millennium new archaeological ‘signatures’ appear in the area, previously understood in terms of ‘the mesolithic-neolithic transition’. The gradual acceptance of novel organic, artefactual and architectural forms must have fundamentally changed some human relationships because of the work that was involved in their social integration. With the introduction of domesticated livestock, new relationships with people and animals may have been established (Edmonds 1999a; Thomas 1999). Keeping ‘domesticated’ herds may not be categorically different from other associations with animals that we would call ‘wild’, but there are some qualitative differences that affect social life (Ingold 1980; Sigaut 1994; Zvelebil and Rowley-Conwy 1986). Similarly, changing attitudes towards dead bodies and new material expressions from the end of the fifth millennium suggests changes in the reproduction of human relationships. These changes may have been very significant and had consequences that radically affected the future trajectory of social life. But these were complex and fragmented events, and cannot be simplistically reduced to factors such as domestication, the emergence of a new level of social complexity or a shift in the nature of settlement patterns.

Following Kinnes’ (1988) suggestion of fourth millennium subsistence practice as largely focused upon cattle, Myers suggested the lithics are indicative of a few individuals tending their herds. This might have involved grazing on the hills, with cattle being periodically brought down to be watered (Myers 1992: 70). This would not preclude activities such as hunting, suggested by the leaf shaped arrowheads, and perhaps the procurement and processing of plant foods. Because of the limited range of artefact types and the small concentrations, as well as the dominance of brown translucent flint in the collections, Myers characterised these sites as short-term encampments away from full residential sites. The latter might be found in the basins and valleys leading to the low-lying regions which surround the southern Pennines. These residence sites may themselves have been fairly mobile however, being relocated periodically during or between years (Myers 1992: 71). This model of logistical or radiating mobility (Binford 1980; Kelly 1995; Whittle 1997: 21) is satisfactory in ecological terms, with three provisos. First, a simple bipartite model of temporary camps and residential camps bears little relationship to ethnographic studies of huntergatherer and small-scale cultivator mobility. Studies such as those by Price (1973), Binford (1978) and Bahuchet (n.d.) emphasise a wide diversity of site types including aggregation sites, short and long-term residential camps, specialist exploitation camps for specific resources, hunting ‘blinds’, short-term hunting camps and butchery

There is little fourth millennium lithic material on the high areas, but communities were not avoiding these 139

These fieldwalked areas have four things in common. Firstly, all these sites are on the northern band of dolomitised limestone. They cluster around the steeply graved slopes of the Long Dale and Gratton Dale dry valleys, which plunge down from the plateau and snake their way into the major river gorge of Lathkill Dale. Hawke-Smith (1979) characterised these areas as poor on the basis of thin, stony soils, but his predictions are problematic given the discovery of plant remains on ‘unsuitable’ soils at Lismore Fields (Garton 1991: 15). Stoniness aside, all these find spots are on the edge of level and easily cleared ground. The sickle blades and serrated narrow flakes from Elton Common (Radley and Cooper 1968: 42) suggest plant collection of some sort may have taken place on these locales, during the fourth or third millennium.

places. High on the watershed above Roystone Valley, the Minninglow long cairn was brought into being. Its novel architecture was subsequently and repeatedly ‘drawn upon to define and instigate the authoritative demands of discourse’ (Barrett 1988a), and crosscut a number of pre-existing ‘fields’. The movement of herds and humans, clearings or stands of trees in the valley and the aggregation of people when plant foods were predictable, already informed the path along the watershed. New practices emerged within this developing network of bodies and objects, all perhaps informed by the spirits of herds and an ancestral community immanent in the landscape. This architectural transformation of a watershed locale not only drew on and reaffirmed authority ascribed to the existing forms of the landscape, but also provided a focus for its reproduction and reconfiguration.

Secondly, in each case a microlithic component or byproducts of it hint at presumed pre-fourth millennium BC activity. Like the distinct geometric sites at Pikehall Farm [18] (Hart 1981; SMR 6919, 3424), there is a preponderance of black chert blade core working, end scrapers, utilised blades, core rejuvenation flakes and rod microliths. The third feature shared by these sites is that they are all palimpsest scatters, with large second millennium scatters masking smaller fourth millennium material. Only the fortuitous survival of Mildenhall style pottery at Astonhill, and the recovery of Grimston Ware by trial excavation at Mount Pleasant alerted archaeologists to discrete and earlier components (Garton and Beswick 1983). Finally, at all of these sites except Aleck Low 2, substantial flakes from Langdale axes were found. Indeed, the plateau area around Gratton Dale is where the highest density of polished stone axes in the Peak District occurs. Modern arable land is however more concentrated on the limestone plateau since the introduction of varieties of altitude-tolerant wheat in the 1960s, and this in turn provides more opportunities for lithic collection. Axes are found in similar landscape situations on the northern limestone moors where fields have been ploughed and fieldwalked (e.g. Hart 1976; 1981), but the frequency of each has been less than in the Gratton and Elton Moor areas.

This enduring mortuary structure was only one such focus. Relationships were also sedimenting around portable forms, which individually had less enduring biographies, but embodied new and lasting types of attentiveness towards elements of the world. Alongside older, essentially unchanging traditions of stone working surrounding stable task-sets, the art of bifacial flaking was learned through the fabrication of novel equipment. A completely new set of procurement and craft skills were learned and passed on surrounding the production of pottery. The use of the pottery found at Roystone Rocks and at nearby locations, was caught up in developments which transformed attitudes to traditionally exploited foodstuffs, as well as being bound up perhaps with the milking of livestock. As these novel bodies and objects were gradually introduced, they were caught up in (re-) structuring of families, wider affiliations, debt, changes of residence and a multitude of other practices. Where many paths meet Walking to the head of Roystone Valley we come to where three catchments meet, and the southern extent of the Lathkill drainage basin, a wide, relatively flat expanse to Long Dale in the north and the head of Griffe Grange Valley to the east. This plateau separates the dolomite ridge already discussed from its parallel neighbour on which Kenslow Knoll and Gib Hill are sited. To the west it extends off along the watershed parallel to this dolomite band. The lithics from a test pit survey at Minninglow car park [12] produced a series of dense but discrete activity areas (McElearney 1992). The heavily bladed assemblage has only two geometric microliths but considerable quantities of bladed waste, one burin spall and a retouched blade. On this basis and on that of the high proportion of corticated and core maintenance debitage, Myers suggests that the activities were not ‘residential’ but neither did they involve the maintenance and use of tools made elsewhere (1992: 66). Surface scatters at Astonhill [13] (May 1971), Elton Common [14] (Gerrish 1982; Radley and Cooper 1968), Mount Pleasant [15] (Garton and Beswick 1983), Upper House Farm 2 [16] and Aleck Low 2 [17] (Hart 1981, 1985) were found within a short distance of this point.

Axes are not useful for chronological diagnosis as their production persists from the early fourth to the midsecond millennium BC. While axes did not travel far outside their source areas until about 3400 BC, Bradley and Edmonds (1993) have made a case for the frequent exchange of Langdale axes across the Pennines during the early neolithic. In the Peak District axe fragments


between people and the ancestral world (Edmonds 1999a: 42).

have been found, in association with Grimston pottery, in postholes at Lismore Fields dated to 3785-3645 BC, 3690-3380 BC (mean dates expressed in Garton in prep.) and in a pit dated to 3680-2910 (UB-3297). While the vast majority of polished axes in the peak may be from late neolithic contexts, we should be sensitive to the possibility for an early date when axes are recovered through fieldwalking close to other artefacts typical of a fourth millennium BC date. Bradley and Hart note with respect to the late neolithic of the Peak, that polished axes ‘concentrated on what may have been agricultural land’ (1983: 186). The implication here may be that axes were involved with clearance prior to the sowing of crops, but this is problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, the concentration of axes on the dolomite ridges mirrors the land which Hawke-Smith (1979: 63) had dismissed as being of restricted value for cultivation on the grounds of its shallow, calcareous soils which are susceptible to drought. Garton (1991) has commented that Lismore Fields, where considerable quantities of fourth millennium BC plant domesticates were retrieved, is also on land dismissed by Hawke-Smith. A more compelling reason why axes should not equate to clearance for cultivation is that ard-based cultivation would have only been workable in root-free soils. It could not have been practised by forest farmers on newly cleared land, but only on areas long cleared and perhaps converted to grassland (Hawke-Smith 1979: 22). The initial clearance of areas in the fourth millennium BC may have been for the creation of browse or pasture for wild and domestic animals. If maintained, these openings may have been suitable for cultivation by the end of the early neolithic. We must also not overlook the possibility that woodland was already being managed prior to the fourth millennium. With this in mind it is worth noting the discovery of one of only three tranchet axes known from the Peak District at Kenslow Knoll [19] (Hart 1981).

In this context material objects from the world ‘outside’ could be used directly and concretely to regulate and operate the world ‘inside’ (Helms 1988: 49). Chance loss or Western concepts of ‘refuse’ cannot adequately explain the disposal of axes. I prefer to use the term ‘decommission’, to signal that in most cases their discard may have been part of intentional strategies in the maintenance of unknown structuring dispositions. The power of foreign objects and the prestige gained by the journeys made and the relationships formed in their acquisition, their life within the homeland, and perhaps the deaths of the people who used them, may have all informed their withdrawal from circulation. If axes were more often decommissioned around the head of Gratton Dale over the fourth and third millennia BC and this distribution is not just an artefact of survey preferences, then there may have been some prior significance to these locales. Like the nearby ‘monument complexes’ it may be that paths forged through dry valleys or along ridge crests, as well as the watersheds themselves, met at these points. Perhaps it was somewhere people returned to over varying annual and lifetime ranges, returns that may have been given added impetus by the emergence of new practices and relationships. Selfhood and land: presencing the absent and the past Human selfhood was likely to have developed through interaction with other humans and nonhumans in the context of attachment to, and responsibility for land. Stone procurement would sometimes have taken place within the context of inter-community relationships and the affirmation of tenurial identity. The timing and spacing of going to certain places to extract stone from the ground might have brought people into social combinations different to those in other tasks, and into contact with the evidence of other people who had worked there previously. These encounters perhaps gave expression to, and allowed the recognition of the places occupied by actors in a broader social world extending beyond close family. In the Peak District a variety of raw materials from different source areas are present, and it is possible that some also came to the area through forms of exchange. Engaging in exchange would have led people to recognise their position in a series of identities and communities beyond immediate kin, from those who worked nearby flint sources into increasingly rarefied spheres of communication, even to distant axe factories.

The assumed link between axes and agricultural land (Bradley and Hart 1983) may not reflect the character of people’s engagement with these objects. In communities that, while relatively mobile, had an attachment to a set of locales, objects from beyond the places of common practice may have had a special significance. Material goods from a distance may be considered unique and powerful, or holding exceptional potency and magical strengths and abilities. If they were also acquired from a mystically charged source, then ‘potency is virtually assured’ (Helms 1988: 114). Edmonds has highlighted that the relationships developed and maintained through the exchange or gift of axes may have structured the way they were deposited in rivers, pits or the ditches of monuments. These may have included non-human relationships:

The rediscovery of places and paths was a process that presenced the past, and was guided by the demands incumbent on those holding tenure over land. The demands of the land lay, not only in its daily care, but also in recognition of it as something existing with people in their dasein, or life projects. Whilst walking familiar paths, people attached significance to the material evidence of the past that they encountered: the paths themselves, the evidence of other activities that happened in recent years or mortuary structures. Such compression

Sometimes tied to protracted funerary rites, these acts of consumption may also have been gifts to the gods, prestations that bestowed honour on those who placed spirits in their debt. Inscribed with rich biographies axes helped define relations 141

of time did not result in ‘timelessness’ in an ahistorical sense. Rather, particular times and events from ‘the past’ were immanent in a direct and unmediated way, when presenced by the project of an actor. Rather than people who lived in the past, these were people in whom the past lived, people who made the past ‘now’. This is the essence of what a mythic historicity does: rather than making the past ‘other’, it makes the past ‘present’, ‘now’, immediate, relevant and active.

to identity. I have only touched on practices surrounding the treatment of bodily remains. The next section, in which the landscape situation of archaeological material from the south-western river gorges is reviewed, concentrates particularly on these practices to raise questions concerning the relationship between humans and non-humans.

The bones in mortuary structures could at one and the same time be recognised as having genealogical depth, being active in the neolithic present, and perhaps also of a world which operated outside normal temporality. In kinship terms, there might have been interplay between the recognition of someone as a specific individual, as a particular member of a genealogical community, as well as with broader affiliations in widening, concentric levels of inclusiveness (Helms 1988: 31). Relational personhood marked people as of the present, of a genealogy that extended into the past, and of a community that existed in the past and in the present. The variability of bone assemblages suggests all of these ideas may have surfaced in mortuary practices. Rather than any simple, generic transformation from individual to ancestor, there was the potential to recognise a nebulous ancestral community, a particular kin group and a specific individual, in the same bone, depending on the field of discourse in which it was presenced. Like repeatedly worked paths and areas of regenerating forest, there was a metaphoric potential in things that were born, lived, died and then fell apart, which had resonance for the articulation of the living community and the evocation of temporal levels of inclusiveness with regard

Barnatt argues that early movement in the Peak concentrated along the ridges discussed above, whilst the dry valleys and river gorges were probably heavily wooded, and were ‘sinuous barriers that divide[d] the landscape in dendritic fashion’ (Barnatt 1996: 44). While they may indeed have been heavily wooded, when approached from the lowlands, dry valleys and river gorges could still have provided access into the upland basins and plateaux below the higher ridges.

The south-western river gorges

The sources of the River Dove, and its tributary the Manifold, are on the millstone grit edges of the Western Moors. The River Dove rises on the high gritstone moorlands of Axe Edge and runs southwards to join the River Trent. Its meandering course passes through the spectacular limestone gorges of Beresford Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Milldale and Dovedale, their white rocks carved into caves and spires by interglacial water erosion. Some of the harder reef limestones were left standing as hills and peaks after less resistant rocks were worn down. Reef limestone can be seen in the steep, spear-like Chrome and Parkhouse hills [21, 22] at the northern end of the Dove Valley, Raven Tor [23], Pickering Tor [24], Tissington Spires [25] and further south, the reef knolls


I will return later to the importance of species other than humans and the inhabitation of these ‘niches’.

of Bunster Hill [26] and Thorpe Cloud [27]. Inhabitation during the study period is evidenced through cave deposits and mortuary structures in the south part of the catchment, but in the north transect surveys have added lithic remains. Barnatt stated that ‘no meaningful correlation of architecture with landscape features has been observed’ (1996: 51), and this section aims to reconsider this assertion.

The dead in different contexts Excavations at Cheshire Wood Cave [31] produced ‘Windmill Hill type Ware’ (Emery 1962: 35), along with bones of badger, sheep, wild cat, dog, an antler tine and a chert flake. There were also ‘the teeth and jaws of two adults 25 to 30 years old at death and two children 3 and 4 to 5 years of age’ (Emery 1962: 35). One of the adult mandibles had been blackened by fire. If the dating is secure, these fourth millennium mortuary practices could be unique in Peak District caves, where human remains have otherwise never been found in seventh to fourth millennium BC contexts. In the longer term, they are by no means unique. There are many third and second millennium contexts in which artefacts and bones are deposited in caves and rock fissures, a later parallel being found in Church Dale rock shelter, near Lathkill Dale where the mandibles of three children were also found (Piggott 1953).

Non-human persons Although many of the caves were used through prehistory, indications of fourth millennium use are rare. Leaf shaped arrowheads have been found in Wetton Mill Rock Shelter [28], Darfur Ridge Cave [29] and Seven Ways Cave [30] (Bramwell 1977: 269; Green 1980: 4323; Kelly 1976), but all associated with essentially third millennium assemblages. However, all three caves were used by people who manufactured geometric microlith assemblages, and so these sites were known and may have had ancestral associations. It is through the many cave sites of the Peak District, especially in the Dove and Manifold Valley, that we can best appreciate the range of non-human prehistoric inhabitants, as well as more specific microenvironments. Throughout the post-glacial period this area was home to predators such as brown bears, wolves and foxes, all of which were cave dwellers. In the third millennium the bones of these and other animals become regularly used in structured deposits within cave contexts, sometimes alongside human bones (e.g. at Fox Hole Cave: Bramwell 1971). Red deer and roe deer are known from fourth millennium mortuary structures, but cave deposits from Wetton Mill and Darfur Ridge Cave indicate that aurochs and wild pigs were both being hunted until the second millennium BC. Species valued for their fur included beaver, badger, marten, polecat and wild cat (Bramwell 1977), all found most often in open woodland environments. Game birds known from the area include partridge at Seven Ways Cave, also in the Manifold Valley.

During prehistory Cheshire Wood Cave had a spring that collected in a pool at the entrance, perhaps on a seasonal basis (Emery 1962: 33). At Dowel Cave, parts of a cavern previously occupied by the makers of geometric microliths had been walled off into compartments containing ten or more ‘neolithic’ inhumations. Like Cheshire Wood and Rains Cave (see above), these deposits were found stratified in silts which suggested contemporary annual resurgence of water at these sites (Bramwell 1959: 104-5). Perhaps ancestors could be associated with caves in gorge locations as well as level valley head positions, springs and other watery locations. For at least three months a year, the River Manifold sinks below the surface shortly before Wetton Mill rock shelter. The neighbouring River Hamps sinks in the same way and both flows emerge a little way beyond Cheshire Wood Cave (Ford 1977: 219). Aside from the potential for cosmological beliefs concerning such phenomena, it would have prevented boat travel beyond the confluence of the Dove and Manifold Rivers. Whereas the upper reaches of the Wye and Derwent valleys would have been accessible by small boats, the Dove too is relatively shallow after this confluence.

What is especially interesting about the range of animals represented is the variety of different habitats suggested. Roe deer prefer to feed on the shrub layer in forests, while red deer and aurochs are thought to have preferred grasslands and open forests (Jochim 1976; Legge and Rowley-Conwy 1988). Wild pig would have been common in dense oak forest, and beaver in riverine environments. Both these animals provided an important source of fat in winter – boar, perhaps when they aggregated for the November/December rut, and beaver throughout winter and early spring when they are particularly lethargic and easier to catch (Spikins 1998). While the faunal remains from the Dove/Manifold Valley caves are from numerous different chronological associations, many of these species persist over the study period (Bramwell 1977). The cave excavations of the Dove and Manifold valleys, while inadequate to construct intimate site histories, do provide powerful evidence of a range of environmental conditions across space and time.

On the Manifold/Dove watershed and opposite Cheshire Wood Cave is Long Low [32], in a strikingly similar landscape situation to Minninglow, and also with a spectacular 360 degree view. Like the latter, Long Low was a fourth millennium BC long mound, and was similarly later converted to a chambered structure. As with the Aldwark Valley below Minninglow, Long Low has a panoramic view of an enclosed area, this time the open basin at the point at which Wolfscote Dale and Biggin Dale meet before the River Dove disappears into Dovedale Gorge. There may have been up to three more chambered structures built around this valley over the early and middle neolithic at Stanshope [33], Bostern [34] and Pea Low [35].



within them were more mobile, either in general or at certain times. Herders, hunters and cultivators all may have moved over distances that could be measured in days (Armit and Finlayson 1992), but the constituent parts of such a round may have extended over the seasons, even as residence patterns shifted over generations (Edmonds 1999b: 90).

The siting of these mortuary structures may have drawn on nearby monumental landscape features. In a different context, Tilley has suggested that monuments may capture, draw attention to or domesticate views of the landscape (Tilley 1994: 205). I would suggest that the opposite is true. The limestone rubble and orthostats are of the same material as the outcrops and cliffs amongst which they stand: they draw attention, not to themselves but to the world in which they exist. The builders of such structures were submissive to the landscape, both in the materiality and the spatial and temporal scale of their labours.

There are several interesting features of the lithics from the old ground surfaces at Liffs Low. If found without ‘early neolithic’ pottery they might have been classed as largely later mesolithic on the basis of broken and retouched blades, the opposed platform blade core and the relatively large quantities of chert (Barnatt and Collis: 116-117). The only two ‘finished’ artefacts were two scrapers, one of which is an end and side scraper. Given the area of excavation (15 metres by 8 metres), the recovery of seventy lithic pieces may not represent a particularly dense activity area.

On the shelf Biggin Dale is the most northerly dry valley to intersect with the Dove Valley. The dendritic character of such dry valleys, commented upon by Barnatt, is thought to reflect the existence of earlier drainage patterns (Dalton, Fox and Jones 1988). Many dry valleys today contain temporary streams after heavy winter rainfall, providing water for wild and domestic animals (Millward and Robinson 1975: 45). Modern mining activities have considerably lowered the local water table on the limestone, and seasonal dry valley streams may have been more common features in prehistory (Makepeace 1998: 95). Under greater woodland cover, such valleys may have appeared as paths through a subterranean realm of screes, cliffs and caves, and progress along them may have been difficult. Some, like Monks Dale, are practically impassable due to summer vegetation even today. However, the shelf edges above the gorges may have been a naturally occurring woodland border, with exposure to strong winds promoting tree-throws and enabling easier travel along the valley crests. A number of early assemblages have been recovered from such positions. North-west of Pea Low on the eastern shelves above Biggin Dale, a fourth millennium site was discovered beneath the later neolithic barrow at Liffs Low [36], Hartington (Barnatt and Collis 1996). A pit produced charcoal dated to 3990-3640 BC (OxA 2290). A discrete charcoal spread, possibly a hearth, gave a date of 3893-3381 BC (OXA 2291). A coarseware sherd also sealed by the barrow is ‘comparable both in form and fabric with Grimston/Lyles Hill Ware’ (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 113). Also sealed by the barrow, and adjacent to the pit and possible hearth, were forty-one stakeholes. The combination of fourth millennium BC dates and suggestion of small shelters allows speculation about early neolithic mobility. The Liffs Low shelters may have been part of a short-stay camp in a system of embedded or tethered mobility, where portions of the community spent time away from more permanent dwellings to which they eventually returned. Alternatively, they may have formed an outlying camp occupied in a system of logistical or radiating mobility, for herding, hunting and gathering or cultivation. This provides an alternative to the sedentary model suggested by Garton for the occupation of the ‘longhouses’ at Lismore Fields. While some communities may have had a degree of short-term sedentism, the stakeholes at Liffs Low suggest that other communities or social groups

This has consequences for the interpretation of assemblages found nearby at the head of Biggin Dale, by the Arteamus archaeological group. Densities may be comparable with the small shelf scatters at Moscar Farm [37] and Cotesfield Farm [38], which incorporate backed bladelet technology. At the latter, careful core maintenance and a restricted range of non-manufacturing activities are represented, particularly scraping and cutting. However, the dense scatter at Clemonseats [39], while demonstrably a palimpsest, is largely of earlier date. The composition of the earlier part of the assemblage, dominated by the dumping of cores, is qualitatively different from Liffs Low where waste dominates. Clemonseats is also set apart from the Liffs Low, Moscar Farm and Cotesfield Farm by its topographic setting at the head of the dry valley, enclosed on three sides by higher ground, and with a series of possible sink or solution holes (Ford 1977). The other sites are located on exposed gentle or moderately sloping hillsides, between the watershed and the scree of the dry valley gorge. A wide ranger of activities is suggested by the balanced assemblage at Clemonseats, including more ‘finished’ artefacts and the re-use of cores as tools. It may have been one of a variety of activity areas that we might characterise as a base camp in a system of logistical 145


they were perhaps free of the spatial constraints affecting contemporary mortals (Helms 1988: 44). The building of mortuary structures did not freeze or fix perspective (Tilley 1994: 205) because, like people, ancestors were constantly on the move. The metaphor of ‘enculturation’ perpetuated by Tilley stresses the separation of humanity and nature. But the circulation or human remains must also be understood as operating alongside contemporary practices involving non-human remains. In my earlier paper (Hind this volume a), I suggested that people in non-capitalist or small-scale communities often regard animals and the dead as fit to enter into exchange or kinship relations, as persons rather than objects. Such a relational perspective may account for the emergence and proliferation of mortuary practices that are archaeologically visible.

mobility. The dumping of cores could suggest that fresh raw material was available once one reached this site, perhaps in a cache. Access to the watershed and valley edge locations was quick and easy from this sheltered site. There may have been a wide range of environments present in this upland area, and from Fox Hole Cave [40], Dowel Cave [41] and Hindlow [42] there are indicators that open woodland may have persisted beyond the third millennium. At Fox Hole Cave and Hindlow considerable quantities of black grouse bones were found, which may indicate heather moorland perhaps with a light cover of birch and pine (Ashbee and Ashbee 1981; Bramwell 1977). The area has higher numbers of polished axes, and while axe deposition may be associated with relatively flat upland areas, these may not have been extensively cleared but remained a mosaic of clearances and regenerating woodland until a later date. Pollen from Fox Hole Cave indicates that oak and ash gradually replaced pine woodlands of the early postglacial, and remained prevalent through to the second millennium BC. The fine silt at the late neolithic levels at Dowel Cave contained several hundred bird bones from woodland habitats, as well as red grouse, probably brought by kestrels and tawny owls, and water birds such as mallard, teal, dipper, moorhen, water rail and crake.

The newly visible mortuary practices, which did not account for the entire human population, appeared at roughly the same time as cattle and pottery, which were frequently incorporated in deposits instead of humans (Kinnes 1988: 5). It may be that these practices were continually re-establishing classificatory orders and bringing the relationships and practices surrounding novelties into line with pre-existent types of relations. People kept cattle, extracted clay and made pottery, but these new practices took place in locales that already had associations with human and non-human ancestral communities. If human communities involved these latter beings in exchange and kinship relations, then the proliferation of new forms would undoubtedly have affected those affiliations, and the depositional practices through which they were expressed. This is not to posit that ‘monuments’ were needed because of the necessity to accommodate cattle within existing relationships. Rather, it shows a complex developmental process that drew on fresh architectural forms and their raw material, as well as pre-existent ‘natural’ features, in contextually specific acts across the landscape through time. Such acts not only accommodated new forms, but were also wrapped up in the re-establishment and transformation of existing relationships with beings and things.

Community relations The seasonality of human movement has received little attention, but a common assumption is that upland environments were summer pastures for herds, which sheltered in lowland areas over winter (e.g. Clarke 1972; Jacobi 1978; Simmons 1979). Spikins (1998) finds the ethnographic support for this to have been misplaced and, on the basis of a wide range of environmental studies of plant species available under various canopy conditions, offers more complex alternatives. While deer thrive in open woodland, the dense climax forests of the fifth and fourth millennia valleys and lowland would have been a relatively unsuitable habitat for them due to its density and shade. However, the annual leaf fall of deciduous trees leaves the forest floor open over the winter months and in a short ‘vernal’ period in early spring some undergrowth species flower rapidly before the full development of the forest canopy. Valleys may have also been attractive in autumn for nut-producing trees, but not so much in mid-summer and winter. Evidence for the seasonality of human endeavour is rather intangible in this area, and will be better discussed later. The Dove and Manifold bone assemblages provide a glimpse of the range of non-human life in the study area, and, in the context of human inhabitation, this demands further comment.

The Lathkill catchment The Lathkill catchment is the second largest drainage basin on the White Peak. Its east-flowing river originally passed over the surface from the Monyash area, but today surfaces at several points within the gorge to the east (Ford 1977: 215). Following periods of heavy rainfall a strong flow of water still issues from Lathkill Head Cave (Dalton, Fox and Jones 1988: 33; Millward and Robinson 1975: 55). Unlike the dry valleys, Lathkill Gorge may have provided a wide ‘resource base’ for prehistoric communities. Wet soils at the edges of rivers often provide edible seeds, greens and tubers as well as a host of medicinal plants and herbs (Mabey 1996). Rivers provide stretches of lowland forest ‘edge’ habitat, which by contrast to those caused by tree fall, are stable and predictable. Localised pollen cores from barrage tufadammed systems at Raper Lodge [43] in Lathkill Dale

The circulation of human remains in the fourth and third millennia has been commented upon for some time (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979: 83), but in the Peak District must be understood in terms not only of surface architecture but also in other contexts such as caves. Cheshire Wood Cave suggests that if the dead were in some senses out of sight or immanent in the landscape, 147

Gib Hill Repetitive or intensive activity certainly concentrated upon the south-westerly facing slopes at the head of the ridge to the west and south of the Gib Hill cairn and barrow. This is located on the north-west tip of the ridge, which runs beneath the barrow on Smerril Moor, and then south-east to Elton Common. The burnt layers and cattle bone in the Gib Hill mound may suggest a locale where at certain times the importance of these animals was brought into focus. These residues may have been deposited following feasting, but the significance of cattle as a resource for ceremonial consumption should be understood as based in wider practice. The preservation of such remains are the exception on the White Peak due to strong alkaline soils, but their inclusion in mortuary structures elsewhere suggests a close identification of people with herds (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979: 247; Edmonds 1999a: 28). Cattle in general, or particular beasts, may sometimes have been conceptualised as nonhuman persons, analogous to children in the way they were cared for by adult humans, at other times as nonpersons or objects (Bird-David 1999; Ingold 1996a). They may have stood in a relationship of metonymy to the humans who moved with them, or to the relations between human communities.

suggest that even at these lower altitudes birch, hazel, oak, elm, lime and ash all flourished to varying degrees over the early and mid-Holocene. The same sequence indicates a sudden decline in elm and lime associated with an opening in the woodland canopy at 4220-3805 BC (BETA-64033; Taylor et al. 1994: 362). Later burials in fissures and caves (e.g. Piggott 1953; SMR 10232) may reflect a longer tradition of largely unrecognised deposition: one of only three tranchet axes known from the Peak was deposited in a fissure in Lathkill Dale (Hart 1981: 32; SMR 11402). The Lathkill Dale gorge may also have been repeatedly visited to exploit its seams of fine-grained black chert of the Monsal Dale series (Harrison and Adlam 1985). Raper Lodge itself was the site of frequent prehistoric chert working (Henderson Site 81), and working of the distinctive black chert found has been noted on the shelves above the Lathkill gorge opposite Ricklow Dale [44]. Ridge top activities I have already remarked upon the quantity of polished axes from the Gratton Moor area, at the southern extent of the Lathkill catchment. This concentration declines from the dolomite ridge onto the plateau area north and north-east, towards the source of the River Bradford and along its flanks (SMR 10149, 15713, 10122, 15705). Following the dolomite ridge north-west, with the Moneystones [45] site on our left, will bring us to the end of the ridge where Gib Hill [46] sits.

Some of the pastures where cattle grazed were very likely the same clearings through which previous generations had followed herds of wild cattle and deer, with which they still shared springs and watercourses. The tenurial relationships between people that informed their conduct towards animals and places may have been similar regardless of whether the herds with which they moved were ‘domesticated’. Raising a mound following acts of communal consumption, at a locale already understood through concepts of tenure, may have incorporated and carried forward those same ideas. This added another resource through which visitors and tenurial ‘caretakers’ could discursively establish access and regulate practice. Authors such as Tilley (1994) and Thomas (1999) hold that mortuary structures fundamentally transformed the locales they occupied, as ancestral rights and ways of thinking about the self were remade by gathering bones together. However, this may downplay the significance of meanings invoked from acts of building and rebuilding, of brief encounters and proximal activities with no immediate reference to the dead.

Moneystones was unusual in being a watershed locale where a relatively wide range of tasks were carried out and complete tools frequently discarded, over the seventh to fifth millennia. It was not unique though. Further up the watershed are other find spots of geometric microliths at Middleton Moor (SMR 10186) and Benty Grange [47] (SMR 6839). At this locale was a small, tabular block of worked black chert, and a crescent microlith (DCC 2). Nearby a dense surface assemblage (DCC 31, 115 lithic finds/Ha.) included a rod microlith, an end-scraper, a notched flake and two flake knives. Leaf shaped arrowheads were also frequently used and /or deposited up on this watershed (SMR 10136; DCC 30). These earlier ridge top sites had great technological diversity, and interpreting them all as hunting sites would be overly simplistic. Manufacturing, tool-use, repair and discard were all represented.

Gib Hill, like many other mortuary structures in the Peak, was constructed over a long period of time, through episodic rearrangements of accumulated material (Bateman 1848, 1861; Radley 1968b; Ward 1908). Its constituent elements, which clearly had symbolic qualities, could themselves be the residues of successive instances of many different practices or prolonged occupation. Either way, at some point material was either created for the purpose of building the mound, or gathered together from existing material and built into that structure, into which other things would later be inserted. Each stage in the occupation created further series of potentials, dependant on the character of the labour and the variable co-presence of humans and

On the north-east facing slopes opposite and south-west of Gib Hill, numerous stone axes have been recovered from the Newhaven Lodge Farm [48] area (Clough and Cummins 1988: 189-190; SMR 7001, 6867). Like the fall-off in densities at Gib Hill, this may suggest that activities were focused on the slopes at the peripheries of this upland sink, rather than within the solution pockets in dolomitised limestones and tertiary and quaternary head deposits. There may be a correspondence with evidence from other regions that activities concentrated near the margins of longstanding woodland (Holgate 1988; Woodward 1990), down-slope from the watershed ridge. 148


microlith were also found, along with an end-scraper, and more bladeworking (APT 13). Local sources say stone axes have been found in adjacent fields, but only a few are recorded (e.g. SMR 15713).

animals. While the materiality of social memory is real, it is also something incredibly fluid, which is worked at and changed through time. Mortuary structures could have been evocative of a range of ideas beyond the disposal or transformation of the dead. A whole variety of different concerns might be brought into focus at different times, depending on who was present and what tasks were being performed.

Down slope to the north-east at the head of Cales Dale, another possible long barrow was discovered at One Ash Farm [49] during a test pit survey (Barnatt and Collis 1996). Like Gib Hill, this low earthen structure included many cattle bones and much burnt material, and the context of its creation may be analogous. Two concentrations of stone axes are known from the shelves around Lathkill Dale. Around Monyash [50] ten neolithic axes (10208; 10209; 10210; 10221; 10222; 10230; 10261) have been recorded within a short distance of each other. Another concentration (SMR 487; 489; 12432) is known to the north near Dyke Head Farm [51]. Transect surveys covered ploughed fields near these locales, but found little diagnostically early material.

From the surface collections nearby it appears that a wide variety of practices did take place there. On the southwest slope adjacent to Gib Hill, there was evidence for activity from the fourth millennium and before. Endscrapers on blades were common. More unusual forms such as denticulates and serrated pieces, often associated with plant processing (Smith 1965), were also present. At some point in the fourth millennium, this was a place where people resided for longer periods while plants were harvested. Waste-forms associated with the thinning of bifacial tools, as well as bifacially flaked pieces of various types were widespread. Much of this waste may be the product of third millennium activity, but some may relate to the creation of leaf-shaped arrowheads that were also frequent, some in early stages of manufacture. The importance of these still novel artefacts in the development of identity (Edmonds and Thomas 1987) may have been expressed in restrictions on their manufacture involving distinctions of place, time and person. Opposed platform blade cores were prevalent in terms of by-products, many bearing the scars of tiny bladelets and frequently worked from black chert, readily available in nearby gorges. Many were not so carefully maintained and resembled those on sites outside the region dated to the fourth and third millennia.

Upon the skyline to the north, on a high ridge at the head of Kirk Dale, an early mesolithic rock shelter was excavated at Stoney Low, Sheldon [52]. ‘Hillwash’ incorporating neolithic artefacts sealed these deposits, suggesting that the area had become largely deforested in the intervening period (Radley 1968a: 28, 31). Nearby was further evidence of late mesolithic activity, and more recent survey retrieved the products and by-products of careful blade working along with denticulates, end scrapers and microlithic by-products. Many of the artefacts in these assemblages were of black chert, which outcrops in Kirk Dale and Lathkill Dale. Also close at hand, the DCC transect survey retrieved two high density assemblages (DCC 32 and DCC 35), both with blade: flake ratios of 1:4. In both instances waste forms typical of earlier traditions were found, such as vast quantities of core rejuvenation flakes, truncated and notched pieces. Artefacts included large quantities of flake knives, end scrapers, a burin and a microburin, suggesting a wide range of activities were performed on site. To the east along the watershed is Bole Hill [53] chambered tomb, which occupies a similar position to Minninglow and may have a similar complex history (Barnatt and Collis 1996) although no ‘neolithic’ artefacts were found in Bateman’s excavations. Below, and between the heads of Ricklow Dale and Cales Dale, lies Ringham Low [54] chambered tomb, situated on level ground close to the northern side of Lathkill Dale. Now completely robbed, it exists only as a pear-shaped cairn of limestone rubble, aligned north-south, with a concave recess in the broad southern end. A large central cist (cist 1) at the northern end was excavated by Bateman, and contained the scattered bones of twelve individuals and three leaf-shaped arrowheads. To the east was a double cist, the eastern compartment (cist 2) containing parts of four individuals with a bone pin, the western compartment (cist 3) three leaf arrowheads with two incomplete inhumations and a bone pin (Green 1980: 322; Manby 1958: 263-4).

The lithic scatters of earlier date to the north-east side of Gib Hill had a very different character. Among the later arrowheads with which these fields are littered were endscrapers and leaf-shaped arrowheads (APT 9, 10), but there was less blade core working and lower densities of waste. Up slope, there was extensive use of rare, distinctive flint from the Yorkshire Wolds (which may not be from the study period), along with evidence that axes had been broken (APT 11). On the shoulder of the hill, on the east side of Arbor Low amid later flintworking and arrowheads, there was evidence for an earlier presence with careful blade-working and a bi-polar core, reused as a tool (APT 12). A rod and a scalene


Cattle and changing relationships The intensity and duration of inhabitation at Gib Hill is paralleled at only a few locations on the White Peak. DCC 31 [115 finds/Hectare], DCC 32 [71.6 finds/Ha.] and 35 [84 finds/Ha.] were all in similar landscape situations to Gib Hill. All appeared to be palimpsest scatters with both ‘late mesolithic’ and later stone working represented (Barnatt, Garton and Myers in prep.). Mount Pleasant 9S produced 103.6 finds/Ha., and three other fields walked there produced densities of over 90 finds/Ha. (ibid.). At the scale of the longue durée it is evident that Gib Hill was an important place. People stopped there to work stone over many millennia, and later built a succession of earthworks of which the long barrow was merely the first. The pollen sequences from Raper Lodge provide tantalising evidence for woodland management in the area leading up to the time of Gib Hill’s construction. Looking across from the chambered tomb on Bole Hill, the hillside may have been completely or partially cleared by the end of the fourth millennium, an island in the sea of trees, which reminded onlookers of times ahead and past. The Gib Hill and One Ash mounds have not been carbon-dated, but indicate that at some time during the fourth millennium a type of pastoralism existed similar to that suggested for the south of England (e.g. Thomas 1999). While assemblages from elsewhere in the area suggest that people who still engaged in hunting constructed mortuary structures, the introduction of domesticated animals was likely to have heralded new kinds of social relationships and logics.

activities related to hunting, such as tracking, or waiting at reliable intercept points or making traps, may have been taken up with the protection of cattle, or generation of their fodder. The seasonality of work and its distribution among community members may also have seen a qualitative shift, with some people temporarily joining traditional ‘task groups’ at various times of the year, and others performing the daily tasks of animal husbandry. The way in which access to certain resources was regulated may also have changed. Those once held in common, through collective social arrangements encompassing all the ‘households’, if that was the social unit (q.v. Pollard 1999), may have begun to be held separately by individuals or families. Cattle could provide a source of metaphor and moveable wealth (Edmonds 1999a). The keeping of cattle may have entailed localised herding or nomadic pastoralism, but the forested conditions of the Peak make it unlikely that this was on a large scale. Herds could not be constantly bred inwards, and thus breeding pools were mixed through a series of practical involvements that may have had to be carefully timed. Links with livestock, relationships to the land and with other people were constantly reforged. Relations with other communities may have influenced subsistence choices due to the role hunting and food may have played in inter-community relations, including ceremony, exchange and marriages (e.g. Ingold 1980: 169-170). Even where one particular subsistence mode was predominant, several others were likely to have been operating. Various divisions of labour were thus practised simultaneously, implementing different kinds of competing or complementary ‘social logics’ at different levels, through different seasons and within different communities (Bourdieu 1977: 82-83). While demandsharing (Bird-David 1999) may have continued in some contexts, in others a sense of property may have allowed owner-determined disposal of beings and things. This was not contradictory to an ethic of sharing and hospitality (Whittle 1996: 370), but allowed people to direct when gifts such as food were given.

Whilst pastoralism is frequently based on ‘accumulation’, hunting is often based on an institution of collective ‘sharing’. Accordingly, they differ with respect to access to animals and to terrestrial resources, as manifested in property categories. Living animals are rarely considered individual property by hunting communities, though dead animals slain by the hunters sometimes are (Ingold 1986). It is within pastoralism that living animals may acquire their greatest importance as items of property, wealth or standing. In the context of Saami reindeer, Ingold posits that the transition between the two forms of property relation is found in the small herds of domesticated animals kept by individual households within hunting groups for draught and labour purposes (Ingold 1980: 8889). It is uncertain if this is applicable to fourth millennium Britain though, as genetic analysis has yet to prove whether wild cattle and wild pig were distinct populations from their domesticated brethren. Regardless of the process, some of the consequences of domestication may have been analogous. The uptake of herding cattle would have changed the way labour was allotted to various tasks. Time previously available for 151

subsistence concerns. Large tablets of high-grade chert may have been quarried for planned journeys to the eastern floodplains of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, or the northern uplands of the South and Central Pennines. This sort of procurement probably required the separation of certain people from their kin. It may have involved different kinds of performances to the routine acquisition of chert nodules from scree, river and till contexts during the course of routine local movements, bound up with the movement of herds or fishing and hunting. Their use over generations lent these places ancestral and genealogical significance. In either scenario the procurement of stone and its subsequent transport, use and deposition allowed connections to be made or distinctions to be drawn between people.

The Wye Valley The Wye catchment is the largest drainage basin on the limestone, and the Wye is the larger of the two rivers that flows continuously over that geology, as well as the major tributary of the River Derwent. A host of springs and resurgences between Buxton and Monsal Dale double the volume of flow between these points, meaning that, unlike the rivers encountered so far, it would have been navigable by boat. At Monsal Head localised pollen cores confirm that birch, hazel, oak, elm, lime and ash flourished in the valleys prior to interference by the ‘elm decline’ (Taylor et al. 1994).

Black chert dominated many ‘late mesolithic’ assemblages, but few ‘early neolithic’ forms appear to have been rendered in that material, so some authors have suggested that there was a hiatus in practices of raw material procurement and use (Garton in prep.; Hart 1981; Radley 1968a). However, material from the Monsal screes may have still been used in the fourth millennium for ad hoc tools that are non-diagnostic. The pre-barrow Liffs Low assemblage demonstrates that fourth millennium communities did not shy away from using local raw materials. More widely then, a range of forms that overlap the conventional typo-chronological boundary (cores, blades and narrow flakes) could easily be, and are sometimes demonstrably, fourth millennium in date. These forms continued to be made in the stone that had always been used, and ‘the transition’ means nothing in terms of such practices. If specific raw materials were selected from the range available to make certain artefact forms, which was not unknown in the fourth millennium (Clark, Higgs and Longworth 1960), there may have been very good social reasons for this.

The shelves either side of the Wye Laminated and nodular cherts found in the upper strata of the plateau limestones, particularly the black cherts found in the Monsal Dale series, provided a ready source of raw material for prehistoric people. Regular supplies of this were available from exposures in the valleys and hillsides overlooking the River Wye between Bakewell and Hay Dale (Harrison and Adlam 1985). As in the Lathkill catchment area, concentrations of chert knapping in the Wye Valley appear on the shelves and scarp edges overlooking the sources. At Dirtlow Plantations [55] (DCC 20), just across the watershed from Bole Hill on the eastern shelves above Kirk Dale, black chert cores, rejuvenation flake, an end scraper and waste were retrieved.

This persistence of some basic stone working and acquisition traditions suggests that attention to place was being worked and re-worked rather than utterly transformed, during the ‘transition’ to the neolithic. Even if there was a qualitative change in the procurement of raw material used from the fifth to fourth millennia (Garton 1991, in prep.), the great white limestone outcrops continued to loom above Monsal Dale and inform the inhabitation of the valley. Unlike stone axe sources (Bradley and Edmonds 1993), Dimin Dale is not set apart from the world of routine, and ancestral associations may have persisted even if different tasks emerged in its inhabitation. The faunal assemblages from Dimin Dale (Bramwell 1977; SCM) produced a variety of game birds such as duck, plover, crake and partridge.

Visits to stone sources such as those in Kirk Dale and Dimin Dale [56] may have involved not just the acquisition of raw material, but also the garnering of knowledge about the past that lay behind the present order of the social landscape (Edmonds 1999b: 487). This may have been through oral traditions concerning the place and the mythic qualities of its stone, but also through the presence of material cues alerting the visitor to prior work on-site. Access for those without tenurial privilege may have involved the re-negotiation of relationships between individuals and communities. In the seventh to fifth millennia the use of these Wye Valley stone sources might have been embedded in routine 152

cereal grain were also retrieved. There is no reason why the presence of semi-permanent buildings at Lismore Fields should negate arguments about residential mobility at various scales. Interestingly, it is likely that both buildings were deliberately demolished (Garton in prep.). Both buildings had some posts removed prior to destruction, many of which were differentially burnt, and some survived to rot in situ. Flakes from polished implements, other stone artefacts and pottery were found in the post-holes or adjacent pits, but these deposits were dismissed as residual. Models of ‘embedded sedentism’ (Whittle 1997: 21) should be rejected, for any stable settlement in the fourth millennium could have been short-lived, and combined with a degree of mobility.

Hunting may have focused on such species during the annual moult, when they cannot fly for up to three to five weeks and may be caught in large numbers with the use of nets (Keene 1981: 118). Moving up Taddington Dale from Dimin Dale we emerge onto the Wye’s southern shelves, which like the slopes and shelves around the Lathkill had considerable concentrations of stone axes in places. This area is overshadowed by the bulk of Taddington Moor that rises above it. On this massif sits Five Wells [57], a chamber tomb that appears to have been used by the makers of simple pottery often associated with the fourth millennium, and by communities using Peterborough Ware (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 87; Bateman 1848; Bray 1775; Marsden 1977). Amid the remains of at least fourteen individuals were found a leaf shaped arrowhead and a flake knife. In prehistory a large, round rubble mound would have made the structure more visible from the shelves than it is today. The view from Five Wells seems spectacular but the gentle slope of Taddington Moor ensures that this view is restricted to the Wye drainage basin, and the vast majority of the catchment is hidden. The passage faces out at an oblique angle both to the scarp and the watershed, directly towards the nearby springs from which the monument has acquired its name. It is thus possible that this mortuary structure was built in reference to a more modest micro-topographical area. It may be a tenurial statement concerning a set of resources including the wells themselves, and may thus be similar to Green Low in this respect.

Particularly interesting is the depositional context of the 152 sherds of pottery. All but two of the Grimston sherds were found in cut features. This is particularly interesting with regard to Herne (1988) and Kinnes’ (1988) suggestions that Grimston pottery is exclusively to be found in ‘non-functional’ deposits. Dineley (1996) has suggested that the production of alcohol may have been an important motivation behind pottery manufacture and cereal cultivation with regard to certain ‘ritual’ activities over the third and second millennia in Scotland. All the components necessary for such an enterprise (grain, water, hearths and fireproof pottery) were present at Lismore Fields. Additionally, the presence of wax on some Grimston sherds may imply that forest bee keeping was practised, so perhaps honey was used as a sweetener or an alcoholic base. Given the wider associations of Grimston Ware and the context of its discovery at Lismore Fields, it might be problematic to label the site a ‘settlement’, in the sense of a purely ‘domestic’ context.

Nevertheless, the view of the valley available from this site may have included every other early neolithic monument in the catchment but the Tong. Directly opposite Five Wells and above the Northern Shelves is the mortuary structure at Wind Low [58], which may be of fourth or third millennium date (Barnatt and Collis 1996). Survey in Wormhill parish [59] indicates blade working in chert and flint was widespread on the Northern shelves below Wind Low (Hart 1976). Although the southern shelves have not been as extensively surveyed, where recent fieldwork has been carried out as at Chelmorton Low [60], similar blade-core working is found (Guilbert and Garton 1995). Nearby a mutilated mound, Gospel Hillocks [61], has been described as a long barrow on the basis on morphology and its low-lying position, which is similar to the Tong and Perryfoot (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 86).

Beswick (in Garton in prep.) dismisses any ritual associations for the pottery at Lismore Fields because residue analysis revealed the sherds were used for the containment of foodstuffs, particularly dairy products and ‘wild’ resources such as honey, wax and apples. She believes the pottery had ‘fallen into the void when the post was removed’ (Beswick in Garton in prep.). This appeal to chance movement seems unlikely for all the sherds though, even with differential survival and midden activity close to all the features, when less than two percent of the sherds were retrieved from the surface. In the fourth millennium BC people often deposited objects in cut features before leaving sites, and such acts may have had roles in the maintenance of tenurial and intercommunity relationships (e.g. Edmonds 1999a: 29-30). Interpreting Lismore Fields as a ‘domestic’ site concerned with economic matters, in opposition to ‘ritual’ sites where mortuary and other ‘non-economic’ practices took place may be too simplistic. Many archaeologists have found the separation of concepts of domestic/economic and ritual/mortuary to be unhelpful.

Lismore Fields Near the peaty headwaters of the River Wye at the edge of the White Peak, the site of Lismore Fields [62] was excavated in the mid-1980s. As well as clusters of late mesolithic and early neolithic flintwork, two post-built rectangular buildings and pits of neolithic date were discovered, as well as other post structures. Radiocarbon dates from Building I gave dates of 3990-3375 BC, the Building II date was 3700-3105 BC (Garton 1991: 19). Another structure on site was dated even earlier to 44503780 BC, indicating that the locale was re-used across the mesolithic-neolithic ‘transition’. Prolific quantities of

Daily activities reference to ancestors, they cultural purity, 153

may be organised with ever-present gods and may maintain ideas of or they may express

region, and from generation to generation, rather than subject to overarching and atemporal cultural imperatives. That different practices maintained cohesion over time is as worthy of comment as is the gradual relinquishing of individual traits.

divisions of status between the living (Barrett 1988b: 31). The destruction of the buildings at Lismore Fields might have involved the deliberate transformation of the meaning and value of the locale, as the conditions of and reasons for the existence of each structure changed. The presence of artefacts in post-pipes might be a material expression of such processes, along with the removal of the posts and the firing of the building. Any number of things, including the death of an occupant or the failure of a harvest, might have precipitated such an event (HughJones 1995). The destruction of the post-structures might relate to other fourth millennium practices such as the infilling of pits and enclosure ditches subsequent to deposition, and the firing of wooden mortuary structures (Edmonds 1999a, 1999b; Evans 1988; Manby 1988). These three structural categories, along with the types of artefacts often deposited in them (axes, arrowheads and pottery), were novel phenomena, almost certainly bound up in corporate and inter-regional relationships. We should not under-estimate the importance surrounding the abandonment of the buildings, and the role such practices had in the establishment of personal and community identities. That such large quantities of a novel form like Grimston Ware should be discarded at the same time as buildings were decommissioned and the site abandoned, however temporarily, seems to be too much of a coincidence.

Some artefact clusters at Lismore Fields reflected the creation and use of scalene and rod microliths. These may have been broadly contemporaneous or represented repeated use of the site. The lengthy and complex pollen record from peat deposits nearby suggests the latter (Wiltshire and Edwards 1993: 167-168). This sequence of ‘interference’ and regeneration provides support to models such as those of Simmons (1996) and Moore (1997) for selective burning analogous to Native American ‘fire yards’ and ‘fire corridors’ (Lewis and Ferguson 1988). Such practices lengthened the season when grasses and herbs were available for browse or fodder in clearings, and kept the edges of streams and other paths relatively open. The abandonment of structures and the eventual return to the site suggest the locale was a named place, perhaps used by a household or kin group (Thornton 1997). The effort invested in clearance may have been both a condition of, and conditional on the tenurial status of those involved, and may have reaffirmed their rights to the locale.

It has been assumed that the microlithic forms (such as a possible microlith fragment in the posthole of Building II) must be residual (Garton in prep.). Given what we know of the duration of microlithic technology in the Central Pennines (Myers 1986; Spikins 1998), it is possible that microliths were used concurrently with ‘houses’, cereal cultivation, leaf shaped arrowheads, stone axes and Grimston Ware. While Lismore Fields was demonstrably re-occupied over several millennia, had it been recovered as a ploughzone lithic scatter it would have been interpreted as essentially ‘late mesolithic’. In terms of the small discrete scatters in the Wye/Derwent zone and those subsumed by late neolithic/early bronze age artefacts in large palimpsests on the White Peak, we can now appreciate two points. Firstly, whilst microlithic forms are statistically likely to date from the seventh to fifth millennia, a small proportion may date from the fourth millennium BC. The slow changes now recognised in stone working traditions suggest only gradual abandonment of microlithic technology. What was important was the systematic cohesion of a set of manufacturing practices through a time when other customs were changing and yet more were introduced and developed. The characterisation of rectilinear structures and cereal cultivation as ‘neolithic’ conceptually separates them from the practice of microlithic technology, and groups them with an array of third millennium practices, in the setting of which we understand ‘houses’ to be all but absent (e.g. Thomas 1999: 17-18). Developmental trajectories of related practices should be seen as independent from region to

The introduction of cereal cultivation may not have altered the annual routines of all the members of each community, but the material from the fourth millennium allows us a much greater insight into the seasonality of place. Clearances may have been longer and involved more of the group. There was much to be done: cutting or burning the long grass, breaking and weeding the ground. But following planting, it may be that only a few people were left to see off birds, and to hoe the ground once the plants were seedlings. During summer and autumn others in the group may have turned to other tenurial responsibilities, such as hunting, herding, and collecting fruits and nuts from ‘managed’ trees. Forest bee keeping may have been a major seasonal activity (Needham and Evans 1987). Opportunities for bee husbandry would have increased with the greater intensity of forest management such as coppicing, as bee populations rise with the increased herbs, shrubs and flowers that grow in clearances (Clark 1942). The preparation and 154

hand episodes with many different actors, or whether certain people made the journey all the way to source areas. Travel to such remote areas may have been undertaken with reference to ancestral journeys (Fabian 1983: 6-7; Helms 1988: 47).

consumption of food were rituals of participation which, even on the most ordinary of occasions, ‘manifested the significance conferred on the transition from one season to another’ (Bourdieu 1977: 130). The gathering, preparation and consumption of food may also have played roles in social and cosmological distinctions within the community (Goody 1982; Lévi-Strauss 1969).

The importance of exotic artefacts, themselves prestigious and ceremonial, may have been subordinate to the esoteric knowledge that people acquired, and beyond the edge of one’s own country the journey may have become primarily a spiritual matter. Those who left the safety of their homeland, in a quest involving physical and ritual danger, may have undergone changes of identity upon their return (Helms 1988), perhaps involving changes in status. Understood in these terms a great effort may have been expended in the acquisition of axes, and personal prestige may have been bound up with conspicuous display in the contexts of both their procurement and disposal.

‘Border subjects’ – the northern uplands As at Gib Hill, a later henge monument at the Bull Ring [63] would reference a long barrow at Dove Holes. Like Gib Hill, it occupies the border of different geologies (in this case the gritstone, limestone and shales), is close to a major watershed (the border of the Wye and Goyt catchments), and overlooks at a distance a series of springs. The interpretation of its prehistoric inhabitation is made difficult by the lack of systematic excavation either at the site or at other areas in the locality, especially over the watershed in Cheshire. One obvious quality of the locale can be commented upon however. The portion of watershed nearby is the lowest stretch for many miles in either direction, and is the path of least resistance in or out of the region as we know it today. This might have been the route by which raw material travelled in either direction. Brooks (1989) established that much of the flint used during the seventh to fourth millennia BC at Lismore Fields probably originated on the Cheshire Plain. Short of traversing the mountainous dissected gritstone plateau of the western gritstone moors, or a considerable diversion to enter the Peak via Staffordshire to the south, the line of the modern A6 road north of Dove Holes seems the most likely route for this material. Geometric and rod microliths fabricated from black chert have been found not far to the west on the sandstone outcrop at Alderley Edge, Cheshire (Manby 1963; SJ 856779 and SJ 860776). Aside from the Derbyshire limestone, the nearest source for this material is Prestatyn, North Wales. The locale of the Bull Ring can be seen as the region’s gateway to the north-west, and may have been the way by which Langdale axes entered the region. Despite the lack of comparative archaeological data from East Cheshire and Greater Manchester, recent fieldwork suggests that groups related to those in the Peak and with similar practices may have inhabited this region3. The communities involved with the use of this area may at some times have been the same, or closely related to, communities who worked in the Peak District. At other times, under a system of ‘dichotomous zoning’ (Helms 1988: 31), they may have been different groups. Acquiring flint from till sources less than 30 kilometres away may have involved negotiation with those holding tenure over such resources, as at Dimin Dale. It may have been more crucial where identifying sub-surface sources required local knowledge and regular engagement with the soil. If the neighbouring groups of the Cheshire Plain were ‘not quite us’, then those of Cumbria were probably ‘others’, and this might have added social significance to axes. This is likely to have been the case whether axes (or unfinished blanks) moved in a series of short hand-to-

Like the Bull Ring long barrow, the chamber at Harrod Low [64] and the long mound at Perryfoot [65] are both less than 500 metres from the border of the limestone. There is a subtle change in the character of terrain, vegetation and the colour of rock outcrops. They are located at either side of the head of Perry Dale, the same dry valley that, as Dam Dale, Hay Dale, Peter Dale and Monks Dale, will pass under the Tong and Tideslow before emerging into the Wye Valley. To their north, in 155

Like Minninglow and Long Low, the massive barrow at Tideslow [68] has a 360 degree panorama today, and is at the junction of three catchments (Longstone Basin, Bradwell and the Wye), which cannot be coincidental. Tideslow can be seen from all over the northern White Peak and from much of the surrounding gritstone moors. Little is known about the inhabitation of Longstone basin during the study period. Two further mortuary structures, Longstone Long Barrow [69] and a possible closed chamber site near Wardlow [70] are nearby. Like Minninglow and Long Low, Longstone Moor straddles the watershed, in this case between Longstone Basin and the Middle Derwent Valley. Unlike those other barrows, it does not appear to have subsequently been redeveloped.

the valley head are the springs of Adam Well and Cop Well, and Rushop Vale through which the limestoneshale junction runs, with its various surface streams, solution features and swallets (Dalton et al. 1990: 42). Excavations at Perryfoot long barrow recovered the bones of red and roe deer, boar or pig, cattle, sheep or goat, horse and dog (Pennington 1877). Like the Dove and Manifold cave sites, there were species that prefer dense and open woodland as well as more open habitats. This geological and ecological boundary between the White and Dark Peak may have had mythical connotations, or been drawn upon to make classificatory distinctions and mark out social oppositions. Barnatt suggested that the gritstone upland beyond was the last remaining ‘wildscape’ rather than a ‘cultural landscape’ (Barnatt 1996: 57), and saw its importance for hunting, and its identity as the ‘other’ place for activities outside of the normal. In my previous paper (Hind this volume a), I suggested that the conceptual bracketing of nature against culture has no necessary relevance to the study period. Fourth millennium understandings of the gritstone upland were likely to have been informed by mythical expressions of a wide range of activities that had taken place there in the millennia before. Spikins (1999) suggests that the uplands may have seen a variety of uses beyond hunting, and may have been in no sense a liminal area. However, given the environmental history of the Kinder Massif which was largely under blanket peat by the time of long barrows (Tallis 1964a, 1964b; Tallis and Switsur 1983), it may be that the area had come to embody significantly different priorities to those of the neighbouring mosaic woodlands.

Bradwell Dale is one of the most northerly sources of black chert, although the fine-grained material is rare. Nevertheless, in the few artefact scatters known from this catchment chert plays a major role. A little further up the watershed from Tideslow, test-pitting on Bradwell Moor [71] recovered a spall of dark-grey chert, as well as a flint core rejuvenation flake and a fragment of a small blade (Guilbert and Challis 1998). On the shelves overlooking the Hope Valley, a large blade production site at Bradwellmoor Barn [72] was sealed by a later banked enclosure. There was a large use-worn bladed component, some with facetted and abraded butts, and some from bipolar cores indicating careful preparation. Core rejuvenation flakes and a knife with scalar retouch and edge gloss may indicate a fourth millennium date. Much of the material was black chert but a grey chert and two types of flint were also represented, perhaps suggesting re-use of this locale over time (Guilbert, Garton and Malone 1997; Guilbert et al. 1995). The lack of cores found may stem from the sampling, but it would not be surprising if cores were largely absent given the extreme economy of raw material use away from local sources. A nearby survey at Dirtlow [73] (Dearne 1997) provided tentative evidence that seventh to fourth millennia activity may have been common all along this area close to the scarp-edge.

At Middle Hill [66] a ‘ring slot’ four metres in diameter (Archive Sheffield City Museum; Hart 1976, 1981) was discovered by Radley and Plant whilst investigating a cluster of microlith-associated material and Peterborough Ware pottery, though neither set of artefacts was firmly associated with the feature. Garton (in prep.) has drawn attention to the similarity of this feature with some at Lismore fields, which were radiocarbon-dated to the early sixth (UB-3294) and late fifth (OxA-2433) millennia BC. Several similar ovoid or subcircular earthworks in Parwich have also been found, the largest of which is 6.5 metres by 9 metres, the smallest being 3.75 metres in diameter. These have been attributed to the late neolithic or early bronze age on the basis of pollen samples, and may have enclosed excarnation platforms (Makepeace and Shimwell 1997). This feature aside, the landscape situation of the Middle Hill site, as well as the character of the palimpsest scatter is practically identical to those in the Gratton and Elton Moor areas. It is on a high moor area, overlooking dry valleys at the rear of a drainage basin. The flint scatter obviously represents re-use of the site, with seventh to fifth millennia and third to second millennia BC flint working present. Fourth millennium mortuary activity is strongly suggested less than 200 metres away at the probable long barrow, The Tong [67], in which ‘quantities of human bones’ were found (Barnatt and Collis 1996: 86; Bray 1775).

The Hope Valley below is another area where relatively large concentrations of polished axes, and several leafshaped arrowheads have been found. The slowly permeable, seasonally waterlogged soils may not have been suitable for prehistoric cultivation but would have provided communities with a number of other resources, such as summer grazing. There has been little survey in the area, but Henderson has found chert working at Navio [74] and all around the mouth of Bradwell Dale, where the chert outcrops are most accessible. None of this material is particularly diagnostic. High above Bradwell Dale in Fissure Cave [75], Hartle Dale, sherds were discovered that Gilks (1990) described as comparable to Towthorpe Ware or Mildenhall Ware, and probably of fourth millennium provenance. Below these deposits were found the bones of at least one beaver. The beaver at Fissure Cave may have been caught on the River Noe where it is likely to have been 156

literature, both hunting and blood sacrifices are frequently informed by the need to ensure renewal of resources (Ingold 1986). The inclusion of red deer at Perryfoot then, may have served as a mnemonic of past successes or failures in hunting, as well as a type of exchange ensuring future good relations with the appropriate spiritual authorities.

exploiting tree bark, buds of willow and birch and various aquatic herbs and plants.

This brings me on to the second reason for caution on the use of the term ‘ritual’. If we are to interpret mortuary structures in terms of ritual then it must make relational sense. Ritual did not stop at mortuary structures, but informed and was informed by symbolically charged actions across the landscape. In the Wye Valley area we find evidence for a wider range of practices, and intimations of different scales of interaction. The use of stone sources or post-houses, the organisation of long journeys and the management of forest areas involved actions and decisions informed by values that went beyond simple questions of utility. The fragments of local and exotic stone at Middle Hill, some left on the surface, some deposited in pits, suggest a theatre of the material in which substances and crafts had mythological origins and values in addition to their functional purposes (q.v. Battaglia 1990; Küchler 1993; Morphy 1993, 1995). The songs of those working together in the garden plots near Lismore Fields may have invoked spirits in the plants to be gathered, even as they entertained the singers. In the rhythmic pounding of grain, or the clicking of granite on flint, gossip and lore, ritual and technical routine all melted into one. Discussions of ritual, especially regarding mortuary structures, was once dominated by a preoccupation with vertical social distinctions (e.g. Renfrew 1973). But if we accept that people are caught up in the on-going negotiation of tenurial rights and the renewal of ancestral ties binding the living to the living (human and nonhuman) and the dead, then we should be more concerned with the elaboration of horizontal distinctions. The dynamism of parallel work traditions did not recreate the same ‘society’ from generation to generation, because power was neither centralised nor institutionalised, but considered a quality of persons or things (q.v. Adams 1977: 389). As there are different fields of practice with rhythms and cycles, power may be contextual and negotiable through space and time. Different abilities in different spheres and varied connections of people to

Rituals of the everyday: keeping accounts and establishing power In previous sections I have speculated upon broad structuring principles regarding relations with communities of the dead, as well as wild and domestic animals, based on sketchy evidence of how human and nonhuman remains were treated. They must be seen as attentive engagements with communities of animals and the dead. A range of different social logics may have informed the use of long barrows, on the basis of the investment of time necessary for the upkeep of domestic animals and their significance in human relationships. New divisions of labour and new combinations of community relationships came into being as a consequence. I have been cautious in the use of the word ‘ritual’. Understanding the context of mortuary practice involves drawing attention away from the mortuary structures themselves. These buildings contained things such as pottery, animal bone and arrowheads, which in other contexts may not immediately be interpreted under the rubric of ritual. Meaning may be evoked from such objects in a variety of different ways however, depending on identity and context of articulation. They also have a referential dimension (Moore 1986: 127). A key concern of mortuary practices is that their material components have the potential to presence previous and forthcoming activities in other social arenas. In the ethnographic 157


who no longer felt able to tend her garden plots, might choose a successor to take over her tenurial responsibilities. The division of labour, the regular fusion and fission of communities and their constituent members prefigured fields of discourse and practice where identity emerged and power was negotiated. The rhythms of work and interaction were a medium through which such identities and values were materialised.

numinous powers are likely to have established codes of social differentiation. These abilities, along with age and gender, may have determined a person’s current position within the social network. The social order was thus established by concrete actions, not overarching codified norms. Membership of a community involves competence in giving accounts, reasons, stories, or excuses and is routinely evaluated through the mutual surveillance of other people. It is this propensity to act and move in particular ways rather than others, that creates the direction and momentum that we call practice (Hind this volume a). At the same time, this calling to account by one’s peers is prefigured by one’s position in a:

The Wye/Derwent interfluve Successive glacial episodes over the Pleistocene scoured out sections of the Wye and Derwent valleys to significant depths, leaving quantities of glacial erratics, head, till and boulder clays between Monsal Head and Baslow, as well as in the Derwent Valley (Jowett and Charlesworth 1929; Straw and Lewis 1962). For people whose lives frequently involved digging (Healy 1987), these secondary deposits of raw materials may have been as important as the seams in the valley walls. While the procurement of black chert in the seventh to fifth millennia may have been highly structured, its ad hoc use may have continued through the fourth millennium when it was found during processes of clearing woodland, cultivating crops and pit-digging.

…stream of conduct, behaviour, attitudes, gestures already made, sentences already pronounced or written, within which they have already been given once to those who act, behave, exchange, work, speak (Foucault 1970: 354). The ‘prefiguring’ of accounts is profoundly affected by the changing composition of the social, especially by the introduction of new technologies and new types of social relationship. Technologies are not mere additions to social life. Rather, identity is always co-extensive with artefacts (Strathern 1991). The making and subsequent use of things, and the ‘management’ of locales, allows members of a community to be called to account, for there are right and wrong ways, times and places. Those wishing to exploit tenurial resources such as salmon runs or stone sources may have had to ask permission. As technical acts are performed alongside other people their effects offer simultaneously the means of surveillance and of sanctioning. Community membership is always provisional, always being reaffirmed, but in choosing to remain members defer to the judgement of authorities in various spheres of practice. Individuals initially welcomed into a community on whose territory the hunting was good might be treated with hostility if their conduct did not meet the customary standards.

Clearings in seventh to fifth millennium woodland were probably more frequent than suggested by early tree pollen dominated cores, particularly if browsing animals kept areas clear for longer periods (Simmons 1996: 131). I have suggested that riversides offered clearings in or ecotonal ‘edges’ to the lowland forest, where plant resources were stable, predictable and abundant in contrast to openings caused by tree falls. In addition, salmon would have been found in most British rivers in the mesolithic, with the largest salmon runs on the bigger rivers (Netboy 1968). The Derwent and the Dove are tributaries of the Trent and before canalisation and pollution, salmon runs occurred in both spring, when the fish are in prime condition, and autumn. However, the timing and productivity of salmon runs can vary

Artefacts, structures and managed locales are instruments of surveillance, and durable and flexible records. As collapsed acts they exist beyond the moment of their creation, and are flexible through the potential for sanctioning to be deferred over time and to different persons. It is this potential for deferral that incites a continuous re-distributing of ‘discretion’ and power within the community (Descola 1994). Individuals also undertake reflexive self-monitoring, and hold themselves to account. A man may have been scolded because his cattle were in poor health or because of his lack of skill in bifacial working. An old woman, 159

Derwent River. Their landscape situation may be informed by the nature of fission and fusion among small scale, partially mobile communities. Such interfluves may have been safe places to pass the time while waiting for the arrival of kin, as resources would have been relatively plentiful year-round. Horse Pastures in particular is at the junction of a number of routes, microregions (the Wye, Derwent and Lathkill Valleys), and probably different ecotones. While there is no evidence for structural elaboration of this locale, like upland sites at the junction of watersheds or the heads of valleys, enduring identities of place may have developed through this ‘crossroads’ quality.

markedly on the basis of climatic conditions (RowleyConwy and Zvelebil 1989). Indifferent occupation? The last section established the density of seventh to fourth millennium findspots known from the varied topography of the Wye-Derwent interfluve. Unlike the upland shelf and plateau areas where large third and second millennium scatters often mask earlier traces of activity, three surveys have found a proliferation of uncontaminated, low-density, earlier activity in this zone. It is neither possible in terms of space, nor desirable to treat every one of these knapping episodes with the attention with which I have treated the more extensively spaced upland occurrences. Suffice it to reiterate that they share a common concern with economy of raw material use, the tool kit common to people from the seventh to fourth millennium and the prolific use of readily available local stone. A few sites that appear chronologically discrete (in that none of the artefacts would be out of place in the seventh to fourth millennium) stand out because of their relative density and the high percentages of primary waste.

Twenty years ago little was known about the inhabitation of the Wye-Derwent interfluve during the study period, but now we have evidence for extensive but concentrated episodes of knapping. Despite observed technological variation these scatters are difficult to interpret, because they are relatively ‘indifferent’ with respect to both their chronology and the range of tasks in which they could have been implemented. Horse Pastures is the exception, where Grimston Ware indicates something unusual, given that use of such novelties may have been tightly prescribed4 (Herne 1988). I have discussed the ritual qualities of routine practice as the context for incessant power play within communities. The power invested in individuals was specific to the tasks and company at hand, as well as the time and place.

Scatters from Bubnell Hall [76] and Bramley Farm [77] are both within 300 metres of the River Derwent, and have high finds densities. Exhausted blade cores, microburins and flake knives were found at both sites, and leaf shaped arrowheads, the one from Bubnell Hall being unfinished. End scrapers and notched and retouched blades were also found at Bubnell Hall. Home Farm Hassop [78] and Handley Bottom [79] also have high densities of finds. These sites are on elevated ground adjacent to tributary brooks of the Derwent. The assemblages had similar elements to those near the Derwent, including high levels of exhausted blade cores and knives. End scrapers and edge-used, glossed and retouched pieces were also found at Handley Bottom.

Seasonality and nested identities There are a variety of mobilities, social conditions and subsistence strategies under which the scatters in the Wye-Derwent interfluve may have originated. Some locales may have been ‘ideally suited for ‘home-bases’ used for over-wintering’ (Barnatt 1996: 55). However, the seasonality of their inhabitation is likely to have been more complicated than this. During spring this may have centred on the valley as the forest floor exploded with plant life, before the canopy closed for the summer. The regeneration of the forest floor may have attracted wild ungulates more often found in open areas, and temporarily provided extensive grazing for cattle. In the river, beavers may still have been lethargic (Renouf 1989), and the salmon running. Such immediately available, resource-rich conditions would have been ideal for aggregation of the wider group, in acts of communal hunting, feasting, exchange and the re-establishment of bonds. Winter may have seen very different types of work, including the cutting of coppice stools and pollards after the sap had fallen. This generated fodder for cattle, and in the short term would have provided leafy shoots for animals next spring. Clearance was also undertaken for other immediate purposes such as the preparation of ground prior to settlement, or before mortuary rites. But activities such as coppicing also anticipated the generation of material for tools and hafts over the next few years, and structural timber for the next generation of people.

The dense palimpsest site at Ashford Hall [80] on the banks of the Wye, appeared to have a scatter of the seventh to fourth millennia largely obscured by later activity. On the southern-central plateau, a number of similar sites have produced evidence for microlithic technology as well as potentially fourth millennium stone working. The latter is sometimes affirmed by the recovery of Grimston Ware, as at Mount Pleasant and Aston Hill (Garton and Beswick 1983). I am not making a causal link between the emergence of later, larger sites with earlier activity where pottery is used, but the Ashford Hall locale offers the potential for future work. Parallels can be drawn with the history of the locale at Beeley Horse Pastures [81] (Barnatt and Robinson 1998). Grimston pottery adjacent to a flake knife were found close to an assemblage which included a microlith, microburins, and a bladed assemblage assumed to be ‘late mesolithic’ in date. At the beginning of the second millennium BC the locale saw the deposition of a cremation urn, and later stone artefact forms may also date from this time. The location of this site is, like Linch Clough South, at the junction of a small brook and the

During the course of this ‘futural’ work, the different types of woodland encountered would have enabled 160

tiered character, with the dipslope between each underlain by gritstone and shale geologies. Head deposits covered many of the slopes below these escarpments, running to the eastern bank of the Derwent in some places and burying parts of the valleys below 10 metres of colluvium. Poorly sorted deposits of clay, sand or gravel loams with blocks of gritstone up to 7 metres across merge into the ancient screes immediately below the exposed rock of each westerly facing escarpment edge (Eden, Stevenson and Edwards 1957: 159). The variable nature and irregular drainage of the screes below each west-facing rock escarpment still support diverse plant communities, including remnants of ‘semi-natural’ oak woodlands (Anderson and Shimwell 1981).

retrospection at the scale of one’s life, concerning the extent of growth since one’s last visit, the presence of others since. As old ground was re-cleared previous hearths, middens and knapping floors emerged (Edmonds 1999a: 26). At the level of the longue durée long abandoned sites could be identified, either by structural remains or vegetation such as long, straight timbers. There, oral tradition located long dead kin, and reaffirmed the land-claims and genealogies of the people now working (Gow 1995). This historicity is likely to have been on the same level of mythic time as the presencing of mortuary structures. Whereas the forest as a whole may have provided a metaphor for ‘the people’ past and present in its continuous duration, its mosaic composition across space provided bases for comparison and differentiation in the construction of identity and power. Uncut primary forest could be compared to land under tenure that nevertheless displayed mature growth, or with cleared areas such as cultivation plots, mortuary grounds and temporary settlements. Permanently clear areas of the ridge tops could be compared with well-timbered space. This would have related to people’s activities: where they slept and ate, where they cultivated, where they hunted, where they collected honey, and places they avoided. Each was informed by oral and material performances unique to a particular context, by variable and fragmented identities relative to the changing composition of the workforce, and the changing balance of power between individuals.

The Dark Peak to the north of the limestone plateau is also a landscape of contrast, between the moorland plateaux and cliff-like edges of the millstone grit rock, and the broad flat valleys lying on the shale. The dominant feature of this area is the extensive elevated gritstone plateau, reaching 636 metres at Kinderscout and 633 metres at Bleaklow. This moorland area, deeply dissected by dendritic drainage channels, is consistently over 300 metres above sea level and is today largely covered by a thick layer of peat. In the absence of the types of mortuary structure associated with the fourth millennium, the ‘early neolithic’ has been largely absent from accounts of the gritstone uplands. The environmental record suggests that there was a fourth millennium presence on the East Moors involving short-lived, sporadic, and probably small-scale openings of the canopy on the lower uplands, with some persistently open areas higher up (Wiltshire and Edwards 1993). The Boreal-Atlantic transition saw peat initiation over much of the Ringinglow area on the East Moors, especially in natural depressions and gentle slopes, but not on steeper slopes and projecting ridges (Conway 1947, 1954). Alder stratified in the peat indicates this area to have lain at the edge of ‘lowland’ forest in the seventh to fourth millennia, below the extent of ‘upland’ woodland and scrub (Conway 1947; Tallis and Switsur 1990). The mosaic canopy of deciduous

The gritstone uplands Weathering of the soft shales between successive beds of gritstone had sculpted a stepped profile by the time the first human feet trod the East Moors. From Beeley Moor [82] in the south, to Hallam Moors [94] eighteen kilometres to the north, rocks dip eastwards at shallow angles, and a gentle slope and well-developed scarp facing westwards over the Derwent Valley (Dalton et al. 1990: 35). Secondary edges set back from those overlooking the Derwent give much of the moors a two-


only to four figure grid references. There are methodological disparities between assemblages found on peat exposures, and those from White Peak fieldwalking and test pitting units. Erosion by the traffic of livestock and humans tends to open up linear exposures that may reveal only part of a scatter. On less level ground, the erosion of peat may cause the movement of artefacts over considerable distances (Garton 1987).

species may have been largely unbroken across the East Moors, except at the gritstone edges, and in locations such as Ringinglow, Leash Fen, Totley Moss and Hipper Sick (Hicks 1971: 662). In the latter areas, the seventh to fourth millennia saw the opening out of the woodland to allow ‘a much more luxuriant development of grasses’ (Conway 1947: 171). A comprehensive programme of coring across the Southern Pennines has identified a complex and variable history of peat development, contingent upon topography, altitude, geology, climatic change and land-use histories. However, woodland management by communities over the seventh to fifth millennium BC, suggested by charcoal layers associated with episodes of peat growth, may have played a critical role (Tallis 1975, 1991; Tallis and Switsur 1983, 1990). Peat initiation at watercollecting sites over the sixth millennium BC might have been associated with controlled burning and repeated grazing, the latter suggested by ‘pollarded’ tree remains at Holme Moss and Coldharbour Moor. Regular incursions into an otherwise expanding forest edge by controlled burning and grazing allowed only birch, hazel and willow scrub to colonise ground above about 425 metres OD (Tallis 1991; Tallis and Switsur 1990). The process resumed at both water-collecting and watershedding sites on gentle convex slopes from around the mid-fifth millennium BC. By the mid-fourth millennium, coincident with the elm decline, the higher reaches of the Dark Peak were similar to today. There was a patchy mosaic of vegetation with blanket peat predominating on the gritstone plateau summits, and advancing before a receding woodland edge on sloping ground (Tallis and Switsur 1983: 587, 1990: 875). The deliberate felling of scrub and forest cover to improve existing grazing or to create new pasture may have become more significant, and by the mid-third millennium blanket peat had almost spread to its current extent (Tallis 1991). Recent surveys show considerable localised variation though. Brayshay (n.d.) suggests that in some areas peat inception did not take place until the third millennium BC, and that scrub woodland was locally widespread until the first millennium BC, when grassland and blanket peat communities finally became dominant.

The research agenda of collectors such as Radley (Radley 1966, 1968a; Radley and Marshall 1963) was specifically focused on ‘the mesolithic’, resulting in a written record short on detail and largely ignoring artefacts attributable to the fourth millennium BC onwards. My analysis of the Henderson gritstone collections for the Peak District National Park Archaeology Service (Hind 1998) suggested that ‘early mesolithic’ activity was possible or probable at 3.3% of the sites, undifferentiated mesolithic at 26%, and late mesolithic at 17%. Early neolithic activity was possible at 15% of the scatters. Undifferentiated neolithic activity was possible or probable at 2.7% of the sites, late neolithic activity at 5.4% and bronze age at 7.6%. Nearly half or 48.4% of the scatters, mostly small knapping episodes involving nondiagnostic waste or simple tools, could not reasonably be attributed to any one technological tradition. The problems with chronological resolution in gritstone lithic assemblages are comparable to those of the White Peak, but compounded by the lack of auxiliary evidence, such as mortuary structures and pottery. I wish to argue that many gritstone scatters are similar in composition, landscape situation and chronological range to those in other areas of the Peak. The East Moors In prehistory the gritstone edges of the East Moors and Southern Pennines provided vantage points rarely obscured by the crowns of trees rooted in the head soils immediately below. Growth on the level ground on the edges would have been restricted by the gritstone surfaces and the shallow depth of soils and exposure to strong winds, so this woodland border offered the easiest north-south path through an otherwise densely wooded landscape. Like the dolomite ridges of the limestone, such breaks in the canopy may have attracted wild animals, and in turn the opportunistic exploitation of hunters and herders (Brown 1997: 140-141).

What were the specific forms of engagement with these parts of the landscape over the fourth millennium BC? Certain problems with the stone tool assemblages from the East Moors and the Dark Peak of the Southern Pennines make a discussion of prehistoric inhabitation difficult to relate to the sub-regions so far discussed. The main obstacles to their integration are the collection processes by which they were generated. The vast majority of artefacts from gritstone areas originated from windows of opportunity created by moorland fires and erosion, and are therefore not fully representative of the breadth of inhabitation. The collection methodology by today’s standards was often disorganised, sometimes selective in terms of which artefacts were valued, and lacked spatial resolution. Finds such as the Beeley Moor [83] microlith ‘hoard’ (80 flint scalene, trapezoidal and rod microliths – Hart 1981: 32) were often tied down

Knapping floors found on such gritstone edges have a varied composition, making simple division of tasks by micro-topography questionable. A scatter found near Raven Tor [82] overlooking the Derwent Valley produced a bifacially flaked knife, notched, truncated, retouched and core trimming flakes. In addition to the microliths mentioned, later lithics from Beeley Moor [83] included 20 leaf-shaped arrowheads and 29 chronologically later projectile points. Elsewhere along this edge, more routine, ephemeral traces have been found such as a microburin, a burin, a hollow scraper, blade cores and trimming flakes, as well as retouched and edge-worn blades. Nearby, there was regular and smallscale temporary clearance of the upland mixed oak forest 162


were taken from the White Peak and worked during the seventh to fifth millennium (Hart 1981). At Whitegates Farm [89] an assemblage of 5 riverine flint cores and twelve rejuvenation flakes thought to date to the fourth millennium BC testifies to careful maintenance (Barnatt et al. in prep). These two locales should be seen in the context of more scant traces of early activity. Sporadic finds of microliths suggest a patchwork of forest and clearings created by wind-throw and augmented by purposive acts, providing a context for camps and seasonal activities.

Both Radley (Archive, SCM) and Henderson (Site 095) collected flint and chert waste and artefacts from these low moors, but found few discrete concentrations. This material included knives, end scrapers, cores, saws, retouched blades, a leaf shaped arrowhead (and later forms) and a microlith. Many were found around the isolated gritstone tors set back from Birchen Edge [90]. These features are impressive when viewed against the open skyline, and they functioned as guideposts along a series of pre-turnpike packhorse routes (Radley 1963: 44). They may also have been navigational aides for prehistoric paths, and their quasi-organic form may have given them mythical connotations (Basso 1984; Thornton 1997). As in the valleys, small streams may have provided a range of resources not available elsewhere. Across the Barbrook Valley from Gardom’s Edge, a dense multi-period cluster of lithic material included blade cores, maintenance products, and two geometric microliths (Sandyford Brook [91]). These could be interpreted in terms of ‘stealth hunting’ by the water source, but this may also have been the type of locale that saw the intensification of wild nut-and-grass husbandry for part of the year (Zvelebil 1994).

at Hipper Sick [84] around 3766–3350 BC (GaK-2294), and perhaps indications of cereal cultivation (Hicks 1971). The initial formation of peat vegetation would have opened out the woodland, allowing the development of grasses attractive to a variety of different animals. The Leash Fen [85] pollen diagram showed a series of clearance phases attributable to agricultural activity and dated by a series of nine radiocarbon dates, the earliest at 2889-2311 BC (GaK-2285). Described as slight opening up of the forest cover rather than a major clearance, the locale appears to have been under light mixed woodland, especially oak, birch and alder (Hicks 1971: 649). This low saddle in the gritstone moors was carved by east-west surface drainage in the Pliocene (Dalton, Fox and Jones 1988: 35-36), and erratic cherts from excavations on Gardom’s Edge [86] suggest it had once been glaciated. While the scarp-edge enclosure at Gardom’s Edge may date to the third millennium BC (Barnatt 1996), analysis of stone tools from excavations and test pits has identified material that appears to be earlier (Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds in prep.). The presence of axe fragments, a wide variety of raw materials, the scale of the enclosure and its location would seem to accord with a place that might have held significance for people coming from many different directions (Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds 1997).

The proximity to Sheffield of Totley Moor [92] made it accessible to collectors in the 1960s. At least a dozen concentrations are known from the area which range from single finds and small indistinct scatters of loosely related material (such as Totley 2, and 8) to dense concentrations of more than 200 pieces (Totley 3 and 5). While no quantitative analysis has been performed on these sites, it is obvious from Radley’s notes (Archive: SCM) that the composition of the larger sites was heavily weighted

This saddle may have been one of the main raw material transport routes in and out of the region. Meekfields [87] has an extensive view of the Rother Valley, and is less than 7 kilometres from lowland sites such as those at Unstone [88] where copious quantities of black chert


altitude, much of the rock face is itself between 15 and 20 metres high, and is often snowbound in winter. Visible from far away in the shale valleys and on the limestone, it stretches for approximately six kilometres, from its southern point near the Cowper Stone to the northern tip at Stanage End (near Crow Chin). The high point of the main edge is at the High Neb buttress, which lies near the north end. Stanage Edge is the area with the highest density of find spots in the Henderson collection, with an almost unbroken sequence of knapping episodes all along the scarp edge. There are major concentrations at Cowper Stone Rock Shelter [96], High Neb [97] and Crow Chin [98]. A wide range of forms was found at Cowper Stone (flake knives, awls, a scraper and an edge worn flake) but just two microliths. High Neb, dominated by waste with a blade/flake ratio of 1:2.5, produced no microliths at all, the only retouched piece being a reworked blade. At Crow Chin, microliths and their by-products were the majority of retouched types, but a wide variety of tasks and working modes were evident in the form of retouched and edge-worn flakes, a core tool, and the sheer scale of the working of cores and chert nodules. Henderson’s (1979) simplistic interpretation of these scatters as hunting sites rests on meat-fixated views of ‘mesolithic subsistence’, when the evidence suggests more complex practices (Finlay 2000; Healy, Heaton and Lobb 1992; Spikins 1994, 1995, 1996). In any case, some of the material may later in date.

towards chert and flint waste. A range of activities aside from tool manufacture were usually represented, and though microliths are the most common retouched tool type, this is not by a great margin. Of 215 pieces at Totley 3, the only special artefacts were three microcores, a microlith, two button scrapers, an end scraper on a blade, two hammer stones and three third to second millennium arrowheads, the rest being waste. Some of the smaller sites may be single episode sites, such as Totley 7 (all white-grey flint) or Totley 10 (all black chert), which may suggest that the larger sites were favoured locations to which various groups repeatedly returned. This can perhaps also be seen at the site of Deepcar, just east of Stocksbridge, where the gritstone uplands form an imposing bluff above the gorge of the River Don. Again, this was close to Sheffield, and surface collection and excavation during the 1960s revealed an occupation site centred around a hollow with the traces of stone supports for a lean-to structure, and three hearths (Radley and Mellars 1974). The flint that was worked in this place included material from the East Yorkshire chalk Wolds, and involved the initial processing of raw nodules through to the preparation of cores and the production of finished artefacts such as microliths, burins and scrapers. The height of Totley Moor and its proximity to Ringinglow suggests that this area may have become more open during the seventh to fifth millennia BC through peat development and clearance. The elm decline at Totley Moss was dated to 4215-3384 BC (Hicks 1971, 1972; GaK-2293), even earlier than at Hipper Sick. These openings have been regarded as hunting grounds due to the large quantities of projectiles retrieved from the Totley, Burbage [93], Hallam [94] and Ughill Moors [95] (Radley 1966; Riley 1962). However, the range of working and tool types suggests a larger repertoire of tasks. As with streamside sites, forest-edge locales would have offered different opportunities for the management of plant resources.

This distribution of largely early material reinforces the importance of edges as relatively clear routes through the region, grading down to the river valleys by way of steeply graved cloughs, with tors serving as landmarks. The siting of Crow Chin may have been informed not only by its position at the end of the edge, but at the junction of three drainage basins (the Derwent, the Rivelin and the Sheaf), and it might have been a reference point for more than one community. The importance of watershed locations is also notable in the saddle between the Hallam Moors and the Derwent Moors. At Moscar Cross [99] between the Derwent and Rivelin catchments, a large palimpsest scatter included much material with

Stanage is the largest and most impressive of the gritstone edges, and forms the western extent of the Hallam Moors. Mostly between 400 and 450 metres of 165

barrows at Pike Low [104] and Green Stitches [105] contained both earlier and later elements, especially arrowheads. At others a number of discrete scatters found on erosion scars were more suggestive of early activity. Edge-worn, truncated and retouched blades, blade cores, rejuvenation pieces and notched pieces were well represented, as are rod microliths, fabricators and scrapers. Stone tools and debitage from this upland shelf area suggest not only hunting and butchery, but also a number of manufacturing tasks and some pieces perhaps necessary for the exploitation of plants.

middle to later neolithic characteristics (backed and polished knives, bifacially flaked pieces), but there was also a wide variety of earlier stoneworking. Blade/bladelet cores and rejuvenation flakes, frequently reworked/re-used, dominated the by-product assemblage, and while the blade to flake ratio was only about 1:6, there were also large amounts of retouched, edge-worn and truncated blades present. Potentially early finished artefacts included simple, well-made knives, end scrapers and rod microliths. The Upper Derwent Valley To redress the imbalance in traditional research in the southern Pennines which has focused on ‘mesolithic’ microlith-dominated sites, my analysis of the Henderson collection concentrated on large ‘balanced’ assemblages from the Upper Derwent Gorge itself (Hind 2000). Of fifty-five find spots from Henderson’s collections in the Upper Derwent area, forty-three were above the 300 metres OD contour line, none of which have more than fifty finds. By contrast, of the twelve valley sites, Linch Clough South [100] and Abbey Brook [101] produced over one hundred finds, and Birchenlee Plantation [102] over fifty.

Interpreting the invisible Any interpretation of the inhabitation of the East Moors and the Upper Derwent Valley must be tentative because of disparities with collection methodologies. The dominance of microlithic technology in lithic assemblages from these areas may also have been overstated due to the research interests of those who collected them. Nevertheless, the importance of landforms and environmental developments that encouraged woodland-edge is not to be under-estimated. In terms of the seventh to fifth millennium I have drawn on Spikins’ reformulation of ‘mesolithic adaptations’ (1998), using local pollen sequences to question the pervasive importance attributed to dispersed large game hunting in the gritstone uplands. The topographical diversity of the gritstone uplands would have presented communities with a variety of ‘ecological niches’ (in our terms), with different potentials of economic and symbolic resources. Aside from plant foodstuffs, gathering may have included honey, eggs and insects, or medicinal, hallucinogenic or poisonous plants and all the plants used for technical purposes, such as birch resin for hafting, bark for baskets, and fibres for binding. The time and effort invested in maintaining clearances suggests that the relationships of people to these locales were more than opportunistic, and were likely to have been bound up with the development of personal and communal identity, power and prestige. Within a context of residential mobility, the evidence suggests a strong sense of place and tenurial responsibilities, materialised through the creation and maintenance of clearings to encourage the presence of animals and edible plants.

These assemblages were near to the junctions of the River Derwent and its tributary brooks, and other activities apart from core reduction and microlith creation took place at all three. These may have been campsites where some individuals stayed for longer periods than at single episode, upland sites. Historically, the Derwent Valley is a major thoroughfare of the region, linking the White and Dark Peaks and the gateway to the southern Pennines. These locales may have been places where people could rely on meeting people, throughout the year or at certain times. Neighbouring groups may have met periodically for collective hunting expeditions, or for ceremonies. Conjugal families might have visited relations living in other camps for a few days, or even several months. The composition of modern hunter-gatherer camps continually fluctuates: there is always a family off visiting or another that has come to stay (Bahuchet n.d.). Such camps may have been abandoned due to food shortages, the groups becoming too large, requirements of visiting, the proximity of hostile groups, or social disruption and death. As the months, seasons and years passed, communities came together and split up in a perpetual movement of fusion and fission.

In the absence of pottery and mortuary structures, fourth millennium activity is effectively masked by the persistence of technological traditions. While Barnatt acknowledges the importance of the East Moors for prehistoric agriculture, prior to soil degradation, he still emphasises hunting and opposes this area to the ‘homebase’ country of the valleys (1996: 57). It remains to be demonstrated that the intensive amateur surveys of the 1960s really retrieved any more leaf shaped arrowheads than are now recognised, for example in the Lathkill catchment. There may have been some qualitative differences between this area and the area around Lismore Fields or on the upper Limestone plateau in terms of woodland composition. Year round this area may have been more suited to roe deer and boar rather than red deer and aurochs.

Similarly, many of the upland scatters consisted of a few pieces of worked stone with the occasional scraper or microlith, in classic watershed locations. On the southern slopes overlooking Mill Brook Clough around John Field [103], a number of small scatters included geometric microliths and truncated blades, and some edge-worn blades and scrapers. In the shelter of Mill Brook Clough itself a microlith core, some truncated blades, an edgeworn and edge-glossed blade and a side scraper were found. On the northern scarp edge above the clough were chunks of flint and chert, a scraper and an awl. Many of the scatters adjacent to the third or second millennia


and had ancestral associations received through stories about kin from before living memory. The human remains in the chamber tombs represent just a fragment of the entire population, and even if the majority of mortal remains passed through these structures, other places such as caves and perhaps surface structures were caught up in similar practices. These other places, about which we know little, may have been part of much older traditions of ‘ancestral appropriation’. The forest itself provided traces of ancestral presence, which people would have been adept at reading (q.v. Gow 1995). The appropriation of ancestral powers by sectional interests was thus unlikely to have been either a new phenomenon, or one limited to mortuary structures.

On the shelves above the Upper Derwent Valley there were likely to have been long-term changes in the relationship of people to the land, with the advance of peat and the retreat of the woodland edge. By analogy with areas under peat today, birch and hazel may have continued to flourish, and some forms of woodland management may have persisted, but in contrast to the East Moors the potential for grazing and cultivation may have been rather limited. Where once a wide variety of game species were available, red deer and wild fowl may have become the main hunted prey, except in the deeply incised valleys which may have remained relatively stable. That these locations interested communities during the third millennium is clear from the three large lowland sites and a host of other smaller clough-side scatters (Hind 2000). It is unlikely that the Upper Derwent Valley was completely abandoned during the fourth millennium. However, this may only be proven through further peat coring in the locality, and the chance discovery of the kind of deposits that affirmed ‘middle neolithic’ dates at Linch Clough South.

The building of the monuments prevented the ritual and mythological significance of particular places being lost and forgotten. They stabilised both cultural memory of place and connections between places (Tilley 1994: 204). …monuments stabilised the cultural memory of places (Barnatt 1996: 51).

Concluding thoughts

Monuments were built as ‘cultural mnemonics’ and their builders hoped that they carried a particular message into the future (Holtorf 1997: 60).

I have argued that patterns of material should be viewed as social expression, and made to answer social questions. In line with demands made by Pollard (1999) and Brown (1995), I have interpreted lithic assemblages as evidence of practices, and have attempted to integrate that interpretation into every other aspect of evidence available from appropriate contexts. Such a project has required the re-evaluation of archaeological language to clarify the role of analogy and metaphor in my account. To conclude, I wish to discuss what I have gained by abandoning the analytical totalities ‘mesolithic’ and ‘neolithic’, and why I have avoided the term ‘monument’, so widespread in archaeological discourse today.

All three researchers here acknowledge an ‘afterlife of monuments’ (Bradley 1993) in which the original reading of monuments changes through successive dominant readings and manipulation by sectional interests (q.v. Middleton and Edwards 1990). In the case of Tilley and Barnatt, this idea effectively contradicts the original statement. How can cultural meaning be stable when it is constantly renegotiated? Holtorf is more explicit in characterising ‘monuments’ as doomed attempts by forward-thinking agencies at impressing current concerns on future generations. Holtorf also presupposes a kind of historicity common to people in the fourth millennium, ancient Rome and modern Europe. This is highly questionable.

Mortuary structures in practice Discussions of fourth millennium mortuary structures have focused on the ‘appropriation’ of ancestral powers, the stabilisation of ‘cultural memory’, and the introduction of time depth to the timelessness of the seasonal round (Barnatt 1996; Holtorf 1997; Tilley 1994). The use of the word ‘monument’ however creates difficulties for the way that we envisage time was produced.

However, in both small-scale oral communities, and in literate groups where the state apparatus extends power over time-space, knowledge, values, and beliefs exist as practices whose preservation are a by-product of repeated usage, in speech and acts. Both use material things as mnemonic aids in communal acts of commemoration. In both, time has a mythic quality whereby prior events can be presenced, making them ‘now’ (Jarman 1998). There may be no dichotomy between oral/small-scale and literate/state communities in the way their members perform individual memory work or acts of communal commemoration.

Ancestral powers in the landscape could now only be deciphered from experiencing them at the site of the tomb…(Tilley 1994: 204). The ancestral associations and powers of such places became actively appropriated through the construction of monuments (Barnatt 1996: 51).

For communities in which power is negotiated purely through face-to-face interaction, that power is neither centralised nor institutionalised, but contextually emergent in persons. In such situations the extension of

Between the dolomite ridges and at Gib Hill a number of mortuary structures were sited in the midst of earlier remains. These places were already named and cleared, 167

social actors. Understood in this context, mortuary structures should be interpreted in terms of related practices surrounding relationships with the forest, its other inhabitants, and communities beyond the region. When practices changed and when new objects were introduced, people’s positions with respect to these agencies changed. Mortuary structures may have been one arena for the re-negotiation of those relationships, but their role as mnemonic markers was a by-product of them. ‘Monuments’ were more concerned with elements of the ‘now’ and the projected future of people’s life projects than the commemoration of things gone by.

power over space-time is much more limited, while key events and norms are transmitted in ways that are concrete rather than abstract, and conventional rather than original (Fentress and Wickham 1992: 57). No insurance against forgetting is needed, or indeed conceivable, because everyone’s work plays its part in commemoration. Fourth millennium mortuary activity therefore, was locked into practices surrounding concepts of death and renewal, in which the dead were immanent (not imitated – contra Shanks and Tilley 1987: 128). Time here was not just collapsed into places (Morphy 1995). It was produced through the temporality of seasonal movement, work and consumption that reestablished communal usufruct rights, in the exchange of people and things between communities, and the way variation in forest conditions was expressed in the oral tradition. People used mortuary structures as only one of many arenas for their representations of the past. The sharing of memory tends to be communicated in the arena of the oral, through anecdote and gossip, with narrative patterns that can owe as much to the mundane as the ‘ritual’ sphere (Fentress and Wickham 1992: 97).

Unthinking ‘The Neolithic’ Garton suggested two foci for investigating the ‘early neolithic’ in the Peak District. Firstly, traditions of siting ‘close to a water supply and at the interface between different geological and ecological zones’ (Garton 1991: 15). Secondly, that animals, particularly cattle, were the ‘major motive or necessity for using the Peak’ (ibid., after Halstead 1989; Hawke Smith 1979). However, this palaeo-economic agenda created problems when she attempted to separate fourth millennium flint working from that of the seventh to fifth millennia (see Pitts and Jacobi 1979).

Their chambers, containing bones and offerings to and from the ancestors, added a time depth to the timelessness of the seasonal round (Barnatt 1996: 51).

Is it not odd that we now accept Mesolithic activity within the flint scatters on the Limestone Plateau, but claim that the earlier Neolithic is unrecognised? (Garton 1991: 15).

This proposition of Barnatt’s is thus unworkable. The introduction of new clearance practices, as well as the reorganisation of labour implicit in the introduction of domesticates, clearly underwrote new temporalities, and produced time in new ways. To suppose that the use of chambers produced a time depth beyond that which was already understood in terms of settlements rediscovered through clearance, or movements of ancestral beings as inferred from landscape features, reduces the people before mortuary structures to a state of timelessness. Many of the traditions through which they produced time became coeval with new social logics. Even if mortuary structures were caught up in new concerns with lineage, this was not a precondition for new experiences of time, merely new rhetorics of memory.

She concluded that it would be necessary to treat these apparent mesolithic elements more carefully, and that the recovery of Grimston Ware on such sites may indicate that we are recovering fourth millennium material, but not in a form we can recognise. Finally, comparing models of mesolithic environmental manipulation (Mellars 1976; Simmons 1975) with the models of early neolithic cattle herding for the White Peak (Hawke-Smith 1979), Garton suggested that we may not be witnessing significant changes in the ways in which the landscape was used.

The term ‘monument’ neglects the significance of time as socially produced through the rhythms of individual and communal work, and of historicity as the outcome of power relations. If we are to continue to use it, we need to make explicit how the work of memory and forgetting is organised and to what ends. Beyond the individual there is no memory. It is an individual phenomenon, and the value we place on it stems from its contribution to a person’s sense of personal identity. However, as work that presences the past, memory is group work (Fentress and Wickham 1992; Halbwachs 1992). Rhetorics of memory establish senses of place and coherent community identities in myth and the language in which it is articulated. They provide for forgetting as well as remembering. For people in the fourth millennium, knowledge, values, and beliefs existed not as ‘information’, but as practices whose preservation was a by-product of repeated usage and the life projects of

Most recent models of fourth millennium landscape inhabitation now incorporate the idea of a substitution phase (Zvelebil 1986), and certain persistent stone artefact forms may be a crude indicator of a range of persistent practices. On the other hand, basic stone toolkits have been known to survive intact through considerable changes in subsistence regime (Golson 1977: 161; cited in Pfaffenberger 1992: 497). Equally, if a reliable, flexible and portable technology remained a concern because of the demands of residential mobility, then this does not explain the persistence of stylised reduction sequences in bi-polar blade core working. There are different ways of achieving such an end: Parry and Kelly (1987) demonstrate that for many mobile Native American groups, bifacial cores met the same needs. For both these reasons, regularity of form cannot be explained purely in terms of the environmentally 168

throughout the post-glacial period. Along with bi-polar blade core working, these practices appear to have persisted into the fourth millennium, but the context of their implementation may have radically changed with the introduction of new networks of relationships between people, and between people and things.

determinist arguments offered by Garton (1991), Myers (1986) and others. While stone working may have been informed by myth and some artefacts may have had sacred properties, the formalised working of by-products is likely to have been located in the realm of common sense. However, that everyday routine, while less explicit than ‘ritual’ moments, was all the more powerful because it was taken for granted. The introduction of new categories of architecture and artefacts, some of which were not locally available, as well as domesticates, created new arenas of value. Social relationships within and between communities could be re-established or transformed in new ways. These novelties had to be incorporated into existing practices concerning conduct towards ‘wild’ animals, the ancestral community and the spirits immanent in the landscape.

Cereal cultivation seems to have been initiated in the early fifth millennium. This practice pre-supposes clearance, but not the same type of clearance that was performed for the generation of browse, or occasional burning to stimulate growth. Rather it required a longerterm, persistent and cumulative effort to maintain suitable soil conditions. If we accept that hunter-gatherers almost universally practice demand sharing, that is, whatever one has will be given up if requested (Bird-David 1999), this has profound consequences for the introduction of cultivation beyond the harvest of small-seeded grasses (Zvelebil 1994: 62). Under this ethic, a person who spends three to four months farming must give everything away at harvest time when all the relatives come to visit and request food. Molar dental wear patterns from mortuary deposits suggest diets based on coarse fibrous plant material ‘typical’ of hunter-gatherers (Chamberlain in prep.). But the presence of animal domesticates from the same contexts suggests that new social logics developed, in terms of seasonality, clearance, property, exchange, and even tenure. Domesticates then were not all about diet and diet was not all about domesticates. Both were informed by wider social practices. One such set of practices is the scale of movement, relationships with communities in neighbouring regions and long-distance exchange, which the distribution of raw materials suggests took place. Certain people had long undertaken journeys of a considerable distance outside the course of their annual round, in the quest for raw materials not locally available. Successful return may have transformed or maintained their identity and enhanced their status. Flint from the plains to the south and east of the Peak District was procured throughout the seventh to fourth millennia. The polished stone axe was introduced into a world when long-distance exchange was already established, and may have gone on alongside the exchange of other artefacts and materials. However, the power ascribed to such exotic artefacts may have been of a different order to the existing elements of transaction.

It is now commonplace to recognise no one ‘neolithic’, and work by Spikins (1998) and Simmons (1996) has done much to alert us to the variety of lifestyles over the ‘mesolithic’. These terms serve no chronological purpose, and we are left with two ‘quasi-facts’ that serve as fig leaves for the theoretical biases of the researcher. Even with the poor chronology we have for prehistoric practices, such labels have relatively little value for characterising landscape inhabitation in the fifth and fourth millennia. Microlithic technology potentially persisted into the early fourth millennium, contemporary with the use of causewayed enclosures and the introduction of cattle. At Lismore Fields, practices often associated with later times, such as building post ring arrangements (UB-3294) and digging pits (HAR-6500) are in evidence at the turn of the sixth millennium. Intimations of woodland management are in evidence

The variety of technological composition found in lithic scatters in any given topographical zone, suggests we should not expect to be able to predict scatter siting and function. Instead, a reflexive response to scatters must be taken as palaeo-environmental evidence from the region becomes increasingly sophisticated. It is unreasonable to think we will often be able to link particular artefacts to certain phases of clearance or regeneration. Nevertheless, appreciation of the potential of various microtopographical areas for niche habitats can broaden the interpretative base for characterising scatters, beyond meat-fixated hunting models for the seventh to fifth millennia and an all consuming emphasis on cattle in the fourth millennium. Instead of shorthand terms with little 169

provided unfailing support. Norman Redhead (Greater Manchester SMR) and Andy Myers (Derbyshire SMR) also made invaluable contributions to my knowledge of the study area and stone tool technology.

use for archaeologies of inhabitation and practice, we must recognise the possibility of varied modes of subsistence and engagement between or within groups. This is possible only through theorising the introduction and persistence of situated, coeval traditions of making and using things.

Without Graham McElearney and Steve Wise, my GIS work would not have been possible. Additional thanks for immoral support go to many of the above and to Marcus Anselm, Jo Austen-Olsen, Anna Badcock, John Barrett, Jim Brian, Kathryn Denning, Mark Edmonds, Melanie Giles, Rowan May, Helen Rogers, Jim Rylatt, Chris Tree and Graeme Warren. Finally, my PhD would not have been possible without the love and support of my parents, Bob and Barbara Hind.

The articulation of time lies at the heart of my attempt to write about prehistoric materials and practices. To draw a line of argument that takes us from an understanding of one chronologically earlier state of affairs to another later, is to overlook variation in practices within both, to abstract an essence of an age, when that time was constituted by unique communal actions. The relationships between humans and humans, humans and non-humans, and both with different places, must be demonstrated through an archaeological performance that privileges work in place and movement along paths as the sites of unfolding identities. Such a performance must show how the materiality of places and paths emerges through the work of bodies and artefacts; work which extends awareness over space and time through an explosion of inter-related genealogies and biographies.

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Woodward, P.J. 1990. The South Dorset Ridgeway: Survey and Excavations 1977-84. Dorchester: Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society. Zvelebil, M. 1986. Mesolithic prelude and Neolithic revolution. In M. Zvelebil (ed.) Hunters in Transition: Mesolithic Societies and their Transition to Farming. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 5-15.


Paths, roads and routeways Paths might consist of tracks through woodlands and jungles, where the leaf-dappled light falls on twigs and puddles, mud or the traces of animals and people who have gone before. Well-travelled paths might link or skirt fields and settlements. Paths across mountains and hills might cross outcrops of stone, and following paths upwards may bring people into more mysterious, mist-bound realms rarely visited by others. Paths literally open up the world. Paths shift and change, are forgotten, and are then rediscovered. Paths are created by past events, and are thus histories and experiences woven into the land. Paths may also follow the edges of rivers and streams, and waterways themselves may be used as paths and routeways through the landscape. Travelling upstream may bring people to headwaters or sources, and can be regarded in temporal terms as a journeying back in time. Floating or travelling alongside a river down to its mouth may also have symbolic connotations. Paths may be the alleyways and underpasses of our modern towns and cities. Here routeways are constricting, and some people may be intimidated or fearful of them, especially during the night. Others may find, even nocturnally, a liberating freedom within the twists and turns, their stairs and ramps and dim recesses. For still others these piss-smelling spaces offer shelter of sorts. Paths began as forest tracks, dendritic networks of trails established by mesolithic gatherer-hunters. In many cases animal paths would have been followed and incorporated into human movements. Over time, some of these tracks assumed greater significance, and prehistoric paths such as the Dorset Ridgeway seem to have become important regional routeways. The hooves of sheep, cattle and horses may thus have in some instances been following trails once trod by their wild forebears. Roman roads and medieval tracks and holloways also inscribed their patterns across the land, and for the first time, large-scale movements of wheeled traffic became possible. Packhorse routes and toll roads followed. Roadworks aside, today the wheels rarely cease moving on our roads, dual carriageways and motorways. But even here senses of place, of time and memory are continually being constructed and reworked. Paths may also be metaphors. To follow a path might refer to the progress of one’s life, a spiritual quest or pilgrimage, or the acquisition of wisdom and experience. If wisdom sits in places (q.v. Basso 1996), then knowledge flows along paths. It is along paths and routeways that people literally negotiate their understandings of the world, and they unfold as people progress along them. Paths link places, and it is through moving between these places that people use their own situated bodies to ascribe or rework meanings to them. The place departed from holds memories of that departure, and the place being travelled to creates expectations, fears, hopes or desires, or perhaps the memories of previous arrivals. Paths are thus instrumental in the creation of memory. They are also implicit in the creation of time, and notions of past, present and future. They are part of the weave of land and life. Adrian M. Chadwick Basso, K. 1996. Wisdom sits in places. Notes on a Western Apache landscape. In S. Feld and K.H. Basso (eds.) Senses of Place. Washington: University of Washington Press, pp. 53-90.



Footprints in the sands of time. Archaeologies of inhabitation on Cranborne Chase, Dorset Adrian M. Chadwick With illustrations by Cornelius Barton and Erica Hemming may have been inextricably bound together through the ‘taskscape’. We must try to conceive of these people as very different to us in the present, both in thought and in their lifeways. Nevertheless, though extraordinarily difficult, archaeologists need to try and understand something of the everyday lives, beliefs and concerns of these long dead people, and to explore the possibilities of their very different ways of inhabiting the world.

He went to the front of the mound, above the Wulvarn. That was always the sacred place. He had only his hands and a knife, but he dug. He dug as far as he could, his arm’s distance in the ground. Then he took the axe. “It’s all I can do. There’s nowhere else. I’m not fit.” He kissed the cool stone, and wrapped it tightly, and put the weight in the earth, and filled the hole, and covered it. Alan Garner 1973. Red Shift. (1973: 150)

There are many published plans and maps of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Green 2000; Tilley 1994), and these have deliberately not been reproduced here. Instead, I have tried to explore alternative ways in which illustrations can be used to convey ideas behind the written text, in collaboration with the artists Cornelius Barton and Erica Hemming. We have attempted to create different visions of the past. The drawings explicitly show partial, humaneye views, and try to subvert traditional reconstructions that marginalise or stereotype women and children (q.v. Hurcombe 1997). We dislike the all-too-common archaeological reconstructions with prehistoric people wearing plain brown ‘sacks’ and crude footwear. This is the result of illustrators being justifiably cautious, but the evidence from ethnographically recorded small-scale societies and very rare waterlogged archaeological finds suggests that these people would have had potentially rich schemes of artefact and bodily decoration and adornment. We are missing a major organic component of their everyday tools and objects, based on wood, leather, and woven plant and animal fibres. Our visual ideas are totally speculative of course, and are thus deliberately stylised and ‘non-naturalistic’, but we hope that they demonstrate that the lack of archaeologically imperishable motifs need not imply a poverty of decorative tradition, or a simplicity of material culture. The drawings themselves are woven into the text to try and break down the viewer: viewed dichotomy that can have such an objectifying, distancing effect. These are images that are not ‘smooth’ or polished, and hence are not as easily consumed or appropriated.

Introduction – towards social archaeologies This paper re-examines the landscape of Cranborne Chase in Dorset from the mesolithic through to the later bronze age. Published archaeological information for the area includes several major studies (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Gosden 1994; Green 2000; Tilley 1994), but I wished to engage with the evidence in a more experimental manner. I wanted to write an experiential, interpretative account of the lives of the people who dwelt in the area during prehistory – a social archaeology. In many archaeological accounts the specific and the local are lost in broader economic and cultural considerations. Landscapes are viewed from a wideranging and ultimately privileged perspective, whilst abstract, dry descriptions of belief systems and artefacts may miss the humanity and the materiality of those times and places (Edmonds 1999). In British prehistory, people lived in small-scale communities, in regular contact with dozens rather than hundreds of people, and most daily routines were spent within one day’s walk from their dwellings. Their knowledge of the world was situated and imperfect. At the same time however, some people seem to have made much longer journeys on occasion, and often had both real or imagined knowledge of more distant places or peoples, such as the sources of stone axes, chert and flint, and types of pottery. They were also part of seasonal movements, and wider exchange and social networks. These contacts appear to have become more frequent and widespread throughout later prehistory.

The text is also more experimental, for in between contextual considerations of the evidence from Cranborne Chase, I have offered four fictional vignettes to illustrate how perceptions of the body, the landscape and time may have altered through prehistory. These pieces were difficult for me to write, and I realise that they do not constitute literature in any way! In places they may sound a little stilted, either from my style or through trying to describe practices and beliefs that would have been largely intuitive or self-evident to prehistoric people. I also did not want to create pasts that were twee or overromanticised, and so have tried to incorporate death and internal tensions within these communities, as much as I

Women, men, the elderly and the young would have all had different perceptions of themselves and others, and of the landscape around them. These experiences incorporated consciousness of the past, genealogies and mythical histories (Gosden and Lock 1998). These people may not have recognised the modern Western distinctions that we draw between humans, animals and plants and the material world (Ingold 1993), and instead the lives of all 179

The east-west flowing rivers have cut into the chalk creating often dramatic escarpments and incised valleys, with broader, more gentle valleys and rolling slopes around Cranborne and Coombe Bissett, whereas north of Tollard Royal there are more convoluted escarpments, coombes and steep-sided valleys. Many of the steeper escarpments and the chalk coombes today support chalk grassland, whereas small pockets of older woodland and modern plantations survive on the downs and hilltops, and are interspersed with both arable and pastoral farmland. On the Chase itself the more subtle undulations of the chalk create a series of intimate folds and valleys. Wider vistas can appear and disappear, and there are false crests and sudden turnings. Many of the valleys are dry except in winter when some winterbourne streams run, and water collects in extensive, shallow pools across poorly drained areas. Given modern drainage and a possible overall lowering of the watertable (Countryside Commission 1995), plus the effects of thousands of years of alluviation and colluviation, it is likely that these seasonal flows of water would have been more pronounced in the past. These cyclical events would have been of great importance to prehistoric people, plants and animals.

have dwelt on the ways in which they may have cooperated with each other and engaged with their world. Writers and artists such as John Berger, Neil Gaiman, Alan Garner, Jenny Holzer, Alan Moore, Jorma Puranen, Barbara Bender and Mark Edmonds, and their different ways of seeing, showing and telling, have been influences. I first wrote versions of the fictional pieces whilst Mark Edmonds was working on his own for his Ancestral Geographies of the Neolithic (1999), and he encouraged me to pursue mine further. I cannot write as well as Mark, especially his wonderful accounts of people working with wood, stone and clay, so I have tried to do something a little different. My stories concentrate more upon people’s possible beliefs and relationships with history and the land, but are thus potentially more problematic. In many respects it is also a pity that this interpretative account is concerned with southern England, repeating this pronounced bias in discussions of prehistory. On my own research projects I am working in south Wales and northern England, and I hope to create archaeologies of inhabitation there too, although not necessarily using stories. These stories of mine are fictions, but fictions that are nevertheless informed by the archaeological evidence and ethnographic analogy. This is not to imbue them with any false legitimacy, but to try and excuse the shortfalls of my prose.

The evidence for mesolithic activity on Cranborne Chase consists almost solely of flint scatters, located mainly on areas of clay-with-flint which form part of the drift geology (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Occupation may have consisted of a range of activities, including the procurement of raw lithic material, but it has been suggested that this inhabitation may have been quite tightly bounded. No finds of mesolithic material were made on the areas of Upper Chalk, and only some restricted ranges of artefacts were found on the Greensand areas to the north, and from a few sites at the head of the River Allen.

...while events did occur in a real past we constitute those events as relevant facts by their active selection and ordering in discourse. Writing displaces the real past (Tilley 1993: 24). Prelude In my mind I see a distant land Through wind-borne wisps of time’s lost sand The forest drinks the sleeper’s thoughts To replace them with a tale, of sorts…

Were the movements of mesolithic people really this restricted though? Most of the evidence derives from fieldwalking, yet less of the Upper Chalk areas have been systematically investigated. Many are pasture or woodland today, and the apparent absence of mesolithic lithics may be partly a product of sampling. Nevertheless, mesolithic populations clearly had a predilection for areas of clay-with-flint and the Reading beds – sandy soil with pebbles and clay (Arnold, Green, Lewis and Bradley 1988; Green 2000). Many of these findspots are in river valleys, or close to places where springs still emerge at the base of the low chalk hills. Penbury Knoll/Pentridge Hill, the highest point in the centre of the Chase, saw a concentration of activity (Lewis and Coleman 1984), and an early mesolithic occupation site has been excavated at St. Giles Field, Downton Farm (Catt, Green and Arnold 1980). A scatter of some mesolithic material was also recovered close to the neolithic Dorset Cursus, in Chalkpit Field (Gardiner 1987), and many other scatters of mesolithic lithic material have been found around Down Farm (Green 2000: 27). Handley Common has produced evidence for extensive areas of mesolithic flint working, and a few mesolithic flints have been recovered from Hambledon Hill too (Farrar 1951).

Mesolithic spirits The topography and modern physical environment of Cranborne Chase have been described in detail elsewhere (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Countryside Commission 1995; Green 2000; Tilley 1994), so I will merely refer to the most salient characteristics. The upland undulating chalk plateau is bounded to the north and west by Greensand escarpment ridges and dissected, knolly hills, creating often marked folds of ground and deep valleys. To the north the valleys of the Rivers Sem, Nadder and Ebble run roughly from the east towards the Rivers Till and Avon to the west. To the south a series of shallow, parallel river valleys run roughly north-west to south-east down to the Hampshire basin and the coast. These include The Trarrant, River Crane, River Allen and the (separate) Allen River. To the east of Cranborne Chase there is a gentle dip slope running down into the Avon valley.


them might have taken fish, shellfish, sea birds and marine mammals such as seals and porpoises. Access to such resources might have meant that some coastal groups could remain in one location for much longer periods of time, possibly even for several years. Freshwater fish species would also have been potential food sources for inland groups. Salt and freshwater fish may have been caught by harpoons, lines and hooks, or channelled into fish-traps and weirs (q.v. Smart 2000).

At Downton on the extreme north-eastern edge of the Chase, and just south of Salisbury, in addition to evidence for a flint extraction hollow and flint working areas, investigations recorded stakeholes from two possible shelters, cooking hollows and charcoal concentrations (Higgs 1959). This valley floor site was possibly a summer camp. The evidence for mesolithic ‘settlement’ sites is still rare across southern Britain though (Darvill 1996; Gardiner 1990; Green 1996; Kinnes 1988). In most instances flint scatters are the only traces of occupation that have survived. From Downton and other occasional sites that have produced structural evidence, it seems likely that these people lived in temporary lean-tos – shelters or tents of wood, brush and hides. In some cases tree-throw pits and the tree root mass next to them may also have formed the basis for temporary shelters.

The higher downland may have formed upland hunting areas for mesolithic groups, as woodland on the chalk probably had less undergrowth, and was more suitable for grazing and browsing animals and human hunters alike. Valleys and their rich river edge locales were exploited for plant foods, beaver, freshwater fish and wildfowl. This activity may have been seasonally based, with groups moving up through river valleys like the Avon onto Cranborne Chase during the summer months, but dispersing and returning to the Hampshire basin and the Avon valley during winter (Arnold, Green, Lewis and Bradley 1988). There is much variety to these lithic scatters, and the proportions and types of tools and waste occurring within them. The restricted range of tool types found on mesolithic sites on the Greensand might indicate more specialised, summer activities, and these sites contain many more microliths than those in other areas do. Microliths were probably used for a wide range of tools and activities however, and must not automatically assumed to be projectile points. The interpretation of microliths solely in terms of arrow or spearheads reflects a ‘boys and toys’ approach to the past (Finlay 2000a, b). Microwear analysis of some microlith assemblages, although often equivocal, has indicated bidirectional sawing motions, possibly on wood or bone, as well as their use for boring and piercing wood and perhaps leather (Clarke 1976). Site assemblages dominated by microliths, whilst perhaps more specialised, may thus still have included a range of activities. Lithic-based artefacts may not even have been the most technologically complex tools used by these people, or were not those that were used most frequently in everyday practices.

During the summer months, gathering plant foods may often have been more nutritionally important to everyday mesolithic subsistence than hunting (Clarke 1976; Sassaman 1992; Slocum 1975). Often only hazelnut shells survive on archaeological sites, due to charring or their inherent robustness, and these must certainly have been an important seasonal food source, and one that could have been readily stored. However, carbonised tubers of onion couch, bitter vetch and pignut have been recovered in some early neolithic contexts, suggesting their use in the mesolithic too (Carruthers 1990: 252; Fairbairn 1999: 150-151). Fruits and berries would obviously have been seasonally important, but other possible food plants may have included nettles, wild garlic, wild cabbage, wild celery, waterlily tubers, bogbean, fat-hen, sorrel, water-cress, oar weed, salad burnet, woodruff, dandelion and many herbs (q.v. Clarke 1976; Mabey 1998). Red and roe deer, beaver, wild pig and aurochs (wild cattle) were all hunted, and crane, teal and mallard remains have also been recovered from some mesolithic sites around Britain and Ireland. Geese, swans, grouse, capercaillie, snipe and wood pigeon would also have been potential food birds. Horse and elk that may still have survived in small numbers to be have been hunted in the early mesolithic had almost certainly disappeared by the late mesolithic (Smith 1992).

Some mesolithic site assemblages are dominated by scrapers, and those sites with higher percentages of other tools such as burins, scrapers, saws and axes may have been used for a much wider range of activities. Nonformal tools and unretouched flakes might have been more important for some tasks too, and the ratios of more formal tool types may have changed over time, or between different groups. Scrapers are rare in most late mesolithic assemblages for example (Spikins 2000: 115). A few of the more diverse, low-lying sites such as St. Giles Field could have been larger camps where people came together in greater numbers at certain times of the year, perhaps in the summer months (Green and Arnold 1980; Green 2000). These aggregation sites were places where people could meet, trade, broker alliances and marriages, and share stories and songs. Different concentrations have sometimes been identified within these overall scatters of material, and this may be

Groups living in coastal areas or with seasonal access to 181

forest, and some patches of open grassland with rock rose and salad burnet may have been in existence by c. 8000 BC (Allen 2002). The area between the head of the Allen valley down to Wimborne St. Giles or even Knowlton might have been such grassland. The Allen valley had relic palaeochannels containing peat deposits, representing a more extensive drainage system of very late glacial or post-glacial date (French et al. 2000: 5657).

evidence for repeated but intermittent occupation. In other cases where there is less evidence for chronological overlap such foci might reflect different kin, age, gender or other internal social distinctions. There may have been oscillation between lowland and upland areas, with the same places being revisited each season. Lowland groups may have moved from coasts to inland areas. It is unlikely that the same ‘annual round’ was followed year after year however, and ranges may have fluctuated on yearly or even generational cycles (Whittle 1997, 1998). Nevertheless, some locales were clearly persistent places, and were revisited again and again. It is probable that a wide variety of mobilities may have been pursued (Kelly 1992, 1995; Smith 1992; Zvelebil 1998), and the movements of each group no doubt changed across the years or the generations. This might have been due to fluctuations in the numbers of plant and animal species, social and political factors, or simply the preferences of individuals and groups.

Floodplains may have had lighter woodland cover, and contained a rich variety of plant and animal species. Streams such as the upper waters of the Allen were clear and shallow, gravel-bottomed and smooth flowing, with sedges, reeds, water crowfoot, watercress and bur-reed growing within them or along their sides (Allen 2002). Although areas such as the Allen valley might have been relatively open since post-glacial times, heather and grass plant species also indicate that some additional woodland clearings were forming by the late mesolithic, either naturally or through human action, and some were then regenerating as hazel scrub. During the late mesolithic rising sea levels were also isolating Britain from continental Europe, and were flooding large areas of species-rich coastal plain that would have previously been favoured areas for large game herds and gathererhunters.

Studies of some contemporary or historically-recorded gatherer-hunters suggest that during the course of the year, individuals within each mesolithic group might have split off temporarily from the main band, to establish hunting, fishing and fowling stands, lover’s camps, and initiation or ceremonial sites, to name but a few possibilities. Trying to identify task-specific sites may often be fruitless though, and the reality of human existence within the mesolithic taskscape would have been much more complicated. Connections between people and the land they dwelt in – some persistent, some short-lived, were played out across the landscape through complex and dynamic patterns and rhythms of stone working, gathering, hunting, movement, and other social practices and beliefs (Conneller 2000). The accumulation of lithic material at locales such as Downton indicate that mesolithic people had clear notions of favoured places within the landscape, but the paths between places may have been equally important. Even places that were regularly re-visited over time may not have been the focus of the same tasks and practices on each occasion. There would have been flux and forgetfulness. To deny mesolithic people such change over time would be to deny them their own histories.

We should be wary of portraying these mesolithic landscapes as wholly ‘natural’ though, with mesolithic people somehow trying to impose themselves upon a virgin wilderness. Post-glacial woodland development across southern England was coincidental with the reestablishment of human populations (Austin 2000: 71). Whilst early mesolithic populations may have had little pronounced effect on the vast verdant areas of primary woodland, vegetation, humans and animals were nonetheless all dynamic and interactive members of the same taskscapes. In recent years for example, ecologists and ethnographers have acknowledged that much of the supposedly wild and ‘virgin’ vegetation of North and South America and Australasia, has actually been subtly altered by the activities of Native American and Aboriginal groups (e.g. Cronon 1983; Descola 1994; Flannery 1994; Nelson 1983; Pyne 1982). In mesolithic forests some trees would have grown in dense stands, with fallen trees and branches and secondary growth forming almost impenetrable areas. Palaeo-environmental analysis of some mesolithic sites has found beetle species indicative of abundant dead or rotting wood in relatively undisturbed forest (Robinson 2000: 29-30). Tree-falls, lightning strikes, and grazing and trampling by animals such as wild cattle would have opened up clearings however, and mesolithic people would have exploited these events (Brown 1997). The palaeo-environmental evidence attests to openings within the wooded canopy, some small and localised, but others more extensive (Allen 2002; French et al. 2000). Some clearings were intermittently occupied by people, but others were probably regularly visited over time, as the majority of the known flint scatters on Cranborne Chase

During the last full glaciation between 18 000 – 11 000 BC much of southern Britain, although untouched directly by the ice, was tundra, with heather, bilberry and crowberry. Arctic willow, dwarf birch, grasses and sedges grew in more sheltered places, although there were periods when birch and poplar woodland established themselves. By 8500 BC and the mesolithic period the climate was warming, and on Cranborne Chase and across southern England pine, juniper and birch forest spread, giving way to hazel scrub and then more mixed broad-leaved oak forest with elm, ash, alder, lime and hazel. Some pine and birch remained in places, and the Greensand areas may have had lighter woodland cover (Allen 1998; Allen and Green 1998; Cleal, Walker and Montague. 1995; Entwistle and Bowden 1991). However, not all of the chalkland may have been dominated by 182

such potentially dangerous situations could be defused. These meetings may have occurred at only a few places in the landscape, where food, water or flint was especially abundant, or where there were prominent or unusual natural features.

contain both earlier and later mesolithic material for example (Arnold, Green, Lewis and Bradley 1988). Mesolithic lithic findspots are also located along the route of the River Allen, whose valley may have been quite open grassland rather than forest (Allen 2002). Most axes and axe-sharpening flakes of mesolithic date have been found on clay-with-flint sites, suggesting that many mesolithic occupation sites on Cranborne Chase were located in areas of deliberately cleared woodland, although these artefacts should not automatically be assumed to be associated with tree felling activities.

Portland chert used in stone tools, including distinctive stone axes and adzes, was distributed quite widely across southern England, along with slate and ‘unusual’ pebbles from Devon and Cornwall (Rankine 1949). Some of these artefacts and pebbles reached as far as eastern Hampshire (Jacobi 1981). This all hints at developing patterns of social interaction and trade between mesolithic groups. Portland chert certainly reached Cranborne Chase during this period, and although some it may have been derived from inland sources at the Vale of Wardour, much of it was likely to have come from the Isle of Portland itself (Gingell and Harding 1982; P. Harding pers. comm.). This may have leant the stone symbolic or mythical importance in addition to its functional qualities. Although flint was available on the Chase from the claywith-flint sources, Portland chert was certainly capable of being worked into fine blades for example.

Inhabiting the mesolithic Ethnography may provide some insights into mesolithic gatherer-hunter groups, but this evidence must be used cautiously and critically, for many documented gathererhunter societies now inhabit marginal areas, and have had centuries of contact with farming groups and colonial powers. In many cases they have suffered massive population declines from introduced diseases and deliberate persecution and ethnocide. Furthermore, these peoples have their own histories, and should not be seen as ‘relic’ prehistoric populations.

Decision making in mesolithic groups may have been communal, leadership and advice being provided by those who were adept at different tasks, or by the oldest and most experienced. The power and status of such individuals was probably not permanent though, and unlikely to be inheritable (Price and Brown 1985; Smith 1992). However, even the most egalitarian societies are prone to tensions and jealousies regarding the sharing of food, prowess at tasks, sexual relationships and perceived status. Egalitarianism should not be automatically assumed (Bender 1978). Age and gender may have been responsible for some division of labour and movement around the landscape, though many activities would have been interdependent (q.v. Alekssenko 1999; Bevan 1997; Black 1973; Bodenhorn 1993; Brody 2001; Feit 1973; Kayano 1994; Nelson 1983; Spector 1983; Shnirelman 1999; Watanabe 1972). Indeed, in many recorded gatherer-hunter communities women may be accorded a great deal of respect, and their contribution to everyday tasks explicitly acknowledged (Brody 2001: 264-265), unlike some agricultural societies where concerns about property and inheritance often lead to hierarchical patriarchal discrimination against women. Mesolithic women may have also have been able to become shamans, hunters or leaders within their communities. Other tasks may have been based on kinship ties and totemic affiliations, and these might have crosscut gender or family groups. Women, men, the old and the young, and other categories or grades within them, would thus possibly have followed quite different daily and seasonal routines, which might have often overlapped and interlinked with one another, but on other occasions were separate. There would have been a multitude of multifarious but interdigitated taskscapes.

Although many of the world’s remaining foraging societies now live in tropical or desert environments, studies of groups from temperate North America and Eurasia may be more pertinent (Zvelebil 1998), although comparable environmental conditions do not necessarily produce similar social relations. Even in temperate regions, there were and are considerable differences between these gatherer-hunter groups in terms of mobilities and settlement patterns (Kelly 1995; Spikins 1995). Different bands or kinship groups belonging to the same overall group may vary considerably in their seasonal and yearly movements and practices, even if they are spatially very close to one another. The physical characteristics of local landscapes also undoubtedly play an important role. It is probably because archaeological traces of mesolithic occupation are so ephemeral, and their preservation and recovery often very fragmentary, that there has been a tendency to propose similar models of mesolithic lifeways for the whole of Britain and Ireland. It is extremely unlikely that this would have been the case. Southern England probably had different social and settlement practices to other parts of Britain and Ireland, and there would have been more localised variation too. Nevertheless, though very direct or extremely generalising analogies should be avoided (q.v. Wylie 1985), some ethnographically derived ideas about how gatherer-hunters inhabit their landscapes are useful. Mesolithic communities may have consisted of kinrelated bands of up to thirty or forty people, which themselves would have often split up into smaller groups such as gathering, hunting or fishing parties, and those undergoing rituals. In favourable times of the year such as summer, these smaller bands may have combined into larger affiliated groups, based on wider kinship ties (Edmonds 1995, n.d.; Smith 1992). Contact with unrelated groups might have been infrequent, and there may have been elaborate social mechanisms by which

These people would have used leather, plant fibres, wood, bone, horn and feathers in their dress. Everyday work clothes may have been quite plain, but might nevertheless 183

been focused inwards upon themselves for long periods of time. Mesolithic people may have regarded the world as a dendritic network of paths, linking clearings and other places of importance (q.v. Ingold 1986). Over time, nodal points in the landscape would have accrued special significance, and given rise to stories, myths and legends. Old campsites may have been considered powerful or sacred places, returned to regularly, or alternatively avoided for periods of years. Flint sources and stone quarries may have become replete with meanings (Edmonds forthcoming). Natural features such as prominent trees or streams might have been named, and inhabited by other non-human beings or the spirits of the human dead (q.v. Black 1973; Brody 2001; Gow 1995; Jackson 1989; Kayano 1994; Nelson 1983; Tilley 1994; Watanabe 1972). Some trees or hills may have been regarded as links between their world and other realms of being. Such places may have been the sites for food offerings to other animal, tree and plant beings, the spirits, mythical beings and natural forces such as the sun, thunder, lightning, rain and the wind (Bradley 2000; Kharyuchi and Lipatova 1999).

have contained numerous separate pieces and complex stitching. Clothes for ritual, ceremony or fighting may have been more elaborate. Remains of fox, wolf, beaver, marten, otter and wildcat from mesolithic sites in Britain and Ireland indicate the use of fur, and plant dyes and minerals such as malachite and haematite or ochre decorated clothes and people’s bodies. Plant fibres would have been used to make baskets and bags, quivers, cord and rope, clothing, toys and spirit offerings. Bark, lime bast, reeds, rushes, sages, flax, nettles and clematis would have been potential sources for these fibres (Hurcombe 2000). Resins of pine and birch, beeswax and birch bark tars could have been used for many different purposes, including waterproofing clothing and containers, for medicinal purposes and for adhesives and hafting flint tools (Aveling and Heron 2000). ‘Cakes’ of tree resin were found at the mesolithic lakeside site of Starr Carr in Yorkshire (Clark 1971), and the substance was perhaps being stored in this manner. Symbolic and metonymic qualities and associations might have complimented the practical functionality of these animal and plant products, drawn from the perceived attributes of the species involved.

Mesolithic groups were clearly identifying parts of southern England as significant locales. This is further witnessed by the settings for five timber posts of probable eighth and seventh millennium BC date discovered further to the east at Stonehenge (Cleal et. al. 1995), although the date ranges suggest that all were not standing at any one time. Similar dates however are now suggested for two features excavated on the western side of Hambledon Hill (Allen and Gardiner 2002: 144), of which one is a clear post setting. Neither the Stonehenge nor the Hambledon Hill posts appear to have formed a coherent structure, and are not associated with any clear evidence for mesolithic inhabitation. They may instead have marked claims to territory, or group identity. Alternatively, they might have had totemic or spiritual significance. They may well have been carved or decorated in some manner. That such a prominent landscape feature as Hambledon Hill was marked out in this manner is intriguing, as is the fact that mesolithic people were erecting posts in what was still largely a forested

Mesolithic groups might have had complicated symbolic and decorative schemes that have left little or no archaeological trace. At the Kendrick’s Cave site in the Mendip hills, Late Upper Palaeolithic/Late Glacial human skeletons were found with perforated bear teeth, pierced and incised deer and wild cattle teeth, and a horse mandible decorated with groups of chevrons (Sieveking 1971). Six pebbles with geometric and other more random scratches on them were found at Rhuddlan in Clwyd (Quinnell, Blockley and Berridge 1994), and an engraved stone at Nab Head (David 1990). Beads have been found at some mesolithic sites in the British Isles, including Nab Head, Waun Fignen Felen and Star Carr (Barton et al. 1997; Clark 1971; Jacobi 1980). These show that mesolithic people may have inherited a tradition of decoration dating back millennia. Even limited numbers of decorative motifs have formed the basis of complex decorative and symbolic schemes in some gatherer-hunter cultures (e.g. Morphy 1999; Watanabe 1972), the combinations of the symbols being important. Designs may have had many different meanings, none necessarily exclusive or contradictory, and might have been produced by aesthetic, spiritual, totemic, apatropaic and curative motivations. In landscapes often dominated by primary woodland, there would have been few broad vistas, except from the ridges and hills to the north and west of Cranborne Chase, or along the valley of the River Allen. Natural clearings created by tree-falls, beavers and lightning strikes may thus have been very important to mesolithic people (Brown 2000: 50), and in addition to their functional usefulness they may been regarded as fortuitous and the work of spirits or mythical beings. Human occupation may have been visible as a few small scars in the otherwise uninterrupted green, or by the drifting smoke of campfires. The small communities moving about this tree-clad landscape may therefore have 184

shafts and pipes in the chalk (e.g. Groube 1976). Many of these collapsed dolines would have been open features During the mesolithic, forming quite deep holes in the ground. The excavation of one such doline shaft at Fir Tree Field recovered a butchered red deer bone dating to 4320-4000 BC, and this feature may have opened up in the late mesolithic (Allen and Green 1998; Green and Allen 1997). Seven microliths were excavated, perhaps originally hafted together on a knife or saw, projectile or totemic object. Mesolithic people may have regarded these ‘natural’ landscape features as deeply significant and redolent with meaning. The dolines in particular might have been regarded as entrances into underworlds, or as origin points from the earth. Some might have collapsed open in a short space of time, between one season and another, thereby further enhancing their perceived unusual nature.

area. The relative lack of mesolithic material from the hill suggests that people were not living there, but were carrying out other social practices. Another possible mesolithic post feature was excavated at Boscombe Down north of Salisbury, and a shallow ditch at Strawberry Hill, also in Wiltshire (ibid.). The palaeoenvironmental remains from these features are strongly suggestive of Boreal climatic and vegetational conditions. The Thickthorn Down long mound on the Chase may have been constructed on top of three mesolithic pits. There is some evidence for so-called structured or placed deposition at some mesolithic sites around Britain. A tranchet axe, scallop shell and smooth pebble were buried in a pit under a shell midden at Culverwell on the Isle of Portland (Palmer 1976). Very large quantities of struck flint flakes and retouched artefacts were found in mesolithic pits at Abinger, Farnham and Selmeston in Surrey and Sussex, including tranchet axes (Clark 1934; Clark and Rankine 1939; Leakey 1951). At several sites in the Vale of Pickering in Yorkshire, deposits of antlers, beads, barbed antler points and partially worked flint nodules may also have been marking connections between people and significant places in the landscape. Concepts such as pollution or cleanliness, age, gender and even emerging differences in status could all have been played out through such activities and materials (Conneller 2000: 142-143; Pollard 2000: 126-127). Middens and scatters of discarded shell, bone and lithics may themselves have had cultural significance for mesolithic people. Some could even have acted as territorial markers for individual bands or wider groups. On Cranborne Chase, there are some distinctive periglacial features called naleds near Down Farm at the head of the River Allen, consisting of around thirty mounds with intervening hollows (Catt, Green and Arnold 1980). This area would have flooded during the winter, forming a series of distinctive small lakes with circular islands (Green 2000: 28). There are also several isolated swallowhole features or dolines, natural solution

Mesolithic people would have learnt an intimate knowledge of their landscape from an early age, along with detailed understandings of animal behaviour, and the properties and potential uses of many different woods, herbs and other resources. Rather than ownership, they may have thought of themselves as holding temporary tenure or custodianship over the land. These gathererhunters may have developed close, inter-related relationships with many plant and animal species (Edmonds 1999; Hayden 1990; Ingold 1986, 2000; Mellars 1976; Tanner 1979; Zvelebil 1994). Indeed, they may have recognised these species as fellow beings, with their own awareness, temperaments and sensibilities. This is common to many documented gatherer-hunter groups (Brody 2001; Ingold 1996). However, we must also be careful not to create a ‘New Age’ vision of peaceful, spiritually fulfilled gatherer-hunters always living in perfect harmony with their environment. Whilst mesolithic groups might have developed extremely close relationships with plant and animal species that verged towards mutualism in many instances, this would not always have been the case. There is some archaeological and ethnographic evidence that documented gathererhunter groups have sometimes killed off local populations of particular animals and plants (q.v. Krech 1999). Pleistocene mega-faunal extinctions in Eurasia, North America and Australasia might have been linked to or exacerbated by the activities of palaeolithic gathererhunters (Flannery 1994, 2001). Mistakes or carelessness would still have happened too. Nevertheless, there are also usually many checks and balances present within most ethnographically recorded gatherer-hunter cultures and their social practices, with the aim of preserving their known world and ensuring that plants and animals are not taken in unsupportable numbers. These concerns are likely to have been extant within mesolithic communities too. Movements of people throughout larger territories would also have given the animals and plants in more local areas time to recover from any over-exploitation. Mesolithic people were living and working with domesticated dogs, but may also have been tending and encouraging stands of wild plants. They might have been selectively culling and ‘managing’ herds of wild cattle 185

thus immanent in their present in an immediate and meaningful manner, perhaps more so than in later periods of prehistory.

and deer, and perhaps even providing some animals with winter fodder such as ivy (Jacobi 1981). Open glades within woodland or river edges may have been cleared and maintained by mesolithic people in order to encourage grazing and browsing animals. In some instances they may have been deliberately setting fires to assist these processes (Cummins 2000; Mellars 1976; Simmons 1975, 1996), perhaps more so by the late mesolithic. Such active engagement with woodland would have strengthened ties with certain places in the landscape, these sites becoming linked through traditional paths and weekly, seasonal and annual movements (Bender, Edmonds, Hamilton and Tilley n.d.; Ingold 1996). Scatters of mesolithic lithic material occurring in a NE-SW line across the centre of Cranborne Chase may reflect an important emerging axis of movement (Tilley 1994), as much as the location of clay-with-flint sources.

Mesolithic people may have in fact been able to recall their shorter-term history at least from subtle traces of their presence left in the landscape, such as middens, flint and bone scatters, burnt or ring-barked trees and stumps, old camp fires and regenerating clearings. In some cases this would have brought back clear memories of events and individuals that were only a few seasons or annual cycles old. Some of these residues of the past might have triggered memories of events from childhood, or of long dead but known people. On other occasions, such remains would have been unfamiliar, and direct personal recollections of them vague, uncertain or absent. These may then indeed have been attributed to the work of ancestral beings. If their cosmologies allowed for the fact that events from long ago had left recognisable physical traces in their present landscape, they would have had no problems with such conceptions of time. Returning to paths and places with traces of past activity may have partly been the result of memory and affection for these locales, and the practical advantages of having to carry out less clearing, or knowing where water sources or favoured stands of trees and edible plants were. It might also have been considered auspicious to do so though. For example, working wood, flint and fibres at a site where people and other beings had visited in the past might have imbued those production processes and the finished artefacts with greater strength, durability and precision. Routine social practices might thus have been constantly caught up in or referencing cosmological, totemic or animist schema.

Based on ethnographic work amongst contemporary or historically-recorded gatherer-hunters, it has been suggested that outside of their own life histories, mesolithic people may have regarded the world as essentially timeless (Whittle 1996). Though planning for several years ahead may have taken place, any longerterm perspectives may have rarely been considered. Once further back in time than the lives and memories of their living elders, to these mesolithic communities the past might have faded into a more generalised, near mythical series of events and people. This might have been true to some extent, but it misrepresents the way in which contemporary small-scale communities often relate to the past, and traps them in cyclical, never-changing time (Adam 1990; Chadwick this volume a; Wolf 1982). Instead, the past itself may have been more directly presenced in the landscapes of mesolithic people, and was 186

The rich and complex variety of documented gathererhunter knowledge and belief systems should not be uncritically conflated or projected back into the past (q.v. Kehoe 2000). Nevertheless, ethnographic studies of foraging cultures suggest that some form of ritual specialists corresponding in the loosest sense to the term ‘shaman’ were likely to have existed in the mesolithic. In particular, some practices such as shamanic journeys, the existence of non-human beings and spirits, and some form of animism or totemism, are often shared by many recorded gatherer-hunter communities around the world (e.g. Bird-David 1999; Brody 2001; Ingold 2000; Vitebsky 1995). Shamans may have had the ability to move at will through these different states and temporalities, and would have been able to talk to other beings and the spirits, and to visit the future. It was these ritual specialists who bore the heavy responsibility for maintaining the correct checks and balances between the world of the living and the world of the spirits. By drawing on spirit help, they could heal the sick, and also ensure the harmonious co-operation of plants and animals.

Some of the earliest groups to recolonise southern Britain in the immediate postglacial period may have had a sense of breaking new ground, and of moving around virgin forests. However, even they might have found occasional stone tools from late palaeolithic activities, and though they might have not recognised who made them, they would have understood that such objects were the result of knapping, either by past people, ancestral or nonhuman beings or spirits. Throughout most of the mesolithic people would have been coming across earlier material traces of past occupation though. They would have been weaving these histories of people and places directly into their own lives and landscapes. Over many generations however, the biographies of their dead might have merged into those of the founders, plant and animal beings and the spirits who shared their world. Such superhuman forces, natural powers, pre-human or mythical beings and the personalities of the animals and plants that they shared their world with may have been as real to them and as influential as individual human agency (Gosden and Lock 1998). The spirit world and non-human beings would have affected everyday events – a successful foraging expedition, a collapsing shelter, or a fire staying alight. People who fell ill might have offended the spirits by not following correct everyday practices, or they may have attracted too much spirit force into themselves, and so started to lose their presence in the world of the living.

Shamanism also brings with it more flexible and ambiguous relationships with a world where there are few material certainties or absolutes (Brody 2001: 244-245). Identity itself may be unstable, and people can become ghosts, spirits or animals, just as animals can become people. People may be possessed by spirits, or may pass through different realms or worlds. Part of their souls may permanently reside in commensal or companion animals, trees or rocks, and are closely bound to the fate of these other beings. For many gatherer-hunter groups the world contains many more permeable boundaries and shifts of meaning. Even the body itself may thus be a less rigidly defined concept, and capable of transformations. In recorded gatherer-hunter cultures, authority too may be less absolute, and the validity of stories or claims is often based in oral tradition. Those who listen are those who legitimate such claims or assess the ‘truth’ of what has been said. People also assert their knowledge of and rights within a landscape on the basis of how well they can talk or sing about it. The world is literally spoken or sung into being.

In Aveline’s Hole Cave in the Mendip Hills, up to seventy human individuals may have been buried around 7000 BC, but the skeletons and detailed records of the site have not survived (Jacobi 1987; Smith 1992). Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge contained fragmentary human remains dating to at least 10 000 BC, many with evidence for defleshing marks, but again much of the material and records have been lost. Only a few other, isolated burials of mesolithic date are known from Britain. The paucity of evidence for funerary activity might suggest that any notion of individual identity was not regarded as being maintained after death. However, it may have been more complex than this. Isolated human bones or fragments of them have been recovered from many mesolithic occupation sites, and at both Aveline’s Hole and Gough’s Cave the fragmented remains may have been sorted, handled and circulated. Some were mixed with animal bone. This suggests that both animal and human bodies and bones may have been broken down and manipulated to form other assemblages, other identities. Mesolithic people may not have considered themselves as divisible, unique individuals, but as much more mutable entities, with skills, properties and relationships linked to or derived from other beings such as plants and animals (Conneller 2002). The lack of formal inhumations may also indicate that the dead were probably exposed on the ground, on platforms or in trees, or set adrift onto rivers and streams. Water in particular might have been significant – it may have been a liminal substance through which the everyday and spirit worlds were linked, and watercourses may have run towards or from mythic origin points (Edmonds 1999).

The symbolic potential of animals, trees and woodland may have been great (q.v. Austin 2000; Jackson 1989; Jones and Cloke 2002; Kayano 1994; Kharyuchi and Lipatova 1999; Harrison 1992; Lewis 1980; Nash 1997; Nelson 1983; Rival 1998), and rich animist or totemic belief systems may be envisaged for the mesolithic (see Ingold 2000 for a useful discussion of differences between the two). It is probably unlikely that these mesolithic gatherer-hunters would have distinguished in any way between human ‘cultural’ identities, and animals or plants as part of some separate ‘natural’ world (q.v. Bird-David 1990; Brody 2001; Ingold 1996, 2000). Instead, the world was a unity of perception and dwelling, which was shared by humans, animals and plants alike, enmeshed within a series of reciprocal relationships. Within these it is possible that human individuals or groups identified themselves with totemic species of 187

initially slightly strange. Areas of grassland and clearings would have been further emphasised in their minds by the woodland elsewhere. Deciduous forest may appear bigger and denser from spring to autumn because of the leaf canopy, and may muffle sounds. In winter this all changes. Forest can seem more open, and sounds can be heard from kilometres away. Trees may also have been regarded as important or potent beings, restless yet rooted in place, and transcending time through their extended lifespans. They lost leaves and changed according to the seasons, as humans and animals changed their cycles throughout the year and aged over time, yet some trees would have spanned many human generations. In this way, they may have embodied both cycles of seasons, transformation, growth and decay, and a certain perceived timeless quality, in the same way that the ancestral past and mythical events may have been presenced in these people’s landscapes. Trees link the sky to the earth, and could also have been territorial or chronological markers, or indicators of lineage. Particularly large, old or unusually shaped trees might have had a ‘palpability of presence of being’ (Jones and Cloke 2002: 221). Some trees may have been regarded as ancestral spirits themselves, or as further totemic species. Their physical shape may have helped to develop such understandings, with trunks becoming analogous to human torsos, branches to arms, and roots to legs. Living trees could have been modified through blazing or carving, with painted designs, or hung with decorations of skin, bone, stone and woven plant fibres. Whenever wood was required for tools or dugouts, once again rituals or offerings might have had to be made.

animals and plants. Certain animals such as salmon, beavers, wolves, bears, wild boar, deer and predatory birds have been especially significant to many different ethnographically recorded gatherer-hunter communities worldwide. Hunting might have carried spiritual responsibilities, and both gathering and hunting might have been seen as involving sacred obligations of attending to the land and the other beings in the world. Prayers and propitiations might have been necessary both before and after wild plants had been gathered and animals killed. Many documented gatherer-hunters use dreams to communicate with animals and animal spirits, or to locate where they will be at the time of the hunt and which routes to follow (Brody 2001: 132; Ingold 2000; Vitebsky 1995). Animals and plants have to agree to be killed or harvested. There is a concern to maintain the world as it is. If these appropriate rites were not followed, and not enough respect accorded to these beings, disaster may have befallen mesolithic human communities. Vengeful spirits and other beings would have brought bad luck or even death to those who had dishonoured them, and who had altered the system of checks and balances.

The forest was both the giver of life, and was alive itself. It is difficult to banish our modern Western ideas when trying to think of how people in the past might have regarded woodland. In the more recent historical past these ideas have typically swung between fear of the wild and the uncultivated, or romantic notions of Arcadian glades and greenwood idylls. Mesolithic people may have held quite different beliefs. During the day, the forest may have been regarded a respected companion, in whose embrace people would normally have felt secure. At night however, or in certain places, the forest was potentially more ambiguous. It might have been the domain of the spirits, many benevolent, but some angry and frightening – the ‘eyes of the dead’ (Edmonds 1997: 101). With fewer available panoramas, sounds might also have been of great importance to people (q.v. Gell 1995). Some woodland would have been relatively thin or open, underbrush kept down by the grazing and trampling of animals. Other woodland would have been dense and difficult to penetrate though, and hence potentially mysterious or even threatening. Deciduous forest can often be surprisingly quiet as the trees can muffle sounds, and only occasional birdcalls or the wind can be heard. Some places may have been the residence of particular spirits, and there may have been have been taboos not to enter such areas, or strict procedures to undertake when doing so. The gurgle of running water and unexplained

The mosaic of different kinds of woodland and grassland would also have been important to these people. The varied qualities of light and even sound associated with different kinds of vegetation might themselves have added to qualities and concepts of place. How the wind rustled through different kinds of leaves, how the sunlight dappled through them, or how different kinds of tree trunk groaned or hissed when moving would all have contributed to such feelings of familiarity or estrangement (q.v. Jones and Cloke 2002: 91). People ‘at home’ in oak-dominated woodland for example, might perhaps have found moving through lime or alder forest


noises may have sometimes sounded like spirit voices. Silence would have been required when hunting, and understanding when or where to speak, laugh and shout

would have been important knowledge for children to learn – part of the acoustemology of place.

Movement I The afternoon is waning, and even though it is late summer the temperature has already begun to cool into evening as the sun drops behind the trees. The summer camp has met and dispersed, back into the smaller bands in which people will spend the winter. Men and women in one such band return from gathering food plants, berries and fungi, their baskets filled from well known areas of abundance, where careful tending and the spirits of the dead ensure that these sites continue to produce food. The green blood of the plants resinous on their hands. During the day, they have chatted in a relaxed manner whilst children have laughed and run around them, even though they should have been assiduously helping their elders. The low hum of their conversations is matched by the muted drone of insects and the occasional bird calls, as the dappled sunshine reflects off the thin lines of spiders’ silk that stretch across the spaces between trees and drape themselves across people’s heads and chests. Almost unaware of it, the children been learning which plants are edible, medicinal, or poisonous, and how to use and maintain their tools. Before they left these favoured spots people placed deposits in woven grass spirit bundles as thanks to the dead and the plant spirits for maintaining the munificence. After harvesting plants some seeds and tubers are always planted in the earth to ensure the favour of the spirits in these places. A gentle breeze turning the hanging woven bundles… One mother had tried to demonstrate to her two children how to make repairs to her plant-cutting knife. Her daughter had watched with rapt attention as her mother showed her how to use the antler tine to retouch the narrow flint blanks and produce the small blades, using stone from a source passed on to her by her own mother. Her children would have to learn how to feel the tools imprisoned within the stone, and to be able to set them free. To know that what is hidden from the eye during knapping is often as important as what can be seen. Even though her own mother and father had long since lit their campfire in the sky, working the flint brought back memories of them to the woman, and of the occasions when she had first been taken to flint sources, as a young girl herself. The woman had also demonstrated to her two children how she would later attach the blades to the haft with plant fibres and birch resin. Her boy however, always easily distracted, soon ended up pulling a dog’s tail for sport, rather than listening to what his mother was saying. His mother despairs of him at times, and knows that he will have to acquire the knowledge eventually, or else he will not survive long enough to father children of his own. No woman would take him for a mate, and although the group care for their sick and injured, they will not suffer people who are wilfully lazy and incompetent at survival. Elsewhere, a weary party of hunters is returning from an expedition that has taken them to the gentle hills in the north and back, to favoured hunting stands known to their fathers and mothers before them. For several days now these women and men have worked stone, wood and antler at their hunting camp to ready their weapons and tools. They have sat quietly in hides around the edges of the clearings they keep free of all but grass and sapling trees, to attract grazing and browsing animals. Their dreams had shown them where the animals would be. The preparatory rituals were successful and the animals had agreed to be killed. The culling of sick and weak animals in previous years also meant that there were many fine beasts. The hunting magic and the generosity of the earth and the deer people has provided them with two does and their fawns, whilst their dogs had flushed some game birds into the nets. Now, the spirits of the animals they have killed having been appeased, they approach their home camp using the familiar paths they have trod since their youth – past a tree where a woodpecker’s hole conceals bees and fine honey (and a handful of smoking leaves means you don’t get stung), by another tree where a wood spirit lives (don’t forget to leave it an offering), through a clearing where a bear once mauled someone, and only gave itself up after a hard fight (not enough respect had been paid to the bear people, and always carry spears even when gathering plants), and by a hill where, in the Time-of-geese-returning, shed deer antlers can be found (and where an Old One once rested after dancing). A bear skull hanging from a branch, the flies long departed from the shrunken shreds of skin remaining by the empty eye sockets… As they begin their ascent up the slight hill on which their camp is located, they can hear the laughter and the singing as the adults and children at the camp play with each other or casually carry out their routine tasks. They can smell the campfire, and their footsteps pick up and the weariness lifts from them. Their dogs pick up on the mood, and whine eagerly in anticipation of canine compatriots not seen for days, and ruffled ears and food scraps. The hunting party shout identifying calls and greetings ahead of them, and when they enter the clearing there are warm scenes of reunion and ribald comments, some a little jealous, about their hunting prowess. There are cries of delight as the meat is shared out, but also some bickering and argument too. These arguments rumble on for a while, but others are anxious to try and smooth over any hurt feelings. If allowed to run on, such ill feeling can end up becoming much more serious, and people have been known to leave the group as a result of the most severe quarrels. 189

That evening, as the sparks from the fire drift up into the clear patch of night sky above the clearing, the people discuss what they will do in the moons to come. It will soon be time for their yearly visit to the great hill near the setting sun, where they will meet up with other groups to trade and exchange stories. Some of these groups are distant kin, but others may be total strangers, and they may have to use their sign language to communicate. As the campfires of the spirits are lit above them, the old men and women tell stories of the spirits and of the dead, and of how their world came to be. Around them, the noises of nocturnal animals are attributed to malevolent entities, and the people shiver and huddle closer to the fire. A log cracks suddenly, the children squeal in terror and the adults laugh, some a little nervously. They scatter earth on the hearths to tamp the fires down to a steady, reassuring glow, and then they disperse to their shelters for sleep. The smoke from the fires, hanging in the air above them, the dark motes the shadow doubles of the myriad bright specks in the night time sky… In the Wildcat side of the camp, one woman turns uneasily, unable to get to sleep. A few moons ago she gave birth to her fourth child, but the infant had soon died, burning with a fever that the shamans could not suck out. His body was set up in a tree, as was their custom. Animals and birds would help break his fleshly bonds, so that he may return to the spirit path. She is pleased for him, but her breasts still ache for the little boy, and her sleep is plagued with nightmares. She has began to suspect that she has offended the spirits in some way. Two of her children had died young, and her daughter, once a fine hunter, now limped badly after being gored by a boar whilst she was out on the hunt. The rigours of their life mean that the people have to space the births of their children. The woman herself feels tired…so tired, and her spirit may be fading from this world. As the shamans say, human existence in this world is but a short interruption in the real, endless life of the spirit world. Her mate is worried. Once they could slip away from the main camp and try to heal each other with their lovemaking, but they are no longer as young as they were, and he too can feel her slipping away. Maybe her soul animal is also ill. Inwardly he rages with despair. Maybe their shamans have lost their powers. He might ask her to accompany him to the Seal people, where there is a healer who some people whisper is the most skilful in all the lands, perhaps more so than their own shamans…The Seal folk are a strange and fey people, and it is said that many can turn themselves into seals, or are themselves seals living in human form. The group’s men are normally very suspicious of the Seal men, who are rumoured to have penis bones like their seal brothers, and are thus irresistible to all women. It would be a long journey too, far away past the last hill where some of the smooth flint-like stone comes from, and out onto the plain towards the Great Water. They would both have to consult their soul animal guides, and… At last, fatigue overcomes their troubled thoughts, and they both fall into sleep. A tawny owl, hanging silently in the night, then swooping on a careless mouse… Only the shamans stay awake, unrolling their sacred bundles and preparing their ritual objects for tomorrow. It is the old man and woman who bear the burden of ensuring that the spirits around them are kept appeased and in harmony with the living. Tomorrow they will enter one of the Sex Holes in the Belly of the Earth, powerful spirit places where the human ancestors emerged after creation. The Sex Holes and the Breasts of the Old Ones still lie in that place, and this area is one of those places where the boundaries between this world and others are most easily crossed. The past can be visited through these entrances. At this sacred place, the old man and woman will make an offering of deer meat and fruit to enlist the help of their spirit dead and soul animals, for the spirits need food too. There is always danger in such ceremonies, and tonight the shamans have to balance or neutralise their powers, least their forces clash when they draw on them together tomorrow. Some of the plants gathered today would also be food for their journey up the Tree of Life into the future. This giant tree, invisible to those without the special sight to see it, grows only in this place, and thus past, present and future are all linked. The shamans will find out what good fortune or dangers await the people in the Time-of-leaves-falling. This is when they will follow the waters sunrising, to be near the Great Water and all it provides. Since the first man and woman had crawled out of the Sex Holes, this had been their way, and it would always be so. activity on the Chase then consist of isolated pit deposits and long mounds, the earliest excavated sequence coming from beneath the Thickthorn Down long mound. The problems of sample size for the field walking and environmental data make such evidence highly equivocal however. Furthermore, woodland regeneration now seems to have been integral to the social practices of later mesolithic and early neolithic communities (Allen 2002; Austin 2000; Brown 1997, 2000), and in itself need not imply the abandonment of any areas. Distinctions made

Early neolithic ancestors It has been claimed that occupation of the Chase had ceased by around 5000 BC, and in the following millennium populations retreated to the coast and lowland river valleys (Arnold, Green, Lewis and Bradley 1988; Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). This is purportedly supported by palaeo-environmental evidence that suggests woodland regeneration at this time (Entwistle and Bowden 1991). The next indications of human 190

be seen that many of the accepted characteristics or ‘type fossils’ of the neolithic were either in place or developing by the late mesolithic. These included the significance of certain places in the landscape, the repeated return to these locales and their marking out through knapping stone and the placing of upright timbers, the transport of certain materials and objects over long distances, deliberately placing deposits of artefacts and other materials within pits, the manipulation of forest and vegetation growth and the close management of plant and animal food species. Not all of the mesolithic groups would necessarily have carried out or understood all of these social practices, but the fact that at least some did made them predisposed to further developments and transformations traditionally associated with the neolithic. For many mesolithic people then, the changes and transformations in the materialities of their existence made sense to them within their already established frameworks of meaning. The words of these new tales may have been different to their ears, but many of the stories were familiar to their imaginations. This may help explain why, although the replacement of hunting and gathering by the use of domesticated plants and animals was probably a lengthy process, taking place over hundreds of years, the spread of ‘neolithic’ material culture seems to have been comparatively rapid. It was perhaps achieved within decades, or just a few generations.

between later mesolithic and early neolithic lithic assemblages may also have been overdrawn (Pitts and Jacobi 1979; Tilley 1994), and many researchers have stressed the continuities between some mesolithic and neolithic stone procurement and working traditions in southern England (Care 1979, 1982; Edmonds 1995, forthcoming; Gardiner 1984, 1990). Regional evidence suggests that rather than contracting their ranges, later mesolithic people actually became more exogamous. This might also help to account for the apparent lack of visibility, as traces of occupation were now more widely distributed across the landscape. Distinctive flint tranchet axes and adzes produced during the fifth millennium BC were widely distributed (Care 1979), and whilst this may reflect trading ‘down the line’ it still shows increased contact between different communities. These distinctive forms continued in use into the neolithic (Gardiner 1990). Distinctive lithic ‘style zones’ were emerging which may reflect communities identifying themselves with certain areas, ‘blurred’ edges to these zones themselves indicative of wider links (Edmonds 1995). Microliths fell out of use, but some early neolithic core reduction techniques and narrow blades referenced earlier traditions. Defining differences between the mesolithic and neolithic has also proved problematic in many other regions (Hind this volume b; Pluciennik 1998; Zvelebil 1998). Archaeologists have in the past regarded the ‘transition’ either as the adoption or imposition of new economic practices, population replacement, or as a series of ideological changes. There are problems with all of these ideas, amongst them being that the British neolithic was different in its visible material forms to the continental neolithic, and some but not all livestock, forms of material culture and social practices seem to have travelled from there. Rather than the wholesale adoption of uniform subsistence and/or cultural traits, groups across the south of England may have been highly diverse in their social practices. It is more productive to think of this period as a time when some people’s material culture and social practices were undergoing certain changes and transformations, rather than seeing it as a ‘period boundary’ (Barrett 1997b; Thomas 1997). The neolithic was far more than a shift in material resources or knowledge, brought about by changing environmental conditions or abstract social processes. Instead, it was an active, dynamic narrative process, with talk of new ideas and novel forms of material culture finding its way between individuals and social groups. These stories expressed many different meanings, and were themselves worked into existing bodies of knowledge and tales of the world and how it should be. Some exchanges of information may have been open and peaceful, others more guarded. There may even have been misunderstandings, suspicion and violence. Certain key elements would have remained constant in this telling, but many varied understandings and translations also emerged.

However, we should also be wary of seeing this purely as a change in cultural traits alone. Some population movements might well have taken place, accompanied by violence and displacement, as around the world and throughout history this has often accompanied the movement of agriculturalists and herding peoples into land formerly occupied solely by gatherer-hunters (e.g. Diamond 1997). Disease may also have been a factor. Incomers may have developed a degree of resistance to infectious diseases originally contracted from living in close proximity to domesticate livestock, but gathererhunters would have lacked such natural resistance. But again, this was not the only story. There would have been many different tales from this time, and many different tellers of them. It has also been argued that differences in flint patina mark a considerable period of time elapsing between later mesolithic and neolithic artefact scatters on Cranborne Chase (Green 2000). There may indeed be some temporal differences between these scatters, but I think that these have been over stressed. Many difficulties arise in defining what constitutes late mesolithic and early neolithic artefacts, given some of the continuities and ambiguities mentioned above. Furthermore, many early neolithic lithic scatters were very closely associated with previous mesolithic locales on Cranborne Chase, in some cases surely too closely to be the result of the fortuitous re-use of these places (Green 2000: 65; Tilley 1994). Thickthorn Down long mound was even built over older quarry hollows that may be mesolithic in date as they contain pine charcoal (Allen and Gardiner 2002: 147; Drew and Piggott 1936). As they may predate

Even within the existing chronological framework, it can 191

post-glacial times. They are particularly vulnerable to wind and water depredation once the ground surface is broken and disturbed. Loess deposits used to cover many areas of Britain, but have been subsequently lost due to six thousand years of clearance, agriculture and soil reworking. It is therefore possible that on Cranborne Chase, the increase in clearance and the start of cultivation began this process.

construction of the barrow by many centuries, this implies considerable antiquity for patterns of procurement, movement and myth in the landscape. The long mounds on Cranborne Chase mimic the distribution of the clay-with-flint areas, and would suggest that these locales were already of symbolic as well as practical importance. It seems highly unlikely that knowledge of all these significant places disappeared, only to be so closely rediscovered a thousand years later. The course of the early neolithic Dorset Cursus for example, runs south of but closely parallel to the distribution of mesolithic scatters on the clay-with-flint areas. It may have run through clearings that began to be created during the mesolithic. Developing territorial awareness across southern England may also be evidenced by the ‘clustering’ of long mounds and other earlier neolithic monuments into four fairly regional distinct groups – around Avebury, Stonehenge, the Dorset Ridgeway, and on Cranborne Chase itself (Thorpe 1984).

The lack of excavated structural remains from the early neolithic is almost as marked as it is for the mesolithic. Instead, there are scattered finds of leaf-shaped arrowheads, a few other lithic scatters found in topsoil or ploughsoil, and the presence of the long mounds themselves. Only a few sites on the Chase have yielded early neolithic pottery, and these are mostly the ditches of mortuary enclosures and long mounds. In contrast, on the coastal plain to the south, around modern Bournemouth, there are much greater concentrations of early neolithic pottery and lithics. Only one long mound is known from this area though. It has been suggested that this may mean Cranborne Chase was predominantly used for burial and ‘ritual’ activity, in contrast to settlement on the coastal plain (Green 2000: 63). There may be some veracity to these arguments, but it is probably drawing too great a distinction between the two areas, and between elements of neolithic social practice. It is unlikely that neolithic communities made such neat distinctions.

The palaeo-environmental evidence indicates a landscape that was still rather forested, especially on the clay-withflint areas where there was probably dense deciduous woodland and occasional pine (Allen 2002). Off the claycapped chalk however there was more open and light secondary woodland, mingled with stands of dense old wood but breaking up into shrub and grassland, with many areas of grassland being well-established (Allen 2000; Cleal, Walker and Montague. 1995; Entwistle and Bowden 1991; Fisher 1991). To the south of the Allen valley, and beside the Cursus, there was a mixture of short-turfed and tussocky grass, with hazel and hawthorn scrub in places, and grassland and sedges beside the river (Allen 2002). Deer, wild boar and even occasional aurochs would still have been encountered during hunts in the surviving woods.

Cranborne Chase may have been the setting for seasonal activities such as the grazing of herds and cultivation (Allen, in Green 2000: 45-46), whereas the plain may have been the location of winter camps. On the Chase, the low-lying areas may have formed the focus for most of these neolithic activities, especially if they took place during summer, for these areas are much more prone to flooding during winter. Those people using Cranborne Chase may have been relatively mobile, and might only have comprised certain groups from within these communities. Lithic and pottery densities are thus likely to have lower than elsewhere. In contrast, winter camps on the coastal plain may have been permanently occupied by some, and would therefore have generated greater densities of material. Funerary practices were indeed carried out on the Chase, but these would have been just some of the activities undertaken there. We must envisage neolithic people who were inhabiting welldeveloped taskscapes, which included complex and sophisticated patterns of movement across these areas.

No clear palaeo-environmental evidence for permanent agriculture or settlement has come from the early neolithic of Cranborne Chase, but in some locales soil erosion of argillic brown earth forest soils caused by clearance and possible cultivation has been detected (French et al. 2000; Lewis 2001), although not to any pronounced degree. Further afield near Avebury, ard marks were found beneath the South Street long mound (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979), but even these are not indicative of permanent arable regimes. They may reflect cultivation in a clearing that was abandoned for a while, then reused as a setting for long mound construction. The ploughing of soil beneath long mounds may have formed part of the constructional and social practices involved in the activities at such places – perhaps a symbolic breaking of the earth. Alternatively, the construction of long mounds might have sometimes signalled a ‘closing down’ of areas that had been previously cultivated. Such ard marks are actually very rare in southern England, although many may have been destroyed by later agriculture, and at South Street there was a very long premound sequence. Cranborne Chase may have had pockets of loessic soils though (Fisher 1991). These very fertile but easily eroded soils were laid down by the wind dumping wind-borne particles in glacial and immediately

The main evidence for early neolithic occupation on Cranborne Chase and the wider region consists of isolated pit deposits. Three pits at Handley Hill excavated by Pitt-Rivers contained pottery, flintwork, disarticulated human remains, and cattle bones. An upright post marked one of these pits (Pitt-Rivers 1898). Similar pits were discovered on Hambledon Hill (Mercer 1980, 1988) and underneath a neolithic round barrow at Launceston Down. Across much of southern England, such pits are often the only traces of early neolithic activity. Many contain little or no artefacts and animal bone, or else deposits that seem to be mere refuse or residues from 192

Defining what is ritual and what is everyday or mundane has therefore proven extremely problematic for archaeologists and anthropologists, and has been unduly influenced by post-Enlightenment, modern Western capitalist concepts of what constitutes ‘rational’ behaviour. Archaeologists usually write about agriculture or foraging in terms of functional food procurement, but often tend to see ritual as behaviour over and above everyday subsistence practices. However, ethnographic work suggests that this is a false distinction. In nonWestern or small-scale societies all activities, both ritual and secular, are intended to have practical outcomes (Brück 1999b). Even in Western societies this is often the case – prayers for example, are intended to have practical results due to the intercession of a god. Magic, ritual, religion – all are attempts, like science or philosophy, to make sense out of the world, and to establish a framework of explanation within which to live, in order to try and reassure or protect ourselves from the random, chaotic and often frightening character of existence. In the prehistoric period, we must envisage very different rationalities. Invoking the help of spirits, gods or ancestors may thus have been as vital to these people as ensuring that animals did not stray, or that crops were properly tended. Ritual was thus an integrated part of day to day existence, because cosmological principles underlay both spiritual and everyday subsistence activities. Ritual was functional, but the functional was often ritual too.

everyday activities. Others however, contain a wide variety of ‘unusual’, often carefully placed deposits. The ‘Coneybury Anomaly’ near Stonehenge was a particularly spectacular example (Richards 1990). It contained cattle, deer, pig, beaver and fish bones, in addition to carbonised fruit and cereal remains, sherds from at least forty different pottery vessels, flintwork and a polished stone axe. There often seems to be structure to this deposition within the pits, and deliberate backfilling. The objects found within often seem to have been deliberately placed, rather than simply thrown into the pits. The relationships that were drawn between the objects in the pits may have been important to these practices. The treatment of the artefacts and bones too was sometimes significant – stone axes and pottery vessels within the pits were often deliberately broken for example. Earlier prehistorians regarded these features as rubbish pits, the deposits within them representing the debris and detritus from ‘domestic’ occupation. The concept of ‘rubbish’ in human cultures is highly variable however. The pits may have been originally dug for other purposes, such as providing earth for daub, and were only later filled with discarded material. Even if they were all ‘rubbish’ pits, ethnographic work (e.g. Hayden and Cannon 1983; Moore 1986; Okely 1983; Welbourne 1984) suggests that ‘ordinary’ household waste and its disposal may be subject to complex cultural rules and proscriptions. Even the most mundane everyday activities may still be structured and influenced by wider ideas relating to cosmologies, class or status, gender or age. In our own society for example, there are clear ideas about what is dirty and clean, what is rubbish, and where material regarded as rubbish should be disposed of. All cultures have such imbedded notions of what is right or wrong, of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, but these ideas are changed and developed over time.

The neolithic saw the emergence of broadly shared ideas across southern England, but variations in monument form and use suggests that people were interpreting and reinterpreting these ideas in different ways. Recent detailed work on regional evidence from around Britain supports this idea of diversity. The digging of pits and the burial of food remains and artefacts may have been localised acts, perhaps part of the practices of movement from one site to another. These practices may themselves have been drawing upon traditions of deposition established during the mesolithic (Pollard 2000). Given the variables of even the most precise radiocarbon dates, pits that appear broadly contemporary may actually reflect seasonal, annual or even lengthier periods of absence and return. These acts were a form of inscription upon the land, a way of demonstrating tenure or even affection for the earth, or simply a way of expressing ‘we were here’. Some objects placed within the pits may have held memories of individual people or events, and might also have been placatory offerings to gods or ancestors. If connected with ritual events or deaths, objects may have become too powerful to stay amongst the living community. The fact that pottery and stone tools were derived from the earth itself may have been significant (Taylor 1994), and it may have been ‘right’ to return them to the earth once the lives of these objects had been judged to have come to an end. Alternatively, these deposits may indicate times when people came together to meet or feast, and were thus commemorative in some way.

The complexities of human cultures demonstrates the folly of trying to separate ‘ritual’ and ‘domestic’ activity, particularly in small-scale societies (Barrett 1989, 1991; Bell 1992; Garwood 1991; Lewis 1980; Thomas 1991b, 1996). The same people who undertake everyday political and economic activities are also those who carry out rituals. Ritual is merely another ‘field of discourse’ or social ‘structure’ (Barrett 1988a; Giddens 1984) – a historically variable condition fundamental to the reproduction of societies. Nevertheless, the processes and practices of ritualising may emphasise certain activities or areas of the landscape above others. Rituals speak of worlds beyond the boundaries of this world (Barrett 1994a), and may objectify values originating beyond those of everyday experience. Rituals often reproduce dominant social discourses by manipulating symbols and ideology (Bloch and Parry 1982; Shanks and Tilley 1982), but conversely may also be the basis of ideological arguments or subversion (Braithwaite 1984). Individual, embodied experiences of rituals also ensure that there are always multiple interpretations of events (Asad 1979; Barrett 1997a). Age, gender, status and other factors are thus often important. 193

There were no ‘ritual landscapes’ as such (contra Richards and Thomas 1984), but rather a set of symbolic resources which people drew upon to different degrees during their everyday lives. Even the most prosaic of everyday activities may therefore have been referencing much wider symbolic codes (Bell 1992; Bradley 1997; Brück 1999b), such activities manifesting themselves to greater or lesser degrees at different times of the year, and in different places in the landscape. Those places which became the focus of more heavily structured symbolic behaviour were not themselves new sites, for monuments were drawing upon symbolic resources that had developed over many generations, in many cases since the mesolithic. These places were significant to people long before they were emphasised with the remains of the dead, but the long mounds may have fixed the ancestors and the living communities to specific areas of land, which were then returned to again and again. Monuments may have been physical metaphors for some of these ideas and beliefs. Long mounds, mortuary enclosures and curiosities The thirty-nine known Cranborne Chase long mounds were remarkably restricted in distribution, and with some notable exceptions, many were similar in orientation and appearance (Tilley 1994). They show a marked degree of intervisibility today, but this may not have been the case if there was more woodland during the early neolithic, as seems highly likely for some parts of the Chase. However intervisible they once were, these monuments would also have been much more substantial in the past. At least initially, they would have been prominent white chalk mounds, many surrounded by interrupted ditches.

Long mounds were perhaps doorways into different spaces or times (Whittle 1996), and in some the human dead were offered up for the company of the gods and the ancestors. These were not necessarily passive collections of human remains, and the dead should not be seen as external and isolated from the living community. The dead too might have had agency, and may have played an active role in the politics and practices of the living (Barrett 1988b; Thomas 2000b). Communities of the dead were being established. Recent isotope analysis of human skeletal material from the one long mound excavated on Hambledon Hill revealed a clustering of isotope values, indicating a shared dietary pattern (Richards 2000). This may indicate that either a single kinship group or clan was using this mound, or it was a group based on some other shared social attributes, such as some form of totemic or status affiliation.

Only two of Cranborne’s mounds have been fully excavated. Along with the one excavated long mound of the two on Hambledon Hill (Mercer 1980, 1988), these monuments have revealed complex constructional sequences, perhaps involving earlier ‘mortuary mounds’, and/or stone, stake or post-built structures (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Bradley 1973; Drew and Piggott 1936; Pitt Rivers 1898). The Beckhampton Road and South Street long mounds near Avebury also demonstrated such constructional complexities (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979). The ditches of the excavated Cranborne long mounds contained placed deposits of human and animal bone, pottery and flint, concentrated at the ditch terminals near the ‘front’ of the structures (Thomas 1986). Two carved chalk objects, at least one a probable phallus, were found in the primary silts of the Thickthorn Down long mound ditch, along with two perforated and eight grooved chalk fragments (Drew and Piggott 1936: 86). These features were the focus of activities long after the mounds themselves were constructed, and should not therefore be viewed simply as quarry ditches. In any case, the quarrying activity itself may have been invested with social meanings. Who dug the earth for example, may have been as important as what was finally constructed, and these practices would have provided the opportunities for possible distinctions along kinship, gender, age or status lines.

However, this sort of burial activity was just part of the many practices associated with long mounds. Some burials in long mounds were articulated, others disarticulated. Wor Barrow contained six male individuals, only three of whom were articulated. Another articulated man and a boy were buried in the ditch around it, the material from this ditch having been used to enlarge the mound itself (Pitt Rivers 1898). A flint arrowhead had injured or killed one of the Wor Barrow individuals. Many mounds have contained little or no evidence of human remains (Kinnes 1992; Thorpe 1984), and this includes the Thickthorn Down long mound (excluding its later, secondary interments). The evidence for often complex constructional histories involving chalk, wood and turf again suggests that the actual process of building long mounds, and subsequent


phenomenological studies and viewshed analyses based on GIS current within archaeology. But we can consider some possibilities. By referencing ‘natural’ features or other monuments in the landscape, prehistoric people may have been drawing upon the existing symbolic or political meanings of these to enhance those of their own constructions. These meanings may have had a spiritual or mythical dimension, some referencing may have been acts of remembrance and forgetting, but some might also have been to negotiate or deliberately manipulate power relationships. The reasons for this referencing may have varied greatly through time and between different regions though. It is also the case that some of these constructions might have been referencing other features that have not survived archaeologically, or which were themselves not directly visible from the chosen locales. Chris Gosden (1994) suggested that neolithic people may have been fundamentally concerned with the structuring of their social space, as woodland clearance became more extensive. The bounding of places through the construction of monuments and their interlinking to each other and landscape features through lines of sight and spatial referencing was a means of structuring human movements and encounters. This may have provided reassuring or controlling links between people, animals and plants and the ancestors in landscapes whose physical aspects were changing relatively quickly.

remodelling or additions, were as important to the people who built them as the monuments themselves. The Thickthorn Down mound appeared to have been constructed as a series of fenced embayments, which were then filled in with rubble and earth in numerous later episodes (Drew and Piggott 1936), and perhaps over a quite lengthy period of time. Wor Barrow was constructed in several phases, over an earlier post-built enclosure (Bradley 1973; Pitt Rivers 1898). These were complex meshes or matrixes of materials and acts (McFadyen 2000). Many of these episodes were shortlived or involved organic materials that have left only ephemeral traces, but this does not mean that these were any less socially or spiritually significant. Long mounds may have been locales embodying processes of transformation and transition (Pollard this volume; Thomas 2000b), whether this was the transformation of the dead into ancestors, the transformation of the wood, chalk and turf, or the transformation of the chosen places. Some of these places might not have been considered significant before, or may have been long revered. These locales might even have been part of normal daily and social routines, including agriculture. Evidence for clearance, burning and flint working was recovered from beneath the South Street and Beckhampton Road long mounds near Avebury for example (Ashbee, Smith and Evans 1979). The decision to begin constructing long mounds might have been due to the death of individuals or several members of a kin group, and a concomitant desire to cease cultivation, and to take such places out of the sphere of everyday subsistence through a process of monumentalisation. This did not necessarily place such areas beyond the realm of routine experience, but it may have changed some of the social practices associated with them.

Most of the long mounds on Cranborne Chase are distributed in a curving arc extending roughly NE-SW, on the Upper Chalk to the south of the clay-with-flint areas. Many lie to the east or to the south of the Cursus. This axis follows present spring lines, and also the distribution of further round barrows, ring ditches and mortuary enclosures visible as cropmarks, only a few of which have been investigated. This also echoes the line of the Greensand scarp to the north, although some barrows also follow the NW-SE running river valleys to the south. Tilley (1994: 159-161) has demonstrated that many long mounds follow more local and subtle topographic variations, including running parallel to gentle ridges.

Nine long mounds were directly associated with the Cursus, two were incorporated within it, and the Cursus may have been visible from over a third of the others (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Tilley 1994). The extent of regenerating woodland is not known in detail, and regenerating scrub and woodland may have surrounded many barrows. Nevertheless, some like the Handley Down long mound were surrounded by areas of shrub-edged grassland clearings (Allen 2002). Seven long mounds were aligned on the terminals of the Cursus or the barrows within it. Most were within 2.5 kilometres of the Cursus, and these also form the highest proportion of mounds with associated ditches. The longest mounds in the Cranborne Chase group are found at either end of the barrows’ distribution, and hence the course of the Cursus too. Many long mounds almost certainly pre-dated the Cursus, including the two within it at Pentridge 19 and Gussage Cow Down, but perhaps also the Martin Down terminal itself. Others appear to have post-dated it.

Many so-called ‘mortuary enclosures’ are known from Cranborne Chase too. Most remain unexcavated, but those that have been investigated include one from beneath Wor Barrow, and also one at Handley Hill, where early neolithic pottery was recovered (Green 2000: 57). These were small, rectangular enclosures defined by ditches or fences, which may have represented places where bodies were excarnated or defleshed, or where human bones were stored prior to their distribution and/or burial elsewhere. At Handley Hill, following the construction of the enclosure in a small cleared area, there was subsequent regeneration of the woodland. A larger enclosure, 100 metres long and 25 metres wide but of similar form, lies at the north-east end of the Cursus. An even more unusual feature lay some 300 metres to the north of this Cursus terminus, where a long mound may have been surrounded by sarsen stone revetting, or even a stone circle (Green 2000: 61). At Monkton Up Wimbourne, another unusual series of features was

Despite investigating the possible intervisibility between the long mounds and with other features, Tilley did not really offer any substantial explanation for the phenomenon. This is a problem with some of the 195

photographs, but have never been investigated through excavation.

recently excavated. A subcircular, flat-bottomed pit 10 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep was surrounded by a circle of 14 pits, some of which contained placed chalk blocks (Green 2000: 77-80). Postholes may have marked a fence or entrance screen into the complex. Dug into one wall of the pit and hidden behind chalk fill was a grave containing the crouched skeletons of an adult woman, and three children aged approximately between 5-10. Subsequent DNA analysis of the bones indicated that two of the children were girls, and one a boy, and that the youngest girl was probably the daughter of the woman. The other girl and boy were probably brother and sister, but not directly related to the mother and daughter. Isotope analysis suggested that that the woman originated in the Mendips or (less likely) the Pennines, and had then travelled to Cranborne Chase (Montgomery, Budd and Evans 2000). She had then somehow taken charge of the brother and sister, and returned to the Mendips where she gave birth to her daughter. At some point during her daughter’s next five or so years, the mother and all three children returned to Cranborne Chase. A carbon-14 date suggested that they were alive around 3300 BC.

The Cursus and its relationships The almost ten kilometre long Dorset Cursus has already been thoroughly described by others, and I will not repeat this here (Atkinson 1955; Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Johnston 1999; Penny and Wood 1973; Tilley 1994). It is worth noting its two-stage construction however, as well as the causeways through the bank and ditch near the Martin Down terminal of the Pentridge section. One gap was also recorded during excavation of the eastern section, along with evidence for recutting. The Cursus may also have been referencing Penbury Knoll/Pentridge Hill (Tilley 1994), and had subtle relationships with other long mounds, mortuary enclosures and the natural topography of the Chase. It linked undulating downland, dry river valleys, streams, old river terraces and marshy areas. It used to be thought that its course would have been through patchy woodland (Entwistle and Bowden 1991; Fisher 1991). However, it now seems that either considerable clearance took place along its length prior to construction, or more likely that it ran through areas that had been grassland and scrub for some time, perhaps since the mesolithic (Allen 2002). The Cursus was therefore probably linking areas that were already of social, historical and even mythical importance to the people who built it. A mesolithic scatter in Chalk Pit Field for example, lay near the Bottlebrush terminal.

Towards the opposite side of the flat-bottomed pit, and following its completion, a shaft 7 metres deep and around 5 metres wide had been dug into the natural chalk, and this was associated with a low, chalk rubble and turf platform. Placed deposits of a decorated chalk block, and animal bone including a whole piglet, a cattle skull and a red deer antler were found on the base of the shaft and at intervals within it (Green 2000). Nearby were human skull fragments and two fine flint arrowheads. Large quantities of animal bone, including many burnt examples, were also recovered from the northern side of the flat-bottomed pit. The outer pits may have been contemporary with this deep shaft.

The ditches of the Cursus itself may have been allowed to begin silting up after 3300 BC (Green 2000), and carbon14 results suggest that most of the other monuments and features mentioned (or at least their earlier phases) date to 3600-3100 BC. This coincides with similar long mounds, pit deposits and causewayed enclosure sites across southern Britain (Thomas 1991b; Thorpe 1984). The unusual shaft or collapsed doline in Fir Tree Field that had been open during the mesolithic also produced earlier neolithic pottery, axe fragments, cattle bone and evidence for a hearth (Green and Allen 1997). This period of deposition has been dated to 3310-2910 BC.

The shaft clearly has strong resonances with the collapsed natural dolines such as the Fir Tree Field shaft. Although outside of the main concentration of dolines, the Monkton Up Wimbourne shaft may have been deliberately dug to mimic them, and to harness the same otherworldly forces. The isotope analysis of the skeletons shows that just because neolithic people lived in small communities, and many of their daily routines took place close by, does not mean that they did not also travel quite large distances. The woman may have been linked to Cranborne Chase through kinship or marriage, but her social relationships will remain unclear, as will the reason why all four met their deaths. The special nature of the burial suggests she could equally have been a community leader or a ritual specialist who may have travelled to the Chase because of her skills, but the way the grave was unmarked and almost hidden away behind the edge of the flat-bottomed pit is curious. They may even have been deliberately and/or ritually killed. Monkton Up Wimbourne is just one of a whole series of possible neolithic and early bronze age monuments that extend across the line of the Cursus in a broad swathe, and which may include many more mortuary enclosures and ‘hengiform’ monuments (Green 2000: 85). Many of these features have been previously identified on aerial

Various authors have suggested that the Cursus was designed to order the movements of people within it. Together with the limited number of entrances into the Cursus found so far, this suggests it could be used to restrict access and structure and manipulate relationships of power (q.v. Barrett 1994a; Edmonds 1993; Evans 1988; Thomas 1993). As with the long mounds, the visual effect of the long lines of white chalk may have been profound (Bradley 1993), and many of the observations made by Tilley may be pertinent to this internal experience of the Cursus. Tilley assumes however that the ‘correct’ way to experience the Cursus would have been to walk along it from the north-eastern Martin Down terminal (1994: 197). If the direction were reversed, then many of his visual and somatic ‘surprises’ would not work, and the solar alignments would not be visible. Yet it may be naïve to assume such a rigid and simplistic scheme. Instead, perhaps we should envisage a 196

to accommodate and be experienced by a large number of people. However, to date the only verified causeways have been found along the later, additional Pentridge section. No route into the Gussage section has been discerned, yet it is unlikely that people entering or leaving the Cursus would have had to scramble over the ditches and banks. There is a structural problem too. After the second Pentridge section was added, did people really have to walk nearly twice as far in order to begin their experience, if that was the only ‘correct’ way to experience the monument? This seems unlikely, unless people walked in one direction whilst outside of the Cursus, and back again whilst inside it.

more complex situation, whereby people were moving along the Cursus in both directions. Many of Tilley’s ‘surprises’ may have been reversed or changed, but this may have been the intended point. Access into the Cursus or movement along it may have changed according to age, gender, or kinship, or the time of the day or year, and the numbers of people and their direction of movement may have fluctuated accordingly, even at different stages in the same ceremony. That some important solar alignments were ‘built into’ the Cursus seems likely, but perhaps not to the extent that some have claimed (cf. Penny and Wood 1973). In contrast, most of the long mounds on the Chase appear to have been aligned on the rising moon, and this has been interpreted as reflecting a profound social change sometime between the construction of the long mounds and the solar-orientated Cursus (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). This idea would seem to be misplaced given that some long mounds almost certainly post-date the Cursus, and that no relative chronology of the long mounds can ever be adequately established. However, there may be a relationship between the Cursus marking the path of the sun, and its marking a processional way of the living. The long mounds, associated with the rising moon, were perhaps regarded as places or houses of the ancestral dead.

For Tilley, the Cursus was a ‘linear conduit’ for the movement of bodies and bones between Cranborne Chase and Hambledon Hill to the south-west (Tilley 1994: 200). But the first phases of construction on Hambledon Hill may predate that of the Cursus by several centuries (Healy 1997). However, it has recently been argued that the route of the Cursus represented the end point of a much longer tradition of processional events across Cranborne Chase, formalising or sanctifying an existing path (Johnston 1999). Earlier tracks, used in part to transport human remains around the area, may thus have been incorporated into the route of the Cursus. This tradition of processional movement (if that is indeed what it was) may have had its roots in the axis of movement emerging during the mesolithic (Tilley 1994). For example, recent developer-funded excavations on the Stanwell cursus on the Thames gravels and brickearths in Middlesex show that it may have been constructed along the line of mesolithic pits and clearings (Allen and Gardiner 2002: 146).

The relationship of people with the Cursus whilst external to it must be considered, for up close it would have been both a practical and symbolic barrier (Edmonds 1995). Livestock could not have been easily herded across its banks and ditches, and these boundaries probably had powerful liminal associations (q.v. Turner 1969). Once established, the Cursus would have prevented free movement from the upland downs into the southern river valleys, and it would have structured peoples’ encounters with the long mounds and the landscape as a whole. Even in the later neolithic and early bronze age the Cursus must have been a perceived barrier, continuing to influence barrow distributions and artefact scatters long after it had ceased to be maintained. People were thus constantly engaging with it as an external feature, and they would have had to move along it whilst outside of it. Two of the three known causeways in the Pentridge section were opposite one another, implying that they were as much a route through the Cursus as into it. Such causeways may themselves have had cultural significance. They were places where access could be granted or denied, and perhaps where the transition from the everyday into other realms or times could take place. Rites and ceremonies, no matter how small-scale, may have been required to walk across the causeways. Even if movement through the Cursus was taking place on a routine basis, some mark of respect or propitiation might have been shown.

The earthwork monument was thus probably only one stage in a series of complex and changing processional practices. Its construction could also have marked the delineation of a sacred, empty path intended only for dead ancestors rather than the living (Johnston 1999: 46). This idea of space being marked out and reserved for use solely by the dead has been advanced for some later neolithic and early bronze age monuments too (Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina 1998). It may explain the absence of entrances (although this has by no means been satisfactorily established), and the lack of long-term maintenance of the Cursus ditches. Processions and other ritual activity may have continued along its course, but outside of the area delineated by the banks and ditches. At the same time, it would have been experienced as an everyday, almost prosaic feature of the landscape. Clearly, more detailed investigation is required, perhaps by extensive geophysical survey along the outside and the inside of the Cursus banks and ditches. Hambledon Hill The Cursus, the long mounds and other structures do seem to have been reflecting a natural line of movement through the Chase established during the mesolithic. Hambledon Hill lay at the south-western end of this line, at the boundary of the chalk downlands. It is a highly prominent chalk massif, with a distinctive ‘lobed’ aspect

The Cursus was up to 60 metres wide. Whilst undoubtedly designed to have an experiential impact, if it were purely for the benefit of ritual specialists or initiates, then surely it would be narrower and more restrictive, with higher banks. The Cursus may have been designed 197

formed by spurs or ridges running out from the central part of the hill. Along with Hod Hill beside it, Hambledon Hill dominates the area and commands extensive views across the surrounding landscape, including the Blackmoor Vale and to the coastal plain. Here, the chalk downlands give way to Kimmeridge Shales and Oxford Clays. The hill cannot look out across the Chase however, as the latter is hidden behind other hills and the Iwerne valley. Travelling from the Chase, Hambledon Hill gradually appears from behind these often deep folds of ground, until it forms a dramatic looming presence on the skyline, although this may be purely a modern, romantic perception. Hambledon Hill formed the basis for a series of extensive excavations during the 1970s and early 1980s (Mercer 1980; Mercer and Healy in prep.). It is not yet clear what quantities of mesolithic material were encountered during excavations, but it seems to have been very low. In the early neolithic a causewayed enclosure was established in an area of temporary clearance, although at least one tree hollow predating the construction indicates the presence of trees (Austin 2000: 74). This initial phase of construction may date to roughly 3700-3600 BC. At the central main causewayed enclosure, excavation revealed around eighty early neolithic pits with deposits of flint tools and polished stone axes, including some of gabbro, and gabbroic pottery, tempered with this stone from Cornwall, and thus also likely to have come from the south-west. Fossils, chalk objects and flint pebbles, other stone pebbles, including some possibly from Chesil Beach, animal bone, antler and fragments of human bone were also recovered. Many of these were in highly structured deposits and combinations of materials, and pits had been deliberately backfilled or recut. No postholes or other structural features were found. The causewayed ditch segments were repeatedly recut before a separate series of special deposits were placed in some of them (Mercer 1988). However, the circuits of ditches need not have been dug at the same time, or indeed individual lengths of ditch within each circuit. This seems to have been common to may causewayed enclosures, where banks were often levelled and new sections of ditch then dug, or existing ditch sections recut, though often with the original offerings apparently respected (e.g. Pryor 1999). In causewayed enclosures, some of the causeways or gaps between ditch sections would have allowed access between them, through into inner areas of the enclosures. Other causeways were probably too narrow for this.

The main causewayed enclosure had been further delineated by systems of ditched cross dykes, some of which revealed similar depositional patterns (Mercer 1980). After the temporary clearance, woodland regeneration around the enclosure complex seems to have taken place (Austin 2000). Nevertheless, it would have been possible to look out across these trees, and conversely, to look into the causewayed enclosure from the low-lying Vale of Blackmoor. Many causewayed enclosures are located just off the crests of hills, perhaps to let people see into them from afar and to display activities within, and this may have been important to how they were understood by neolithic people (Oswald, Dyer and Barber 2001). Similar acts of digging and deposition were revealed during excavations of the flanking ditches of a long mound excavated on Hambledon Hill. One massive long mound or bank barrow lies on its summit, and seems to have been dug into in the past, perhaps by antiquarians. There is also a smaller example just to the south of the main causewayed enclosure. The shorter long or oval mound produced the remains of up to three individuals (Bradley 1984: 23; Mercer 1980: 43). Although the human skeletons from the smaller Hambledon Hill long mound showed evidence for a shared diet, skeletal material from excavated pits and ditches show a wider range of isotope values (Richards 2000). This indicates that although one social group may have been burying some of the remains of their dead beneath the long mound, the remains of people from several different areas were also being buried or circulated on the hilltop. This

At Hambledon Hill, a protracted and complex series of silting, recutting and backfilling episodes followed initial ditch digging, with further deposition of artefacts, animal and human bone in narrow and shallow slots cut into the accumulated ditch silts. Some of the human bone recovered has been found to have evidence for cut marks on them, consistent with the idea that at least some of the dead were being defleshed and disarticulated (McKinley forthcoming b). Many human bones were worn and weathered, indicating their exposure to the elements, but possibly also the circulation of these remains too. 198

ditches of the Stepleton enclosure. Non-local materials and objects were very rare in the Stepleton enclosure, unlike the main causewayed site. There were no refitting knapping scatters in the main enclosure, but there were in the ditches of the Stepleton enclosure (Healy 1997). Most of the neolithic bowl pottery in the Stepleton enclosure had a flint temper, and fabrics that included iron-rich clay pellets. Although flint temper was also ubiquitous amongst the neolithic bowls from the main enclosure features, within the fills of the narrow slots cut into the silted ditches was a significant proportion of pottery with inclusions of a kind not found in the Stepleton features. These differences between the Stepleton and the main causewayed enclosure may reflect different utilitarian ‘zones’ of activities. However, the two enclosures might also have represented different symbolic realms. These meanings were woven through the acts of deposition in both enclosures, and both everyday and more ritually structured practices.

may in turn suggest that although one community or social group such as a clan or moiety might have had continued access to the hilltop, and perhaps control over it, people from other communities or different social groups were also meeting up on Hambledon Hill. A separate neolithic enclosure was also identified on the eastern ‘lobe’ of Hambledon Hill. This smaller Stepleton enclosure was likely to have been constructed after the main causewayed enclosure was already in place (Healy 1997). It produced evidence of different occupation, with ditches, internal pits and ‘midden’ deposits containing more ‘domestic’ flintworking, pottery manufacture, and evidence for animal butchery associated with this. Artefacts and animal bone were often fresher and less often reworked. There were also internal post-built structures. The two enclosures may thus have had different functions, and occupation of the Stepleton enclosure might have been associated with changes in social practice. At some point one community or a specialised social group in the Stepleton enclosure might have controlled access to the main causewayed enclosure, and the activities within it. Nevertheless, there also seem to have been overlaps in artefacts and deposition between the two enclosures, and this may reflect different spheres of practice rather than different communities or purely chronological changes. A third possible causewayed enclosure may have lain on the northern ‘lobe’ of Hambledon Hill, but the evidence for this was largely destroyed by the later iron age hillfort.

Analysis of the animal bone recovered from Hambledon Hill suggests that most of the animals consumed were slaughtered in late summer or early autumn. Emmer wheat recovered from some contexts was cleaned and may have been brought to the hill already processed (Healy 1987). Thousands of charred emmer spikelets were found in one pit outside the Stepleton enclosure. In addition to a general scatter of hazelnut shells, a grape pip may indicate vine cultivation. Charcoal fragments of the Cornish Heath plant, today confined to north-west Ireland and the Lizard peninsula, may again suggest of contacts with the south-west. The later ‘slots’ and midden deposits occupied similar stratigraphic positions in the main and Stepleton enclosures respectively, and these contained more articulated animal bone, and more decorated vessels, than earlier phases. The pottery deposited on the hill contained a high proportion of smaller vessels likely to have been used for eating and drinking, as opposed to larger storage vessels. Occupation seems to have been episodic and seasonally based, and although fully calibrated radiocarbon dates are still pending, most of this activity probably took place between 3700-3200 BC.

Following the construction of the two known enclosures, it appears that they were both later linked by series of massive, timber-framed earth ramparts, with upright palisades. This enclosed the whole central area of Hambledon Hill, and had at least two large, timber gateways (Mercer 1988). Activity in the Stepleton enclosure ceased after an episode where timbers were burnt and ramparts collapsed. The scatters of ash and burnt daub have been interpreted as reflecting a catastrophic raiding event. Some of the human remains were victims of violent acts, including an adult male skeleton with a flint arrowhead embedded in his bones, found in the ditch of an outwork lying across the remains of an infant. This was interpreted as being cradled in the arms of the adult. These human remains have recently been reinterpreted however, and the infant remains seem to have been much more worn and abraded than those of the adult, suggesting their juxtapositioning was coincidental (McKinley forthcoming b). It is also not clear what the firing of the fortifications represented, although high temperatures had clearly been generated. This might have been due to a violent raid, but may also have been a closure ceremony of some kind. Another skeleton with an arrow embedded in its ribs was found in a cavity of an outwork ditch.

Hambledon Hill has been linked to Cranborne Chase, most explicitly by Tilley (1994). There is little direct evidence for this however. Some chalk objects were found, and Hambledon Hill does lie at the western end of an apparent past line of movement. But many of the finds suggest a much greater emphasis on the south-west, with the Vale of Blackmoor, the Dorset coast, and the Somerset Levels and Mendips beyond. The position of Hambledon at the very edge of the chalk downlands may have been highly significant though, and it may have lay at the very edge of the territory of those inhabiting Cranborne Chase, or alternatively, those communities dwelling in the Vale or the Dorset. The enclosures on the hill may have been deliberately sited between two territories, and could have been a place where different communities met and interacted. For the purposes of this paper it has been assumed that early neolithic communities inhabiting Cranborne Chase did visit the hill. There were chronological differences with many of

There were some further interesting contrasts between the two enclosures. Little antler was recovered from the ditches of the main causewayed enclosure, but these seem to have more often been deposited on the bottom of the


critical analysis of the words themselves. Thus ‘domestic’ occupation is automatically equated with ‘settled’ or ‘permanent’, but is regarded by some as anti-ethical to ‘mobility’. The concept of ‘mobility’ in particular often seems to be couched in negative terms. It is easy to forget that during the iron age and Romano-British periods, in many parts of Britain sections of the population were engaged in quite large-scale seasonal movements with cattle and sheep. This was particularly the case with low river valleys or estuaries that were flooded or otherwise inclement during winter, but during the summer were lush pastures and also suitable for the exploitation of fish, wildfowl and plant resources (e.g. Bell, Caseldine and Neumann 2000; Chadwick 1997; Lambrick and Robinson 1979). Even as ‘late’ as the medieval and early postmedieval periods, in many areas of Britain seasonal mobilities and transhumance may have been commonplace (e.g. Astill and Grant 1988; Kissock 1991). In some parts of Europe, lowland: highland seasonal transhumance continues to this day.

the features on the Chase however, which hopefully full publication will illustrate more clearly. For example, it is likely that the Cursus was constructed towards the end of the major phase of use of the main causewayed enclosure. This may show how acts of construction were tied into complex ideas of politics and labour, history, reference, abandonment and forgetting. Inhabiting the early neolithic The lack of obvious houses and ‘domestic’ occupation sites has led many to propose that early neolithic communities in southern England were not settled agrarian farmers. It is possible of course that although ‘settled’, neolithic communities may have lived in houses that were quite insubstantial, and these have not survived the subsequent ploughing of many millennia. There are some early neolithic lithic scatters that show some marked concentrations of material, but there are also much more dispersed flint scatters (Bradley 1987a; Edmonds 1995; Richards 1990; Thomas 1991b, 1999). These scatters may constitute evidence of place-values (Pollard 1999). Even the concentrations however seem in many instances to be the product of numerous episodes of relatively short-lived occupation, rather than intensive settlement. This suggests that in southern England, people may have been fairly mobile, and that they combined the herding of cattle with the hunting of wild animals, and the limited and shifting cultivation of cereals with the exploitation of wild plants (Bradley 1993; Edmonds 1995, 1999; Moffett, Robinson and Straker 1989; Pluciennik 1998; Thomas 1991b, 1999; Whittle 1996, 1998). This contrasts with the evidence for the neolithic in other parts of Britain and Ireland, where more permanent structures and sedentary settlement indicate quite different taskscapes, routines and traditions of inhabitation. This is especially true of parts of Ireland, where rectangular and circular stone and timber buildings, and stone-walled field systems indicate a remarkable permanency of occupation in some areas (Caulfield, O’Donnell and Mitchell 1998; Cooney 2000, 2001; Grogan 1996). This was the case from the early neolithic onwards, or approximately 4000-3600 BC.

Ethnographic studies have also shown that many smallscale societies engaged in agriculture may nevertheless have a variety of mobilities (e.g. Casimir and Rao 1992; Croll and Parkin 1992). Now in most of the archaeological and historical ethnographic examples, permanent, sedentary communities have existed which were/are returned to after seasonal movements. These are all obviously quite different communities to those in the neolithic, but this illustrates that we should not regard such movements as primitive. On the contrary, such complex seasonal and annual movements show a great deal of social sophistication, and an intuitive understanding of different landscapes. Similarly, the continued equation of ‘domestic’ with settled, permanent occupation and structures might also be very oversimplistic. In contrast to parts of Ireland, and despite the regional variation, across much of England, Wales and Scotland earlier neolithic buildings seem to have been much less common (Darvill 1996). It is possible that the erosion of thousands of years of arable agriculture has destroyed traces of many, or deposits of colluvium or alluvium have buried them. However, the last fifteen years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of rescue archaeological investigations carried out in Britain, including many investigations carried out below colluvial or alluvial layers. If such deposits buried early neolithic houses, then surely we should have found more evidence of them, especially in lowland areas.

In the Orkneys, traces of early neolithic occupation are sparse, but there seem to have been some circular timber buildings. By the later neolithic however, a very distinctive pattern of ‘permanent’, stone-built settlements had appeared, with complex architectural, decorative and depositional links and references with material culture, chambered mounds, stone circles and the wider landscape (A. Jones 1998, 2000; Richards 1991, 1996b; Shepherd 2000). The evidence from Scotland, northern England and Wales also shows that there were significant regional variations in neolithic practices (e.g. Barclay 2000; Barnatt 1996; Harding, Frodsham and Durden 1996; Hind 2000, this volume b; Lynch 2000a, b).

Some post-built rectangular ‘longhouses’ have been excavated in Britain, at sites such as Lismore Fields in Derbyshire, Yarnton in Essex and Llandegai in Caernarvonshire (Garton 1991; Hey 2001; Lynch 2000a), but these are still very rare occurrences. It is also not clear what some excavated rectangular buildings may have represented. Lismore Fields for example, had large quantities of charred grain in pit deposits associated with the buildings, and patterns and quantities of artefact distribution that did not appear to be from chance loss alone (Hind 2000, this volume b). Much of the pottery from Lismore Fields may have been deliberately

Notwithstanding the clear evidence for regional variation however, part of the problem with how archaeologists have viewed the neolithic is that a series of ambiguous and dualistic definitions have been used in the various arguments that have been put forward, often without 200

people may have planted crops in woodland clearings, working these plots for several years, or even just one season, before moving on to other locales. It is also possible (though less likely) that some of these groups may have planted crops in spring or early summer, then moved on elsewhere, returning later for the harvest.

introduced into postholes rather than having entered them through the casual discard and trample of domestic ‘rubbish’. The ‘longhouse’ at Yarnton actually had very few artefacts and other traces of occupation associated with it (Hey 2001). This is rather hard to explain if these buildings were the permanent residences of mixedfarming families, and if all the activities carried out at such locales were the functional practices of mixed farming.

These arguments are still contested (e.g. G. Jones 2000), and it is likely that there may have been much variety in these practices. Some groups may have had routines centred on semi-permanent settlements, and concentrated on domesticated plants and animals for their food. Other groups may have made more use of wild resources, and/or had more residential mobility. A wide range of different mobilities based on a variety of subsistence or cultural factors can be envisaged for different groups or within each group (Whittle 1997), and these options may not have been mutually exclusive. They would also have been regionally variable, in addition to the differences between communities within regions. Detailed work on isotope analysis of human bones and their non-metric traits may begin to show evidence for diversity in diet and social practice between different communities (e.g. Richards and Hedges 1999; Wysocki and Whittle 2000). Interestingly, palaeo-environmental evidence indicates that in parts of southern England some early neolithic clearances were not actually cultivated or used for grazing (Brown 2000: 54; Robinson 2000: 34). This suggests that they might have had spiritual or cosmological importance too. Indeed, many monuments may themselves have been merely reinforcing the significance of clearings that were already at least several generations old, and in some cases stretched back hundreds of years.

Even if these were largely domestic buildings, their scarcity alone implies that most people in neolithic England and Britain were living in slighter structures. This has implications for neolithic social structure too, for it is thus also unlikely that these were the homes of settled, nuclear families. Instead, such buildings may have been the semi-permanent focal points of large, extended families or kin groups, but groups whose different members pursued a variety of different mobilities during the year. It was probably only at certain seasonal aggregations that everyone came together. Such buildings may thus have been the settings for seasonal drinking, feasting and exchange episodes, or they might also have been some sort of ‘spirit houses’, or clan or moiety lodges. Only certain age, gender or status grades may have been able to enter them. It may also be naïve to assume one single function behind them, and again, there might well have been regional and other variations. In southern England, where neolithic structures have been found, they are more usually rather insubstantial structures of small posts and stakeholes (Pollard 1999). This suggests more fleeting occupational ties, and occupation of a very different character to permanent farming settlements. However, whilst they were being occupied, such locales were not necessarily any less ‘domestic’ than the much rarer rectangular buildings. Indeed, perhaps for many of these people and for much of their year, these smaller structures were domestic. And although some larger rectangular structures do not appear to have had domestic occupation, the material assemblages associated with others are sometimes similar to those found with more ephemeral structures. And once again, drawing distinctions between the ‘domestic’ and ‘other’ or ‘ritual’ aspects of such occupation may well be a product of our own concerns rather than those of neolithic people.

The management of woodland resources that began in the mesolithic would have become even more intense (Bender, Edmonds, Hamilton and Tilley n.d.; Edmonds 1997), due to the demands for timber and firewood created by large structures and new practices. With the grazing requirements of their cattle, pigs and perhaps sheep, the exploitation of wooded and grassed areas would have become more complex. Palaeoenvironmental analysis of dung beetle remains suggests that in some areas of Britain the grazing or browsing of cattle and pigs represented some of the earliest neolithic activity (Robinson 2000). Traditions of siviculture or woodland management would also have developed, with tree coppicing forming part of the rhythms of the annual cycle. Knowing what time of year to cut different trees would have been important practical knowledge, and these management practices may also have involved rites and propitiations. Upright timbers at monuments may even have been subconscious or explicit attempts to mimic certain qualities of trees or woodland stands. Such timbers brought the wider landscape into these constructions.

Cattle were certainly eaten during the neolithic in southern England, but slaughter patterns such as those derived from cattle bones on Hambledon Hill indicate that dairying was also taking place (Entwistle and Grant 1989; Grigson 1982; Mercer 1980). Lipids thought to derive from milk have recently been identified in some of the neolithic pottery from the hill (Copley et al. 2003). For many people, milk and cheese may therefore have been a more important regular contribution to the diet than cattle meat. Based on the ideas of Goody (1976), it has been argued that the neolithic and early bronze age saw the practice of long-fallow or swidden cultivation (Barrett 1994b; Thomas 1991b, 1996, 1999). Instead of permanent fields maintained across the generations,

Many monuments such as the Cursus and Hambledon Hill were constructed within clearings surrounded by woodland (Austin 2000; Entwistle and Bowden 1991; Fisher 1991). At both however there was probably some 201

places and social practices. Plants and animals too can be social agents. People were as much responding to the needs of plants and animals as they were imposing their own control over the world through planting and cultivation, breeding and herding.

woodland regeneration following the initial construction of these monuments. The constructional histories of many of the long mounds also probably began in woodland clearings. Although monuments themselves were new constructions, many may have been built in clearings that were already several generations or even centuries old. There may also have been a desire to have clearings surrounded by woodland, and thus to retain some links with earlier times and social practices. More permanent woodland clearance may not have been considered in the early neolithic due to these symbolic ties. Indeed, earlier clearance of trees during the mesolithic and earliest neolithic may have left ‘signatures’ in the subsequent vegetation, either as persistent clearings or altered scrub (Allen and Gardiner 2002). People may have been able to identify these traces in the landscape, and ascribe meanings to them.

Cattle, sheep, goats and pigs would have had to be taken to areas of grazing or forage, protected from wild predators and perhaps other people, and kept out of fields or clearings where plants were cultivated or managed (Grigson 1982). Looking after cattle would have involved different daily movements and practices to looking after sheep and goats, and pigs. Daily movements would thus have been different for different groups of people within these communities, and age, gender, kinship and clan affiliations are likely to have structured these activities. The husbandry of cattle might have required longer distance movements to areas of pasture in river valleys, and cattle would have had to be watered several times a day. Adults, maybe even just adult men, and older children might have been responsible for them. In contrast sheep and goats would have required water less frequently. Others may have looked after them such as women, the young and the elderly. Pigs in particular would have been ill-suited to longer distance movements (Grigson 1999), and may have been taken to forage in the woodland and scrub bordering the clearings of settlements, or in abandoned cultivation plots. Whilst cattle, sheep and goats could be taken long distances as part of seasonal or annual movements, large adult pigs may have had to be slaughtered in autumn or spring, leaving only piglets, easily carried by people or in baskets, to carry on their porcine bloodline.

Tree-throw pits in particular seem to have held a fascination for neolithic people (Austin 2000; Evans, Pollard and Knight 1999), and may have become the focus for many different social practices and episodes of deposition, some more formal than others. Trees around and within monuments may have been painted with dyed designs, modified with carvings of the living wood, or were hung with decorations. Where secondary regrowth of trees in clearings and around monuments occurred, this may have been in ways that were altered or manipulated to enhance the experiences of these places. Trees must therefore be seen as integral to the human understandings of these early neolithic constructions, though there might have been a loss of a more intimate, animist connection with the forest, and even a sense of guilt associated with this break (Whittle 1996). The closer management of trees and their incorporation into everyday human cycles may have diluted earlier ideas that trees somehow transcended time, although it would have created important new associations.

New daily, seasonal and annual rhythms of life were thus coming into being. Novel production activities included pottery making and perhaps weaving. Some existing paths and places would have continued to be used, but new ones too were created. Neolithic people may have envisaged their world as a series of clearings and significant places such as the long mounds, Cursus and causewayed enclosures, linked by paths and trails that in many cases would have had a mesolithic origin. As in the mesolithic, the passage of the sun and moon, and the passing of the seasons would have marked out time. Distances and areas too might have been measured in this way – how far a person could walk in one day for example. It is possible however that the expanding clearings and larger-scale gatherings would have given neolithic people an everyday understanding and appreciation of greater distances, spaces, scales and contacts than mesolithic people.

The variegated nature of the neolithic woodland canopy must be considered too, with the different qualities offered by the mosaic of different tree species (Brown 1997). Some areas of forest might have remained dense and impenetrable, perhaps on steeper slopes, but other woodland would have been relatively open, as near rivers and streams, and was probably kept this way by the grazing of wild and domesticated animals and the practices of the human communities. Natural clearings created by wind-blown tree falls, beavers and lightning, and those created or expanded by people, would also have led to ever increasing gaps. Even if woodland did surround many monuments therefore, some were still likely to have been intervisible, and the changing perspectives offered by autumn and winter leaf fall might also have altered people’s perceptions and experiences of these locales (Cummings 2002).

The communal nature of harvesting and planting would have forged new social ties, but at the same time might have emphasised some new tensions over co-operation and access to certain areas and resources. Novel tool forms would have been required, and it should be stressed that women were very likely to have been producing stone tools for their own daily needs. Indeed, women and children would have been heavily implicated in these new practices, and their activities might have been highly

For much of the year peoples’ lives may have been based around the rhythms of plants and of the herds (Edmonds 1997, 1999). The presence of both wild and domesticated plants and animals must also be taken into account when thinking of how neolithic people experienced certain 202

of human dead (Pollard and Reynolds 2002: 44). Killing these species may have brought with it concepts of bad luck, impurity and pollution.

valued and explicitly acknowledged (q.v. Bevan 1997; Finlay 1997; Gero 1991; Haaland 1997; Sassaman 1992). These communities may still have been very smallscale, though people may now have been coming together in greater numbers at certain times of the year. Any social hierarchies that existed would probably have been based on accrued status rather than inherited prestige, but social tensions were perhaps emerging over these issues.

In the modern West we draw distinctions today between wild and domesticate species, but for neolithic people there may have been far more complex relationships, and we must also not assume that neolithic people made the same distinctions between ‘wild’ and ‘domesticated’ that we do. Although they were now manipulating and controlling animals and plants, within their own belief systems this might not have been recognised as an essentially exploitative relationship. Many contemporary small-scale cultivating and pastoral groups see themselves as aiding the growth of plants and animals for example, and their respective life histories are intertwined and mutually constitutive (Ingold 2000 Ch. 5). Parallels may often be drawn between the growth of animals, plants and human infants – all need ‘nurturing’. Similarly, the earth and the plants could have been seen as providing for humans. Relationships between humans, plants and animals may not always have been harmonious, and there might have been tensions. Plants may have withheld their fruits, grains and tubers if they were not accorded enough respect for example. The special treatment given to some plant and animal remains in the neolithic may reflect attempts to mediate these tensions and to maintain equanimity.

As mentioned above, two skeletons of young men with leaf-shaped arrowheads between their ribs were found in the ditches of an outwork at Hambledon Hill (Mercer 1980). It is not clear if they were killed or executed in some form of rite, or were the result of raiding or other hostilities between two groups. Further neolithic individuals with leaf-shaped arrowhead injuries in the ribs were excavated in Wor Barrow and at Crichel Down (Piggott and Piggott 1944: 51; Pitt Rivers 1898: 63). These wounds were probably fatal too, and do suggest a degree of violence during the early neolithic. At the Crickley Hill causewayed enclosure in the Cotswolds there were indications of possible attacks involving arrows (Dixon 1988). The scale and nature of this violence is unknown however.

‘Wild’ plants do dominate many pit fills (Moffett, Robinson and Straker 1989), and may have been regarded as auspicious or having important symbolic references, based on their colour, medicinal or magical properties, and their use as hallucinogens, emetics, and mood enhancers (Fairbairn 1999, in press). ‘Domestic’ plant remains are often found in different contexts to wild species, such as in causewayed enclosure ditches. The production and consumption of domestic plants may have been the basis for incipient power relationships within these groups, particularly if some of these episodes were associated with acts of conspicuous feasting or alcohol drinking. Animals and plants may have been consumed during feasts held to celebrate the natural cycles of the year, and notable events in the human community such as births or deaths. The fact that domestic and wild plant remains are rarely found in the same neolithic features suggests that there were clear cultural rules regarding the appropriate places for their deposition or disposal. These appear to correspond to our modern notions of wild and domestic species, but we must be careful not to assume this was the case in the neolithic. These distinctions may also reflect quite different classificatory schemes, practices and ceremonies, or the use of wild and domestic plants by different social groups within these early neolithic communities.

Neolithic people had further developed symbolic references that percolated through the actions of everyday life. These symbolic references may also have been crosscut by emerging distinctions based on age, gender and perceived social status. Cattle were important to the diet, but they may been indicators of wealth and have also been imbued with notions of power or prestige. Wild animals had their own significance, but the remains of aurochs, red and roe deer and wild boar are usually found in small numbers on early neolithic sites (Grigson 1999; Pollard this volume). The hunting of them may have been a socially important but infrequent activity, perhaps carried out only by certain sections of the community such as adult age grades of men, or only at certain special occasions (Edmonds and Thomas 1987). On Cranborne Chase for example, most of the early neolithic arrowheads that were perhaps associated with hunting are clustered on the clay-with-flint areas, which would have remained more heavily wooded for longer, but also seem to have been considered especially significant throughout earlier prehistory. Some wild animals might have held ambiguous status, some species such as deer and wild boar being hunted on occasion, but others perhaps being subject to proscriptions. In particular, the remains of carnivores and omnivores are extremely rare on early neolithic sites, and it has been noted that many of these mammals and birds could have eaten carrion, and might thus have been associated with disposing of the remains

Animals and plants could be drawn upon as symbolic references to stand in for particular categories or qualities of people, or to establish ties between the living and the dead. Gifts or exchanges of cattle would have been good for breeding purposes, but may also have established or reiterated links between human individuals and groups. 203

Fussell’s Lodge long mound, a cattle skull was placed adjacent to the bones of two women (Ashbee 1966). In the pre-enclosure grave at Windmill Hill, a man’s body was associated with pig bones. This may mean that under certain circumstances, cattle may have been associated with women, and pigs with men (Whittle and Pollard 1998: 243). These references were unlikely to have been fixed according to biological sex or gender, but might have also varied according to age, kinship and status. Cattle bone was also commonly associated with the bones of human infants too.

The composition of individual herds may have been compelling, living records of specific events, alliances or cattle raids, marriages, births and deaths (Edmonds 1999; Thomas 2000a). These were bovine histories, biographies and phenomenologies. Sharing, gift giving or even competitive and conspicuous consumption may have been emphasised during feasting episodes (Whittle 1998), and there were perhaps even connotations of death and blood. Causewayed enclosures and the clearings around them may have been areas where herds could be displayed, assessed and commented upon, in addition to the other activities that took place in and around these monuments.

Some of the residues of these events would have been deposited in pits or in the ditches of long mounds and causewayed enclosures, along with pottery, stone tools or debitage, and human remains. The bringing together of these objects and the symbolic properties that they were imbued with may have contributed to the process by which individuals or communities identified themselves. Continuity, and regeneration may have been emphasised by this, and this might have been a means for people to reaffirm their tenure and association with specific places in the landscape. The transformation of the living into the dead, of whole bodies into skeletal remnants, of complete objects into broken fragments, of chalk, soil and turf into monuments – these may all have been part of such concerns (Pollard this volume). Complex spiritual abstractions often require physical metaphors and material presences, and it may be that developing spiritual or religious traditions during the early neolithic needed to be expressed in these ways.

In many herding societies close attention is paid to the colour and patterning of cattle skins (q.v. Coote 1992; Galaty 1989). This allows for human groups within societies to distinguish themselves through such differences, and the names of owners’ families and descent groups, and the names and descriptive terms of animals may be interlinked and interchangeable. Cattle too have their lineages. Some people skilled in memory and recognition are able to recognise the patterning and behavioural idiosyncrasies of individual animals, in the same way that cattle come to know and recognise some individual humans. Age profiles from some early neolithic cattle remains, including those from Hambledon Hill, show a high proportion of old females, suggesting not only that milk products were important, but that cows were retained even after they were too old to lactate (Grigson 1982; Edmonds 1999). This implies that with cattle matrilineal lines could have been significant, beasts being descended from bovine ‘matriarchs’.

The production and distribution of artefacts such as leafshaped arrowheads, polished and ground stone axes and pottery would also have enabled individual and group identities to be expressed, and were the means by which different social or power relationships would have been manifested and negotiated. Some objects might only have been used by certain age, gender or status grades, or only at particular times. Polished stone axes for example, might have only been carried and used by senior men and women. Many artefacts would have been polysemic however – they may have carried with them a variety of meanings, and might have been used by many different people. The meanings attributed to them might have varied according to the context of their use, or who was using them. The biographies of individual objects might have been as important to the final deposition of these objects as the biographies of those people who used them. Gift giving may have established or reinforced ties of kinship, marriage or alliances (Gregory 1982; Mauss 1954), and may have inflicted social debts on others. These objects had important functional roles, but were also powerful iconic symbols, and may have acquired their own names, obligations and biographies (Edmonds 1999). These values themselves may have changed over time, and objects may have carried with them multiple meanings, dependant on the individuals handling them or the context in which they were used.

Many small-scale societies around the world draw lineage or ownership of property through matrilineal descent, and early neolithic human societies may have followed their herds in this way too. It certainly seems that cattle might have sometimes been used as metaphors or metonyms for people, and their bones were often treated in similar ways to those of humans. Outside Cranborne Chase, at the

Earlier neolithic pottery in southern England was not often decorated, and was usually in simple, bowl-like 204

shapes. Some forms such as carinated bowls were often highly burnished, and these in particular may have been associated with feasting episodes and other special events featuring gatherings of people. Most vessels would have been dark in colour, and the temper would have been highly visible (Woodward 2002: 116). Many were flinttempered, and close links were therefore established between feasting episodes, flint working and pottery production and use. The development of flint, stone and clay working techniques meant that the production of some objects might have become associated with a few specialist individuals. Some people might have been adept with several different materials or techniques, and producing artefacts for everyday use, but the more ‘prestigious’ objects would have taken large amounts of time and great skill. This temporal aspect is especially important, for those producing such artefacts were unlikely to have been able to contribute as much of their labour to everyday subsistence practices whilst they were working on these items. Others might have had to provide for them. Creating such artefacts may have required certain songs, words of power or secret techniques, further distinguishing those who produced them. Production may have been linked to ideas concerning fertility, procreation, transformation, and treatment of the human body (e.g. Barley 1994; Braithwaite 1982; Burton 1984; Gosselain 1999; Hodder 1982; Miller 1985; Paton 1994; Tacon 1991), though such meanings were unlikely to have been always explicitly recognised, nor a product of any interest in formal or ‘folk’ classification. Rather, they may often have arisen from implicit or subconscious ideas, and as a consequence of the convergences or divergences in practice and style brought about through informal apprenticeship and the habitus.

evidenced by the use of Portland chert across the Cranborne Chase area, and Portland itself may have had special, almost mythic significance to these people. The woman and child from the Mendips buried at Monkton Up Wimbourne is also evidence of other more extensive links, however these were constituted. Stone artefacts such as querns and rubbers from the main causewayed enclosure on Hambledon Hill were made of Old Red Sandstone, also from the Mendips (Healey 1997). Axes made of stone from Cumbria, South Wales, and Brittany or another continental source were also recovered from the Hambledon Hill main causewayed enclosure. These links may reflect important ties of mutuality, with relationships between different people and communities linked to the wider movement of items of material culture (q.v. Gosden 1994). At the same time however, the awareness of more local places and ties to them were probably leading to increased territoriality. Artefact distributions, and the construction of long mounds and causewayed enclosures in distinct regional groups over southern England suggest this.

There may have been prohibitions or taboos about when or in which places in the landscape some artefacts could be manufactured, or where the raw materials were obtained. Some times or locales might have been considered more auspicious than others. Only certain age or gender grades might have had access to certain materials. Clay under fingernails and in cracks in the skin may have marked potters, whilst cuts, chips of flint embedded in the skin and perhaps even incipient silicosis may have distinguished the most skilled workers of flint from others (Edmonds forthcoming). There were also links between different materials and production practices, as fine flint debitage was used as a filler in some neolithic pots (J. Pollard pers. comm.). Stone that had travelled the furthest, been acquired from the most inaccessible source or had been associated with the most skilful or socially or spiritually powerful individuals might have been accorded the most respect.

The construction of barrows, mortuary enclosures, causewayed enclosures and cursuses were statements in timber, turf, earth and stone that people were identifying themselves with these particular places. The boundaries of banks and ditches marked out liminal places, where time and space were different to that of the everyday world. Inside them, the enduring nature of the ancestors may have been presenced directly, and causeways and entrances were perhaps bridges between the real, everyday world and that of the ancestors or mythical founding beings (Edmonds 1999). These were ideal settings for rites of passage and transition, where initiates could be separated from the rest of the people present, and in a liminal setting, moved through phases of instruction before being reincorporated back into the community. These rites may have taken place to mark

Growing networks of obligation and association were being created during the early neolithic. On the Chase and the main enclosure at Hambledon Hill, gabbroic pottery and gabbro axes from the south-west suggest particular ties to peoples or places in that region (Bradley and Edmonds 1993; Mercer 1988). This is further


of people working through and negotiating physicalities and materialities, ideas and emotions at these places. These constructions evolved over time, gathering earth, turf and stone in much the same, often unplanned and unforeseen way as people themselves acquired memories, experiences and knowledge. There is evidence on Cranborne Chase for soil truncation followed by turf development, followed by further episodes of turf stripping, probably to provide materials (French et al. 2000: 69). These patches of exposed earth and chalk would themselves have been noticeable from a distance. These practices were all part of what has been called the ‘technology of memory’ (Thomas 1993), the ‘rhetoric of re-enactment’ (Connerton 1989). Many neolithic pits and ditches were allowed to silt up, or were deliberately backfilled, after apparently short periods, and/or without any deposits being placed in them. This reinforces the idea that the actual physical labour and social practices associated with these activities were significant.

women’s and men’s puberty and the start of their adulthood, or their entry into totemic clans or societies. These were also areas where death and the bodies of the dead could be confronted and dealt with, where they could be transformed from polluting corpses into purified ancestors. Following this, the circulation of human remains would then have established the presence of the dead throughout the landscape (Thomas 2000b). These monuments have been described as ‘tombs for the living’ (Fleming 1973), used for giving expression to a groups’ claims of descent from a lineage, whose longterm links with the land were symbolised by the ancestors’ continued presence, so giving legitimacy to their descendant’s territorial claims. This may have been the case to some extent. Perhaps more significantly though, these monuments would also have been sites where different individuals or groups came together to work. There would have been co-operation and competition between different groups of people building them, whether these were appointed work gangs, or based on family, kinship units or other social distinctions. Coordinating this work may have been a matter of discussion and debate amongst the communities involved, with elders advising, or it may have been organised by some emerging group hierarchies. For these small-scale communities the former seems more likely.

The physical referencing of earlier monuments on Cranborne Chase by later constructions may have been part of these practices. Argument has centred on whether Tilley’s claims for long mound and Cursus intervisibility and shared orientations (Tilley 1994: 157-159) would have been valid given the significant amount of woodland cover still in existence during the early neolithic. Tilley suggested that as these mounds were more denuded now than they once were, and that as most of them were located on ridges that may have had open vegetation such as grassland during the neolithic, than they are even less intervisible in the open Chase landscape of today than they were in the past. It is likely that earlier studies of the early neolithic vegetation (Entwistle and Bowden 1991) suggested a larger scale of clearance than the more varied landscapes indicated by later, more detailed work (Allen 2000). For example, there would have been a lot more secondary woodland regrowth and scrub than Tilley proposed.

Today, archaeologists tend to regard these monuments as ‘solid’ entities, as indisputable, finished artefacts. It is unlikely that there were fixed mental plans of what these monuments were meant to look like though, and to see them as finished architectural forms is a modern, objectifying approach. Conventional archaeological plans and illustrations can reinforce such notions. Thus, instead of regarding monuments as monuments, it may be more productive to think of them as construction sites (McFadyen 2000; McFadyen and Pollard 2002). At these locales, timber, turf, earth and stone were combined in complex matrixes and meshes of building work, construction that also incorporated material traces of previous mesolithic and neolithic occupation. People were continually coming into contact with previous assemblages of things. These construction sites were the focus of countless indivisible social episodes, an organic interweaving of personal labour and community effort, of both individual thought and community-based ideas and ideals. Construction involved transformations, and drew upon people’s skills and memories (ibid.). The many tensions and negotiations involved in planning and implementing the different stages of construction would have been as tangled and as changing as the architecture of the monuments themselves. In many cases it is unlikely that there was ever meant to be a ‘final form’, a finished construction. The doing was the thing.

Tilley’s work also tends to establish these relationships in a rather static referential framework. Once some mounds were constructed, they ‘attracted other barrows through time’ (Tilley 1994: 159). This may ignore the roles of convenience and happenstance, and the complexity of neolithic people’s decisions and social practices (Lewis 2001). However, it may not actually have mattered whether these monuments were once directly intervisible or not. Rather than seeing them as situated in passive networks of sight lines, it would be much more productive to see their location as part of the dynamic and ever-changing practices that created them in the first place. Rather than being sited (or sighted) at specific intervisible locales, these constructions may have been built and elaborated along paths of movement. Tilley himself suggested that some long mound clusters marked locales where two or more paths converged (Tilley 1994: 159). Even if monuments were not directly intervisible in the past therefore, they may appear to physically reference each other today because of the pathways that once led between them. Two monuments could thus be similar in orientation even if rising ground or trees

At causewayed enclosures, this construction and continued elaboration or ‘maintenance’ may therefore have been as important as the activities that occurred within them. In long mounds, the deposits of earth, turf and chalk were not separate episodes in some predetermined overall plan, but were the physical result 206

were always so rhythmical or harmonious. At many monuments there is evidence for breaks in continuity, for the deliberate destruction of banks, the blocking of entrances and the burning of posts. These acts might have had equal or even more significance than the practices of construction. They represent discontinuities, terminations, suspensions, and faultlines. In some instances they may reflect a ‘politics of negation’ (L. McFadyen pers. comm.). These may have resulted from social tensions and disputes. Some beliefs were maintained and revitalised through constructions and social practices, but others were no doubt forgotten, invented or re-invented as a consequence of them. Once disparate, scattered communities may have been brought together through these practices. Alternatively, social tensions set into effect during construction may have extended divisions within existing communities. The powerful effect of these places in the landscape as sites of construction, and as the repositories of people’s efforts, should not be underestimated.

separated them. It is this fluidity and complexity of embodied movement that is lacking in some phenomenological accounts. Instead of a static, largely monumental landscape with neolithic people somehow tip-toeing between a series of sacred sites, we must move towards much more sophisticated and dynamic considerations of past human inhabitation, with monuments, woodlands, places and paths all intimately and indivisibly interlinked. We can never know exactly what the monuments and artefacts meant to neolithic communities. In any case, they would have meant different things to different people, and these meanings themselves would have changed through time and even through people’s individual lives. The archaeological evidence does suggest complex, cross-cutting reference schemes, but the final understandings of these monuments may have been quite different to those who had first began labouring on them. It may have been precisely because these meanings were not fixed and were capable of reinterpretation that many monuments were constructed, embellished or used for such long periods.

Mercer and Tilley both regard causewayed enclosures as places primarily for exposure of the dead, but other researchers have seen them as areas within the landscape that may have stood for many different things. Sometimes these enclosures have been portrayed as liminal or marginal places, but again, this may be too simplistic and dualistic. Corpses at Hambledon Hill do indeed seem to have been exposed or defleshed (McKinley in prep. b), but feasts, rites of passage, death or exchange may also have been carried out (Edmonds 1993; Evans 1988). The residues of formal ‘moments’ have been found close to more prosaic remains. Movement in and around causewayed enclosures might have been episodic, and based on seasonal, annual or generational cycles. Many activities within them appear to have taken place during late summer or autumn, as caches of cleaned grain, hazelnut shells and young animal bones have demonstrated (Edmonds 1999). The causeways and ditches structured movement and created zones of meaning and potentials for interaction (Harding 1998; Whittle, Pollard and Grigson 1999), and differential patterns of deposition and recutting within causewayed enclosures suggest the manipulation of space, objects and people. Some of the multiple causeways may have allowed many people to enter the enclosures, but inclusion or exclusion at different times may have been predicated on age, gender, kinship or group affiliations.

The women, children and men who laboured on the construction of these monuments, who dug pits and ditches, and who deposited material within them, were setting their embodied experiences of ‘lived towards death’ time towards these constructions and material traces of their presence. In many instances, they may not have known what the final outcome of their endeavours would be, or the original reasons why the constructions had been started. In other cases however, they may well have known that the results of their efforts would last longer than their own lives. The efforts and effects of this negotiated labour may have been more long lasting than the ‘final’ form of these features and monuments. The longevity of these constructions should not be confused with any stability of meaning (Barrett 1997b: 127), and it is important to recognise these complex histories. Chris Gosden (1994: 97-99) has proposed that the neolithic constructions were a reaction to the increasing spatial extent of people’s experiences, as the previously wooded landscape of the Chase became more open. The internal ordering of the monuments and their positions in the landscape may have been responses to uneasiness or instability associated with the more spatially extensive practices and relationships. Gosden appears to be hinting that there was a growing divide between the ‘natural’ and the ‘domesticated’ world, but the evidence from the neolithic is still far too ambiguous to allow for such an interpretation. The presence of some (admittedly rare) wild animal remains, wild plant remains and the close relationships with living and dead trees, turf, soil and chalk in neolithic contexts suggests that we should be wary of such simplistic, dualistic ideas.

Regional traditions in causewayed enclosures are shown by different patterns of ditch circuits. These traditions overlap, again suggesting exogamous links. Many causewayed enclosures had associations with streams and rivers, a pattern repeated in later henges (Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina 1998; Richards 1996b). Indeed, on some natural geologies, although not on the chalk of Cranborne Chase, the ditches of these monuments may have retained water, whose shimmering surfaces may have reinforced ideas of liminality. Over time, many causewayed enclosures such as Hambledon

The repetition of these different acts of construction and deposition suggests that in many cases these activities were woven into the routines of seasonal or annual cycles. However, we should not assume that these acts 207

through life, or according to social context or place. The individual may have been less important than the clan, the lineage, or other social groupings. In the same way that monuments were complex meshes of materials, memories and associations, so too were human bodies and identities. These were constructions as much as monuments were, and would not have been divided simply into the living, lived or dead. Materials associated with the human body were reworked and incorporated with other substances and objects. Human remains, including bones and bone fragments, were cut, smashed and reworked, mingled with animal bones, and mixed with matrixes of earth and stone in long mounds, pits and ditches.

Hill became elaborated with palisades and continuous outer ditches. Fortified settlements in or near these enclosures may have represented particular groups of people placing themselves between these sites and the broader social body (Edmonds 1999), perhaps appropriating the power of the monuments. Evidence for possible attacks on enclosures such as Hambledon Hill and Crickley Hill may indicate that such appropriation was often contentious.

The defleshing of the dead in pits or their exposure and disarticulation may have been seen as necessary to remove corrupting or polluting flesh and reveal white, purified bones beneath (Thorpe 1984), to free the soul (Huntingdon and Metcalf 1979), or to begin turning dead individuals into more generalised ancestors. However, perhaps more pertinently, it might have been regarded as a process of construction or transformation, where human bones could be combined with other material elements that might also have formed part of identities, or ideas of embodiment. New combinations and identities could be created. Bodies might have had to remain within the bounds of places such as causewayed enclosures whilst these transformative stages or reworkings were taking place, and the ditches may have kept powerful forces inside enclosures as well as restricting access into them. This preparation of cleaned bones may have been the prerogative of friends or close kin.

A different temporality may have emerged by the neolithic, one which stressed enduring tradition but also marked out time from an undifferentiated cosmology (Thorpe 1993; Whittle 1998). The neolithic thus possibly saw the first people aware of history as a long-term process (Garwood 1991). This should not be taken to imply that mesolithic people were unaware of history and long-term change, but rather that during the neolithic, such concerns may have become more obvious due to the expanding clearings and the creation of monumental constructions. The notion of human ancestors might now have been used to distance people from their creation, and the ancestors may have been seen as the intermediaries between people and the gods or other beings (Lehman and Meyers 1993; Steadman, Palmer and Tilley 1996). By emphasising a shared ancestral past the unsettling effect of the death of individuals could be minimised. Ancestral rites and funerary rituals may have been used as dominant ideologies to mask growing social divisions within society based on status (Kinnes 1981; Shanks and Tilley 1982), but would have also created potentials for subversion too. Although the concepts of history and long-term change might have emerged, during the earlier neolithic many of the social changes occurring may have been considered unsettling (Bradley 1987b; Whittle 1996). The idea of ancestors and an ancestral past might thus have been attempts to offset some of these anxieties through emphasising stability in a changing world.

Once certain ‘relics’ had been chosen, other skeletal elements may have lost much of their significance, and were abandoned to dogs and the elements. Again, this suggests that neolithic understandings of identity and embodiment were complex, and that people might have been regarded as a mix of different elements or essences. Selected remains were taken to barrows, or circulated amongst the living to keep alive some memories or qualities of the dead people, whilst keeping the people under the watchful gaze of the ancestors. Burials of children are proportionally over-represented in the main enclosure at Hambledon Hill, perhaps because they were not sufficiently socialised to enter the ancestral community as adults (Edmonds 1999; Thorpe 1984). But many may still have been afforded affectionate treatment – one child’s burial at Hambledon Hill included three bone beads found near the skull (Mercer 1980). Other individual burials might be ‘bad’ deaths, or attempts to ensure future births and the continued fertility of plants and animals, by ‘planting’ some of the dead in the sacred earth. Inverted vessels found in causewayed enclosure ditches may have represented empty or ‘dead’ vessels (Pryor 1999), symbolic counterparts to the human skulls often left in the ditches. These human bones were clearly being linked in many ways to deposits of animal bones, meat, grain and other kinds of offerings.

We should try and imagine very different neolithic humanities, with correspondingly different conceptions of the body and of the individual. Evidence of neolithic people’s bodily remains, which we archaeologists label and conflate with mortuary practices, might have been instead considered as assemblages (McFadyen and Pollard 2002). Human identity may not have been unique and indivisible. Instead, people themselves whilst alive, and following their deaths, were perhaps regarded as assemblages of different materials and associations. Part of people’s identities may have been formed by their ancestors or other beings, or derived from animals and plants. Their living essences might have been passed into different objects or materials, and could perhaps even reside in these. Personal identity might have changed 208

have been considered auspicious in some way was also linked closely to these mnemonic practices, as was the processing and transformation of the human dead.

It is of course, impossible to ever fully understand these prehistoric practices, but memory, identity and narrative may have been at the heart of them. The destruction, transformation or burial of bone, plant offerings and artefacts might have actually helped focus memories of individuals or events, through a structured process of forgetting (q.v. Küchler 1999). Objects such as stone axes and pots must have had great social significance because of the time taken to produce them and acquire their raw materials, the source of these raw materials, the social contexts and practices within which the objects were used, and their individual biographies. The social relationships that these artefacts were interwoven with were also of vital importance to the notions of ‘value’ that these prehistoric people held. By choosing to destroy, transform or remove from circulation these objects and materials, people were thus making a series of conscious statements about themselves and the perceived importance of the artefacts. The narratives of these items would thus have a fixed or even dramatic end, and would have further enhanced their meanings. This may have been a way of remembering certain special occasions and rites of passage, the deaths of individuals, or of remembering the objects themselves. It may also have been a means of showing grief, accruing social status or receiving the favour of gods or ancestors. These seemingly different possibilities and potentials may all have overlapped with one another. Just a few individuals may have carried out some of these practices, but others may have been very public demonstrations, undertaken at large communal gatherings. The burial of joints of meat, plant foods and other plant and animal species that might

The chalk excavated to create the Cursus, the long mounds and the causewayed enclosure on Hambledon Hill may itself have had significance. Its white colouring may have brought to mind defleshed skeletons, the moon, milk, and purity. The white mounds and linear banks of chalk were reminders of bones and the presence of the ancestral dead. The removal of living turf and vegetation to expose the chalk beneath may thus have had metaphoric or metonymic references to rites of defleshing, or to the cycle of death, decay and regeneration itself. This was a process of transforming the land, much as the dead were themselves transformed. Rituals of ditch and bank construction or restoration may have been necessary as people gathered at the monuments, or before they departed from them. Rain falling on exposed chalk often creates a thick, whitish paste, perhaps regarded as a metaphor for milk or semen. The waxing and waning of phases of the moon is often a compelling means of creating calendrical time amongst many small-scale societies. The moon may also have had associations with fertility, births, menstruation and female magic. Though undoubtedly powerful (Galloway 1997), menstruation and women’s fertility need not necessarily have been considered harmful. Menstrual seclusion and accompanying rites are often held in societies where men are not particularly socially dominant for example (Paige and Paige 1981). Within the small-scale communities of the neolithic, it is likely that 209

positions of people in relation to the layout of these monuments would have allowed for structuring of the ceremonies held there, but also for multiple interpretations of them (Barrett 1991, 1994a; Garwood 1991; Thomas 1993). These sites may have been encountered sporadically during the year, when communities were resident nearby. During this residency, such sites must have been experienced on a more or less daily basis, but might have become especially powerful or significant only at certain specific times. These monuments may have been part of the daily movement and practices of people, and in their routine movements around the landscape people may have been consciously or subconsciously tracing paths between the ancestral dead and the living.

women’s menstrual cycles would have been synchronised, which would have been further cause for wonder, celebration or suspicion, and would have had to be explained through cosmology, myth and stories. Remains of the dead, personal items belonging to them and artefacts reflecting feasts and ceremonies of death were deposited in pits at the heart of living communities (Edmonds 1995), and next to the ancestral mounds. Despite the apparent emphasis on death, these monuments were used and maintained by the living, and marked places in the landscape to which people regularly returned. Some activities may have been the work of only a few individuals, but others were the result of many people gathered together to acknowledge wider ties. The

Movement II The afternoon is waning. From the small cultivated plots, men and women return from harvesting cereals, bearing small bushels that the earth and plants have seen fit to provide for them. In the long grass and in the shadows, small shade-loving snails crunch audibly underfoot. On the skylines and in the valleys, the shadows lengthen from the long mounds. The People make the Sign as they pass the white mounds, to ensure the benevolence of the Ancestors who lie rooted in the ground during the day, only the tops of their cleaned skulls showing. At night however, with the rising of the moon the Ancestors will ascend to the sky and will again be ready to intercede on behalf of their children and keep the evil spirits at bay. From the forest, women and youngsters drive a few pigs before them, exhausted from supervising the obstreperous animals. The sound of squeals and snorts. Chatting older men and women also emerge from the trees, carrying coppiced poles, fresh leafy branches and wild fruits. Though relaxed, none of them would wish to remain amongst the trees at night. It is then that the animal spirits that were once siblings of humankind may take their revenge on unwary People, for these spirits are still angry that the People lost the power to speak to them. The trees too are restless, for they have bled today. The People had once been as brother and sister to the trees, which had moved aside for the humans and had sheltered them, but now the power of the axe had come, and the trees fell before them. Some older men and women carry their axes, the wooden hafts running down their chests, and the cool, smooth surface of the polished stones resting on their shoulder blades. The flecked surface of the stone polished like


teeth, teeth drawn from the earth itself, and with a bite no tree could withstand for long. Only a few had been to the source of the stone, and it was a far away, mysterious place. The tales of their journeys are still retold. Each axe is named, and passed down through the lines to chosen sons and daughters, after they have proved they can care for the axes, and know the right songs and words of power. But the stone has a voice in this too. It is well known that each axe selects its owner. The older boys drive cattle back to temporary pens, and there is amiable bickering and name calling amongst them as they dare each other to see who will walk closest to the Bones of the Sun which guide their way. They can only enter it at the correct times and with the permission of the sorcerer and the elders, and even going too close to it may risk their displeasure, for it is a place of considerable power. Two of the oldest are especially high-spirited today, for during the next moon’s cycle they will be taken off by the men to the Ancestral Path. Here, next to the Sun’s Bones, they will retrace the footsteps of the first People who ever brought their herds to this land, following the path through the forest cleared by the Sun. They will be taught things which only adult full-men may know, including certain Names of Ancestors that each will secretly inherit, for some of the essences of the Ancestors must always pass back into the living. It is this essence that marks out full-men from the part-men of boys. They will be told stories of how their world was made, and how the Sun dies each day but, like human ancestors, is forever reborn. They will be shown the path of their lives and their own deaths, and how they will join the Ancestors. Their bodies scarified and purified, they will then go off to hunt the deer whose strength and power they will need. Some of this lore the boys already know or suspect from gossip and rumour, but most will be unknown to them. Only full-men who have killed the deer may marry, and one boy looks wistfully at his charges that he is driving along. Cattle are important, for they contain the Blood of the Sun within them, like women. As such they are also owned by women, but are cared for by men. People and cattle both grow old together. One day, the boy hopes to meet a woman who owns this many fine beasts, and with a fine tally of deer she will not be able to resist him. He is impatient to stop being a part-man and to grow up – it seemed to be taking so long though. He continues to daydream as the boys move away from the Ancestral Path, for the moment his whole world framed by the shit-smeared hindquarters and twitching tails of the cattle. The measured tread of hooves on turf and earth, the low grunts, gurgles and farts, the sound of shit splattering on the ground. So rapt in his adolescent reverie is he that some of his bovine charges nearly stray into the Woman’s Hole, and he has to suffer the vulgar jibes and laughter of his fellows. Still, their laughter has a nervous edge, for women’s magic, though different, is as vital to the running of the world as that of the men. It would not be appropriate to enter their place. Who knows what the women do here? Unbeknown to this boy, his own older sister will be visiting there soon, for this morning her first blood came. She will be taken down into the Woman’s Hole at the rising of the Moon, and there will be brought into the community of adult full-women. She too will be given her secret Ancestral name and identity, and she will learn how women’s magic ensures the renewal of the plants and animals, and how women and cattle must both shed blood to ensure the harmonious running of the world. The marks made on her body will show all that she is now an adult, complete with her ancestral essence. The girl herself is confused, for though she is pleased to be leaving childhood behind, she has experienced lots of changes in her body and her relationships with others recently, and she feels such changes are happening too quickly. Some of the things that adults do still puzzle her. Why for example, should she ever have to marry? Boys are rude and obnoxious, and smell of cows. Especially her brothers. She hopes her mother and clan-aunts will explain. They are anxious to initiate her, for the Moon’s magic is strong in her, and she could be a potential Wisdom Keeper and leader of her people. They are also worried that of late the sorcerer has been trying to meddle in their women’s magic, which is none of his business. He is meant to keep counsel with them, nothing more. Back at the summer camp of the People, some are finishing off their daily tasks, including the mother of the boy and the girl. Today, as she had done for seasons beyond counting, she fetched water from the stream, always an arduous undertaking. Some water inevitably ended up sloshing out of the top of the bags she used to carry it in, made from the strongest cow stomachs. The sound of splashing water. Coming back from the stream, along the well-worn path through the birch and willow trees down in the coombe, the woman had noticed dark bands on some of the birch trunks. She realised that these marked where the bark had been removed from the trees, and along with nearby willow withies, used to make baskets. This was almost certainly the work of her own mother. She unthinkingly glanced at the scars on her straining arms. She had been taken here when she was a little girl, and shown how to remove the bark without damaging it. Nearby were tree stumps, some with new boughs growing out of them, that marked one of the People’s old campsites. Beneath the leaf litter traces of charcoal and flint still remained. As she walked back along the path the woman had a vivid recollection of making exactly the same journey when she was a girl, although their present summer camp had been only a small clearing then, and not used for their dwellings. It had been a favourite place of hers though. Many kinds of mushrooms grew there, and she had also played at making pots. This path had been but a narrow trail then. The cycles since her youth seemed to have passed by so quickly! So many footsteps over so many years, yet the sorcerer was right when he said that all paths led to the same end.


The woman had been thinking much about her mother until recently, for it was only last moon that she had spent one morning burying some of the remains of her after the Feast of the Dead One. She had been sorely missed at first, for she was not only an expert basket maker, but also a leading arbitrator in decisions and arguments. But, her time had come, and in the last winters her bones had been stiff and painful. Her teeth had been worn from chewing sinews to soften them. She would soon have no longer been able to follow the herds. Over two great cycles had now passed since the woman had died though, and the tears and crying of the men and the lamentation of the women is long past, and their arm cuts of mourning have healed into appropriate scars. After her death, the woman was placed on her sky platform, where the flesh fell readily from her bones. She was keen to join the Ancestors. Her bones had been taken down during the last great cycle, and some of them were carried off to the great hill of the Sun setting. In that place, a very old place, which the People and their kin visit towards the end of the Sun’s season, her bones were displayed and stories told of her life, and appropriate offerings were made. All around her, as had happened while she was alive, people worked to renew the ditches and banks, each line adding their ditch to the circuits. They feasted, sang, and women and men made eyes at each other. The sound of laughter and talk. Two women married into a group whom they met only every few great cycles, and a fine bull of these more distant Sun People was mated with some of their own cows. Their calves would be much valued. Basketfuls of grain, bones from the feasts and cattle skulls were deposited in ditches and pits, as offerings to the gods, markers of the events, and to let the plant and animal ancestral spirits know that they were valued. There were quarrels, trials of courage, and the exchange of gifts. Some fine furs were obtained with those of the People who still followed the hunting path all year round. Honour settled, future marriages brokered and alliances sealed, the People returned to their camp bringing parts of the dead woman back with them. This season, all the women, men and children of the People had walked with her for one last time along the Ancestral Path, and sang and danced far into the night at the Feast of the Dead. Now that another of the People had joined the Ancestors, her daughter took bones from the meal and ashes from the fires, and with some of the woman’s own bones these were placed in a freshly dug pit and covered over. The gentle sound of earth falling. Also included were flint flakes from the butchery of the animals, and some broken fragments of pottery, from drinking vessels that had been drained and then dashed to the ground. Other parts of her have been put in the ditches around the skulls of the Ancestors. The essences of her mother and the materials returned to the earth to ensure recycling and rebirth, and the dead woman having been successfully transformed into an Ancestor, her daughter could now allow some of her memories to fade. This was how it should be. In this way, parts of the Ancestors always stay with the People to remind them of their obligation to the living, and the Ancestors know where their children will return to each year, and can keep watch over them. Normally each group of the People take it in turns to have the honour of camping right next to the enclosure on the great hill. Three cycles ago, for the first time ever in living memory, one group had refused to give way, and for a second cycle had remained close to the Ancestors. The sorcerer and leaders of this group claimed that they had the favour of the Ancestors, and were thus only carrying out their wishes. This caused much ill will, and many harsh words were spoken. All the way back the matter was discussed and argued. The sound of raised voices. The young hotheads were calling for the upstarts to be physically expelled, but this would have been hard to do given the other group apparently had the approval of the Ancestors. In the cycles since, this other group had begun constructing an enclosure with massive banks and strong timber facing, and entrances that were now guarded by men rather than protected by the powers. The like of this had not been seen before. This group continued to claim that this was the will of the Ancestors, and they now over wintered in this strange place. The elder sorcerer is not so sure – the sorcerer of the usurping group is poorly taught, and does not know how to cast the bones correctly or remember all of the appropriate songs and words of power. Their leaders perhaps too closely influence him. The old sorcerer and the wisewomen keep their own council for the moment, but they can all see serious trouble ahead in the years to come. This is a grave matter indeed. The People’s leaders do not like change, and are also all too conscious that their own position within the group is dependent on maintaining the same ceremonies and practices that they have always done. Later that evening, the sparks from the fires drift up into the clear night sky above the linked clearings of the People, and the eyes of the Ancestors look down upon them. The old men and women tell stories of the dead and of the Ancestors. They tell how after living for so long the Sun chose to die, but in death was so lonely that immortal men and women were given the curse of death so that they may keep the Sun company throughout the nights, and during the Sleep of Snows. After generations of the people had passed into the Otherworld, their combined voices were loud enough to plead with the Sun. Though the curse of death could not be rescinded, the People were given the gift of cattle and were shown the way to this summer land, so that each year as the Sun stirs from the Sleep of Snows, they return to this place of good grazing where their Ancestors dwell. In their shelters, the rich smells of people, animals, warm earth and wood smoke fill their nostrils, a pungent haze of smell, yet visibly effulgent in the firelight. Around the People, the noises of babies, dogs and pigs are comforting, but the men unconsciously strain to pick out the distant mumbling of the precious cattle from the chatter of the boys watching over them. The men will check on their favourite animals before they can allow themselves to sleep, and woe betide any boy who has allowed them into boggy ground or let them graze on poisonous plants. The men will go to sleep 212

thinking of cattle, and will dream of them too. Pigs are important, but do not inspire the same devotion as cattle. The shaggy glory of their hides, the graceful curve of their horns. The bellowing sound of two bulls challenging one another. Surely there was nothing finer in life? Only the sorcerer and his initiates stay awake, as their instruction is not for the ears of the rest of the People. The sound of incantations muttered under breath. The initiates are lazy however, and have much to learn before the People return to the great hill at the very end of the summer, especially if they will have to contend with a rival group. Here, in certain places set aside for their use alone, the sorcerer and his pupils will leave the company of mortal beings, and will ask the Ancestors to ensure the Sun’s favour, and to keep those not of the People away from their land. Then it will be time to move once more, for in the Season of the Trail the People follow the rivers towards the plain and the sea. Here they will spend the winter, the Sleep of Snows, and it is here that they will know when the Sun is again awakening, and ready to guide them to the place of their Ancestors.

east and north, on the high downs and Greensand woodland still survived, but to the west clearance had created grassed hilltops, though some reverted to scrub after a while (Allen 2002).

Later neolithic and early bronze age lineages On Cranborne Chase this period could be defined as roughly 2900 BC to 1500 BC. On both the Upper Chalk and the clay with flint areas there were extensive scatters of flintwork, with a much greater variety of artefacts than in earlier periods (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Many were large, heavy tools, including picks and polished axes, some axes being a distinct local type (Gardiner 1990). Most artefacts were light flake tools, with arrowheads in significant numbers. Many of the tools recovered by fieldwalking are broken, damaged, or show signs of heavy wear, repair or retouch. This protracted use, large size of some tools and the extent of the scatters have been taken by Bradley, Barrett and Green to indicate a permanency of settlement not evident in earlier periods. These developments reflect general trends in stoneworking traditions across southern Britain (Edmonds 1995). However, the ‘heavy’ Cranborne assemblages are actually quite distinct, and have an especially large number of distinctive or fine forms. Furthermore, whilst they might indeed represent a different range of functional tasks and social practices compared to the early neolithic, they need not imply a greater permanency of settlement. Some places within the landscape were clearly becoming more persistently visited however.

At places such as Wyke Down and around the now disused Monkton Up Wimbourne complex, clearings were well established, and were perhaps regarded as communal areas. The Allen valley would have been largely open and grassy, and there were increasing areas of rough pasture elsewhere. Corralling cattle and sheep in some places using light hurdle fences might have provided manuring for future arable plots. Emmer, barley and oats were being grown, perhaps in plots that were becoming more like fields than temporary clearings. Long-fallow or swidden cultivation may still have taken place though (Barrett 1994b), with little technological investment in the land, and fallow taking place more through annual movement rather than active land management. Pottery forms an important part of later neolithic artefact scatters, and spatial patterning often indicates a greater degree of complexity than early neolithic assemblages. Peterborough Ware sherds are not found on clay-withflint areas on Cranborne Chase, though this may be a problem of preservation (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Grooved Ware also appeared during the later neolithic, and on Cranborne Chase its distribution was largely exclusive to that of Peterborough Ware. Though it typically comprises at least a third of the pottery assemblages recovered, it has been found in only a few locations, three close to the Cursus and one of these being the ditches around the Thickthorn Down long mound. The range of artefacts in lithic assemblages close to the Cursus became more restricted, though they were of higher quality and were more elaborate than items from the larger scatters on the clay-with-flints. Gabbro axes and other non-local stone types were also concentrated near the Cursus, and on a few small scatters on the claywith-flints.

The presence of scatters on clay-with-flint areas used to be regarded as problematic, as soils on these zones were too poor in quality to support much arable agriculture. However, extensive deposits of loess once covered the whole of the Chase, but these light, well-drained soils have been eroded away over the millennia. Evidence for scrub, long and short turfed grass and cereal cultivation is more apparent during the later neolithic (Allen 2000; Entwistle and Bowden 1991; Fisher 1991), though some stands of old woodland were still significant in the landscape, particularly on slopes and valley sides. Demand for timber would have become greater with the construction of larger monuments, and even in areas of surviving woodland tall, mature trees may have become thinned out. Much of the woodland that was present was probably secondary or regenerated growth, and there were patches of shrubs, hawthorn and brambles. Cattle and pigs could have browsed or scavenged in here. To the 213

associated with pig tusks and jaws and cattle skulls, with axes and/or arrowheads and serrated flakes, with antler tools, and mostly with decorated Grooved Ware (Brown 1991.; Cleal 1991). These pits were in the southern group, and were almost all deep and steep-sided. The gravel-derived lithic material were mostly unretouched flakes, and associated with undecorated Grooved Ware sherds, and bone that was not derived from animal skulls. These assemblages were largely in shallow scoops rather than deeper pits. Interestingly, one pit had gravel-derived lithics but ‘fresh’ associations, whilst another had ‘fresh’ chalk-derived lithics but the converse assemblage associations.

Excavations in and around the Cursus have revealed intriguing remains of later neolithic activity. A flint scatter located over the Cursus, of which only some 2% were identifiable tools, was dominated by functional items such as scrapers. Nevertheless, the majority of the classifiable tools and most burnt flint were found within the area bounded by the two Cursus ditches. This area showed signs of trampling, and three irregular pits found there contained a similar range of lithic material (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Some Peterborough Ware sherds were recovered from a deposit that had built up over these pits. The western ditch contained human bone fragments, and animal bones featuring an unusually high proportion of wild species (deer and wild cattle), most deposited as whole or part skulls and mandibles (Legge 1991). Only Peterborough Ware was recovered from the two ditches. In Fir Tree Field, sixteen Grooved Ware pits were discovered in two main clusters, which appear to break down into four groups according to shape, fill and artefact associations (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Brown 1991). The southern group and a single outlier pit, closest to the Cursus, contained the largest variety of material, whilst the northern pits appeared to be associated with stakehole concentrations. Although the animal bone had been exposed for some time to weathering it had been carefully selected for the pits (Legge 1991), and these examples included whole cattle skulls and a bear bone, the latter very rare in neolithic contexts. Other items included fossils and marine shells.

The material in the pits was clearly a mixture of worn and fresh bones and artefacts. The deep, steep-sided pits may have been dug specifically to receive the material that was deposited within them, and the deposition within them appears to have been followed by deliberate, complete or partial backfilling (Brown 1991: 114-115). The absence of stakeholes between these southern pits and the group to the north, where stakeholes were frequent, might indicate that this area was somehow inappropriate for these activities, or that there were functional and/or spiritual differences between the two pit groups and the area inbetween. That at least some pits in both groups might have been broadly contemporary is suggested by very similar radiocarbon dates, and some sherds that were probably from the same vessel were excavated from a pit in the northern group and from one to the south.

No refits were found between flint cores and flakes in the pits, implying that material was not flaked directly into the features, but had been collected from scatters or midden deposits elsewhere, although the latter seems more likely as the lithics exhibited little evidence for trampling (Brown 1991: 110). Furthermore, the lithic material derived from two different technological practices and raw material sources. Small nodules from river gravel deposits were split in two, and then using the split surface as a platform were used to produce mostly cortical flakes, with more preparation and trimming flakes too. In contrast, fresh or slightly weathered nodules from the chalk were used as more conventional cores. These two different sets of lithic materials were carefully deposited to avoid mixing the two types of material, implying they were also in different middens. Those pits with lithic material derived from freshly quarried chalk nodules were particularly

A segmented, recut ring ditch was also excavated in Fir Tree Field, and knapping debris and a stone axe were recovered. Some of the knapping was carried out in situ, and may have been to produce a large number of simple flakes rather than to test a nodule or to produce useable flakes or tools (Brown 1991: 105-106). This was extravagant yet considered use of cores. The primary phase of this ring ditch may have been later neolithic


contemporaneity with the buildings (Green 2000: 87). The shaft from Fir Tree Field was close to these buildings and would have still been a significant depression in the ground at the time they were standing, but it produced a particularly large assemblage of Peterborough Ware from one of its secondary fills (Green and Allen 1997). A nearby pit contained Grooved Ware, a cow jaw and a unique double-edged splayed flint axe (Green 2000: 7172), and was perhaps another outlying pit of the main Fir Tree Field group discussed above.

(Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Brown 1991.). Further north at Wyke Down, a small ‘henge’ consisted of a ring of pits, which were later cut through and linked together as a ditch. Its south-east facing entrance was aligned on the Cursus and the river cliff. It was those pits nearest to the entrance and at the rear of the henge that produced most material, including animal bones, flint implements and knapping debris, a polished stone axe, carved chalk objects, and fragmented and cremated human bone. Another pit contained antler picks at its base (Green 2000: 87). Grooved Ware vessels with particularly complex internal and external decoration were also found (Cleal 1991: 188), from a pit at the south-west near the entrance into the Wyke Down 1 ‘henge’. In the earliest phase of the pits the lithic material were largely little used or even unusable cores, knapping clusters of preparatory flakes, and the maintenance of existing tools. In the recutting phase however, much of the lithic assemblage consisted of waste flakes and chunks that had been derived from elsewhere, again possibly a midden (Brown 1991: 117).

Three of the round barrows excavated on the Chase have proved to be later neolithic in date (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Bradley 1997; Green 1994). Two of these were focused on the earlier long mound of Wor Barrow, and were excavated by Pitt-Rivers. They produced two adult male burials, possibly dating to c. 3200-2800 BC, and one of which had a jet or shale belt ‘slider’. These barrows appeared to have been remodelled on several different occasions. Mortlake Ware was recovered from their ditches, and the causeway across the ditch of one pointed to the presumed entrance of the earlier Wor Barrow. There was later neolithic activity at Monkton Up Wimbourne too. A few sherds of Peterborough Ware and two oblique arrowheads were recovered from some of the upper fills of the pits surrounding the large, flat-bottomed feature (Green 2000). At least two of the round mounds in the Ogden Down middle bronze age ceremonial complex may have originated as late neolithic round barrows.

A similarly orientated, small henge-like monument was excavated some 40 metres to the north-west. This also consisted of a series of pits, and produced another unusual Grooved Ware vessel, almost complete and with complex decoration from all three major decorative styles of Grooved Ware (Green 1997, 2000: 87-89). It contained carbonised food residues, and was from a pit at the southwestern terminal by the entrance. A carved chalk ball was recovered from the base of another pit, and Peterborough Ware was found too, but in the north-western terminal pit. This close association of Grooved and Peterborough Ware is very rare. Pits to the south and south-east of the henge’s entrance contained further placed deposits including one with a dog skull with a partly polished flint ball, two pig jaws in another, and four instances of a single cattle horn (ibid. 1997, 2000: 73-75). The Wyke Down monuments were located in areas that had been cleared for some time, and might also have been subject to repeated turf stripping, probably to provide construction materials (Allen 2002; French et al. 2000).

The use of the Cursus for knapping may indeed be indicative of more ‘domestic’ activity (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 70-71), but there was still some interesting structuring of these practices. The relic river cliff bound the flint scatter inside the Cursus on one side, and this may have been an auspicious place to manufacture tools. The trampling and burning might represent dancing and feasting fires. The deposits of animal and human bone in the western Cursus ditch display characteristics at once mundane – their weathered appearance from exposure and gnawing by dogs (Legge 1991: 54-55), and unusual – the high proportion of wild individuals compared to most neolithic contexts. The Cursus, and in particular the southernmost ditch, may thus still have been considered a significant social or spiritual boundary. These remains reflect everyday activities, but activities that reveal fleeting glimpses of wider belief systems.

Just 15-20 metres west of the Wyke Down 2 henge were the postholes from two circular timber buildings, and these postholes, along with nearby pits, also produced Grooved Ware. The postholes also contained marine shells and decorated daub fragments, and both buildings seem to have been burnt. The decorated daub suggested incised decoration cut through a possibly painted surface that would have covered the inside walls of the buildings. Although one building contained evidence for a hearth, and may thus have had a domestic role, it is by no means clear what these structures represented. The pattern of deposition within their postholes, the decoration and the fact that they were burnt down might indicate that they were the settings for more formalised practices, but these need not have been separate and exclusive from more prosaic concerns. On the north-west side of the Wyke Down 2 henge, and thus nearest to these buildings, secondary pit fills contained a rich deposit of Grooved Ware, worked flint and a little burnt daub, suggesting

Complex associations were clearly being played out across the later neolithic landscape. The two groups of pits in Fir Tree Field, though probably broadly contemporary, appear to have been significantly different in form and in content. These differences are unlikely to have arisen by chance, given the formalised patterns of deposition within many of the pits. Here, we may be seeing evidence of two different social groups, undertaking social practices during or after which these placed deposits were carried out. Such acts of deposition may have marked significant life cycle events or entry into certain age grades. These acts may have been carried 215

did occur this was almost always in later neolithic round barrows (Kinnes 1979). Peterborough Ware was also associated with watery votive deposits, and it is interesting that it was present in the Fir Tree Field shaft, and as highly structured deposits in the secondary silts of the flanking ditches of the Thickthorn Down long mound (Allen and Green 1997; Thomas 1986). It occurred in distinctive styles such as Ebbsfleet, Mortlake and Fengate. Though these had regional affiliations, there was considerable spatial overlap, as on Cranborne Chase, and this was not merely a chronological pattern.

out by two different clans, two different gender groups, or along divisions based on kinship ties, age grades, social status or moiety membership. Issues to do with human and animal identity, difference or inclusiveness, and ties to place, other communities and wider human and animal networks might all have been worked through and negotiated during such practices. The Wyke Down and Fir Tree Field Grooved Ware assemblages were different in decorative technique, and many of the vessels represented on the Chase had been repaired. Across Britain as a whole Grooved Ware vessels were also more frequently repaired than other forms (Cleal 1988, 1991). This curation may reflect their symbolic or social value, and shows that these vessels were perhaps passed down through the generations. Their age, individual histories and the memories and associations were clearly of great importance. Inter- and intra-site differences in Grooved Ware have been recorded elsewhere in Britain, and Grooved Ware seems to have had strong links with henges, pigs, pits and exotic items (Edmonds 1995; Richards and Thomas 1984; Thomas 1996, 1999). The more rapid breeding rate of pigs may have made them ideal for slaughtering during large social gatherings (Pitts 2000), but pigs might also have been associated with certain age or gender grades, or with specific ceremonies. Not all these associations between objects and features were ‘unusual’, but many were, including an apparent emphasis on deposition in and around entrances (Cleal 1991: 141-145).

It has been suggested that a particular social group may have been making Peterborough Ware pots, perhaps women, and that the ‘blurring’ of style boundaries related to exogamous marriage links being established (Edmonds 1995). Peterborough Ware may have had strong resonances of traditional practice (Thomas 1991b, 1996), and its relationship to Grooved Ware may have been competitive, or complimentary. These two pottery types may have been made and used by different groups within the same societies, or their use may have been considered appropriate in different locations and during different social practices. That Grooved Ware incorporated grog and organic material within its fabric and Peterborough Ware stone fragments may also be significant (Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina 1998). Stone may have had connections with the ancestors, symbolising permanency and continuity. Organic materials and grog may have had connotations of cycles of life, transformation and rebirth. Peterborough Ware decoration was dominated by two techniques, produced using either bird-bones, or cord impressions from plant fibres. The latter was especially common on Cranborne Chase (Cleal 1991). Thus, there may have been symbolic links established to plants, including trees, with all of their possible associations of age, colours, seasonal cycles and growth. The bird species whose bones were used for decoration included magpies and jays, both with striking plumage (Liddell 1929; Woodward 2002). The colours of these birds, their totemic or cosmological meanings, and the associations of birds with flight and the sky, might thus have been of significance.

Many later neolithic ceramic vessel forms suggest they were used for eating and drinking, but the large size of some may indicate that these were shared or communal events rather than everyday practices. Much of the late neolithic and early bronze pottery deposited on Cranborne Chase does not seem to have originated from a ‘domestic’ context. Indeed, it has been argued that a significant ‘domestic’ component of ceramic vessels used for cooking and food storage may not have emerged in Britain until at least the late bronze age (Woodward 1999). The decoration of some Grooved Ware vessels in bounded, manipulated units may recall entoptic phenomena produced during trance, dance or drug induced altered states of consciousness, motifs which themselves might be derived from other neolithic symbols including Irish passage grave art (Bradley 1989). Grooved Ware was generally tempered with grog, shell or other organic materials. The use of marine shells may have emphasised long-distance links or the exotic, whilst grog may have emphasised recycling. It is also possible that some individual Grooved Ware vessels were important and had to be incorporated as raw material in new pots (Woodward 2002: 116). The biographies of the old would have mingled with the new. Peterborough Ware and other neolithic ‘impressed wares’ were usually tempered with flint, sandstone, chert or quartz (Cleal 1995). Often found in association with fragments of human bone, it may have had associations with feasting or other interactions with the ancestral dead (Thomas 1991b). It was rare with individual burials, and when it

Peterborough Ware and Grooved Ware overlapped in time, although the former appeared first, around or just before 3300 BC, and it may have had some stylistic links 216

over social interaction, and that access to the internal space was perhaps subject to more control and social restrictions (Harding 1998).

to earlier carinated bowls (Cleal 1995). By around 2700 BC it was apparently going out of widespread use (Gibson 2002; Gibson and Kinnes 1997). On Cranborne Chase it appears in some late contexts associated with Beaker pottery, although these sherds may well have been residual in a later context, or had been found and retained by later people prior to deposition. The emergence of the Grooved Ware tradition seems to have been later in southern England, appearing at around 2800 BC (Garwood 1999). Its manufacture and deposition seems to have ceased by 2000 BC. Both Grooved Ware and Peterborough Ware also drew on much wider geographic traditions. Indeed, Grooved Ware may have originated in the Orkneys by around 3100 BC or even earlier, and then spread southwards (Ashmore 1998). Dim memories and partial understandings of these origins may have been important to its use and associations.

The two henge-like monuments on Wyke Down were close to the source of the River Allen, a focus of activity since the mesolithic, and which ran near the site of the large henges at Knowlton some five kilometres to the south. This important complex may also be later neolithic in origin, and the monuments were probably constructed in areas that had been grazed or cultivated in the past (Allen 2002). Although it is not certain that these monuments were built and used by people from Cranborne Chase, they form the nearest locale of larger, communal monuments. Seasonal or even daily movements between the Chase and the Knowlton complex are thus highly likely, especially as they lie along the Allen valley. During the bronze age many round barrows spread out along the line of the River Allen, indicating its importance as a routeway through the landscape.

These growing geographic links were a feature of the later neolithic. More stone tool forms emerged during this period, and many existing artefact forms became increasingly elaborate, including arrowheads. Exotic stone and other materials were increasingly favoured, and overlapping exchange networks may have been consolidating, whereby exotic or prestige objects were being manipulated for reasons of authority and dominance. Increasingly strict conventions were being applied to the production, circulation and deposition of artefacts (Thomas 1996), and different classes of objects were circulating in distinctive ways. These wider influences can be seen on Cranborne Chase, where flint sourcing has shown links with the coastal plain and Hengistbury Head (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Pottery styles and the marine shells found in contexts at Wyke Down also support this (Cleal 1991). The communities on the Chase were being drawn into ever more extensive social networks, yet were also placing growing emphasis on categorisation and the construction of monuments in the increasingly open landscape. Though wider in extent, these areas may have become more socially restricted. At the same time, existing monuments such as the Cursus and the Thickthorn Down long mound were still structuring social practice even though they may have fallen out of active use.

At Knowlton, aerial photography, geophysical survey and some limited excavation work has established the presence of four henges, on raised ground behind a river cliff overlooking the River Allen. This locale, and the riverine link between it and the Chase, must be regarded as especially significant. Any journey between the two places might have been leant considerable symbolic significance by the presence of the flowing water, and water and henges do appear to have been linked in some metaphysical way (q.v. Richards 1996b). The southernmost and largest of these henges was some 230 metres in diameter (Burrow and Gale 1995; Green 2000). The ditch of this was nearly 6 metres deep, and a worked chalk object was recovered from one of two slots or palisade trenches that predated the bank. The northern henge was remarkably subrectangular, with a south-east facing entrance. It is possible that it was originally referencing the shape of long mounds and mortuary enclosures such as Wor Barrow and Thickthorn Down, and indeed, it may have begun as a mortuary enclosure. Another large henge had a much later Norman church built within it. Just to the north-west of this, the fourth henge consisted of a circular ditch surrounding a square bank, a unique feature. It is not known if these henges were contemporary, or if they represent different periods of use. However, the physical presence of other, earlier henges would still have been important even if they were constructed and/or used at different times.

In general, a greater number of artefacts were being buried with the dead by the later neolithic, and more of the dead were being buried as articulated individuals, many under their own round barrows (Braithwaite 1984; Kinnes 1979; Thorpe 1984). Cremation was occurring too. At the same time that some individual deaths and identities were being more clearly marked out in space and time, henge monuments were being constructed. At the larger examples elsewhere in southern Britain such as Avebury, Stonehenge and Mount Pleasant, public or communal activities were clearly being emphasised. Henges were more circular than causewayed enclosures, perhaps emphasising natural cycles, but they had fewer, more constricted entrances. Their banks and ditches were often physically more pronounced. This suggests that although henges may have been the focus for communal activities, their architecture helped to place more controls

In addition to the four henges, there was another large monument at Knowlton. This was the so-called Great Barrow, consisting of a large, circular ditch surrounding an inner ditch and a circular mound that still survives to a height of over 6 metres (Burrow and Gale 1995; Green 2000). This may have originally been another henge with a mound added inside it, and the mound itself was originally much more massive. This is reminiscent of mounds in association with henges or circular ditches elsewhere, such as Marden and Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. It might have had similar functions or meanings to them, 217

male ‘warriors’ (e.g. Sherratt 1987). There is some evidence that at least some were drinking vessels for alcohol or narcotic consumption. The presence of flower pollen suggests that some may have been used to store honey, to drink mead prepared from honey, or for another alcoholic drink flavoured with honey and plants such as meadowsweet. In some cases Beakers were perhaps items of personal prestige, and worn or damaged examples might have been curated and handed down through the generations. Radiocarbon dating suggests that many Beakers may have been in circulation for considerable periods of time before they were finally deposited (Kinnes et al. 1991), and the antiquity of these examples may have been considered important, regarded as a link to an increasingly distant past. However, their production and use may have been much more complex than this. Beakers may have cut across the social boundaries of Grooved Ware use, and across age, gender or kinship groups within communities (Brodie 1997; Parker Pearson 1993b: Thorpe and Richards 1984).

whatever these were. The raised mounds may have been designed to be seen in the landscape from a distance, but they may also have provided platforms from which to view the surrounding land (Whittle 1997). The monument complex at Knowlton also became the focus for many later round barrows, including some on distinct linear alignments that were sighted towards the henges. Subtle contradictions between idealised, undifferentiated ancestors and individual historical descent may have been developing, explaining the increasing numbers of round barrows or single flat inhumations (Barrett 1988b; Garwood 1991; Thomas 1991b). Individual burials may reflect individuals with inherited or accrued social status within these communities. The replacement of timber or stone chambers with flat graves, and the introduction of sealing deposits of earth in the form of grave fills or mound material immediately after the inhumations, might have represented an increased distance that was being placed between the living and the dead (Thomas 2000). Group and individual identities that were one based on shared social practices and linked to the ever-present ancestors might gradually have become more diverse and differentiated.

Some patterning has been noted, although some of these studies are based on rather small sample sizes. There seem to have been regional traditions for size, shape and decorative motifs (Boast 2002), but also a variety of vernacular or even individual preferences. In the Wessex area of southern England for example, simple ladder and cross-hatched designs were preferred. At the same time, the final fired colour of most Beakers was often very similar, oxidised and reddish-brown or orange-brown in appearance, suggesting that this factor was important to those who made and used these vessels. In inhumation burials, Beakers were more likely to accompany biologically male skeletons, and certain decorative motifs tend to be associated more with one biological sex (men) than another (Clarke 1970; Gibbs 1989). Beakers decorated with all-over finger marked decoration tended to be shorter and squatter than taller, more slender examples that more commonly had horizontally zoned decoration. Interments of some juvenile or young adult individuals seem, on the basis of one study, to have been associated with squat, all-over decorated vessels or those with fewer decorative zones, in coarser fabrics that required less skill to make (Case 1995: 60; Mizoguchi 1995: 181-183). Older individuals within communities may thus have been associated with taller, more slender vessels in finer fabrics and with greater amounts of zoned decoration.

This should not be seen simply as a continuous, evolutionary trend. A good number of individual burials predate many of the henges, from circa. 3200-2800 BC. Nevertheless, contrasts between tradition and innovation may have led to increasing tensions and ideological conflict within or between many neolithic groups. The appearance of petit tranchet arrowheads has been linked to a desire to inflict non-lethal but nevertheless painful wounds (Edmonds and Thomas 1987), this fighting perhaps taking place in highly formalised skirmishes. Other social developments, namely the adoption by some of the Beaker tradition, and the use of metalwork, may have exacerbated these growing social tensions. Beakers and metal I will not explore in detail the origins and chronology of the Beaker phenomenon, for this is still a complex and highly contentious debate (e.g. Brodie 1997; Case 1993). Beaker pots appeared from around 2400 BC (Gibson 2002). They have been traditionally regarded as relatively exotic high status items, derived from the continent, and employed by elites anxious to compete with each other and maintain their own position in increasingly socially stratified societies (Thorpe and Richards 1984). By controlling the use and circulation of exotic items, these emerging local elites were thus supposedly enhancing their own prestige and status. Such approaches do not taking into account internal changes within these communities however (Barrett 1994a, 1994b). Most, if not all Beakers in England were produced locally. Some did reference more exotic, continental-derived symbols, and may have been considered new and ‘foreign’ when they first appeared, but would have become more familiar very quickly.

Beakers are found with skeletons of both biological sexes though, and in both artefact rich and sparsely furnished graves. Thus, although they may have been intrinsic to some idealised notion of social persona, Beakers may have reflected community rather than individual identities. It has also been argued that they may actually have been made by women, and that variations apparent within Beaker ‘culture’ may be due to the gendered nature of its production (Brodie 1997). It might have been the duty of women to add Beakers to graves, and in some cases these may indeed have contained servings of food and drink. It is also notable that although some vessels appear to have been in circulation for quite long periods

Traditionally, Beakers were thought to have been largely used by men, as part of a package of artefacts used by 218

metalwork, and an increase in the deposition of such objects in hoards and watery votive deposits (Barrett 1989b; Bradley 1990; Braithwaite 1984). The apparent increase in burials of individuals who had met violent deaths during this period may be further evidence of social conflict. There is little evidence for settlement on Cranborne Chase for the late third millennium BC, and most of this consists of scattered barbed and tanged flint arrowheads (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Beaker pottery is rather scarce and is usually very fragmented when discovered (Cleal 1991: 147), with only a few isolated sherds from non-funerary contexts. The total number of vessels they represented might be more than Peterborough Ware and Grooved Ware together though. Both Middle and Late style Beakers have been excavated, from sites including Pitt Rivers’ excavations on Handley Hill (possibly an Early style vessel), and from beneath the middle bronze age enclosure at Martin Down, along with a scatter of flintwork. Two largely complete vessels were recovered from burials inserted into the earlier Thickthorn Down long mound (Clarke 1970), and Beaker pottery (Late style) was also found during investigations of the middle bronze age Barrow Pleck barrow cemetery at South Lodge (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 118). Along with Grooved Ware sherds and a flint scatter, these were in deposits below and around an excavated round barrow. Some of these possibly residual sherds were within the fill of a periglacial feature, which lay beneath a lynchet that itself predated some of the middle bronze age round barrows.

(years or decades), many other Beakers seem to have been very ‘fresh’ when deposited in graves, and they might have been manufactured specifically to accompany known individuals. There are some indications that there was less work involved in processing the fabric of Beaker vessels deposited in inhumations, but more emphasis on decoration and surface treatment than vessels recovered from other contexts (Boast 1995). Sometimes though these ‘new’ Beakers were found with other associated grave goods that were worn or damaged. Like much material culture therefore, rather than having one fixed symbolic meaning Beakers were likely to have meant many different things to different people. Beakers often incorporated grog within their fabrics, which may again hint at concepts of descent through time or recycling and rebirth, and also individual biographies of pots and people (Woodward 2002: 116). Comb and cord impressions were especially common, and both of these might have had links to textile production. Some of the decorative motifs such as chevrons were also found on metalwork. It has proved very difficult to identify purely ‘domestic’ or ‘ritual’ components to Beakers (Gibson 1982), and they may have fulfilled roles in a host of different social practices, from the more spiritual through to the mundane. Other, slightly later early bronze age vessels such as Collared Urns seem to have been used both for storing food, and as containers for the cremated remains of the dead. This again suggests a ubiquity of purpose (Brück 1999a: 63). The social and political spheres in which Beakers were produced, used and deposited might have had different gender, status and age affiliations, and their subsequent interment with individuals in burials may not necessarily reflect the contexts and associations they had with living people.

Beaker pottery (Middle style) and worked flint was also recovered from four pits truncated by a later second millennium BC pond barrow in Fir Tree Field. These four pits were probably originally part of a group of at least ten similar features. In one pit a crushed but still substantially complete Beaker had a complete plain bowl placed inside its rim, and part of a Food Vessel was found in another pit (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 119120). Other pits in the group contained material interpreted as discard from ‘everyday’ activities. Interestingly however, the more formal deposits were in those pits nearest to the Cursus. Beaker sherds have also been found in later deposits within or covering the Cursus ditches, and in recuts or phases of reuse in both the Wyke Down henges and the Fir Tree Field ring ditch. At the Wyke Down 1 henge for example, an early bronze age pit was dug in the centre of the monument, and sherds of Collared Urn were also recovered from the top fills of the perimeter pits (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Green 2000). In addition to a build up of ploughsoil on Hambledon Hill, Beaker sherds were also associated with a curvilinear only of flint nodules sealing the ditches of the main causewayed enclosure (Mercer 1988). Beaker burials were inserted into earlier long and round barrows, including the two in Thickthorn Down long mound, but also in a secondary context in the Wor Barrow long mound (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). A Beaker burial was also found close to

If Beakers were partly used as markers of identity, then they may have added to growing ideological contradictions between ritual authority, based on ancestral concerns and communal events at big monuments, and individual or lineage status. This may in turn have produced social tensions between subordinate and dominant groups. Some groups within these communities, perhaps emerging social elites, may have been drawn into competitive episodes of gift exchange that also featured the production and circulation of bronze 219

1999a: 55). This indicates that the paucity of structural remains is a real phenomenon and not just a factor of preservation, and that once again, concepts of ‘houses’ and ‘domestic’ must be questioned when looking at the archaeological evidence. On Cranborne Chase, as in other areas of southern England, scatters of early bronze age lithics and pottery may be spatially extensive, but very sparse in terms of density (e.g. Richards 1990). Early bronze age sites also vary greatly in the presence, nature and proportion of different artefact types found. This is as true of apparent occupation sites as it is for henges, barrows and ring-ditches. Indeed, material from monuments such as henges and barrows is often difficult to interpret as the result of separate, ‘ritual’ sets of practices. Some of these sites were possibly task specific, but there were some activities such as cooking and hidescraping which appear to have been carried out at many different places in these taskscapes, including henges (Brück 1999a). Most early bronze age structures seem to have been insubstantial and short-lived, lasting just a few months, or at best a few seasons. However, sometimes these locales, rather than the structures, were returned to over decades or even centuries.

this long mound, and the two later neolithic round barrows nearby. Excavation of the shaft in Fir Tree Field revealed Beaker and late Peterborough Ware pottery underneath a deliberate capping of chalk rubble (Allen and Green 1998; Green 2000). These activities indicate that in some circumstances Beaker-using people were symbolically capping or ‘closing down’ earlier monuments and natural features, whilst at the same time making explicit connections to them and perhaps appropriating something of their meaning or power. At Fir Tree Field, Beaker sherds were also recovered from one of the posthole fills of a circular timber building. This structure may be the first evidence of occupation by Beaker-using people on the Chase, but the bulk of the archaeology consists of funerary contexts. Beaker occupation sites are rare – another site with postholes, pits, Beaker pottery and barbed and tanged arrowheads was excavated in Downton (Rahtz 1962), and Late Beaker pottery and lithics at Charlton Plantation (Davies 1985), both sites to the east of Cranborne Chase The majority of the non-funerary artefactual evidence comes from the lowlands and coast to the south. There is some limited environmental evidence of woodland regeneration on the Chase at the start of this period (Entwistle and Bowden 1991; Fisher 1991). Longer grass and scrub grew up around monuments such as the southern Knowlton henge, the Wyke Down henge and the Cursus itself. Grasses, shrubs and small trees may have colonised the one metre deep depression that was all that was left of the Fir Tree Field shaft, between 3350-2910 BC (Allen 2000: 48).

This all suggests that in the early bronze age, across much of southern England occupation was probably rather intermittent, and that there was still a considerable degree of mobility for most if not all members of a community (Barrett 1994a: 136-145; Brück 1999a: 67). People may have been living on the coastal plain and in the lowland river valleys, only visiting Cranborne Chase during seasonal or annual cycles of transhumant activity, with the Upper Chalk being used for grazing and hunting. The monuments and other features on the Chase may have marked a boundary of movement in this seasonal landscape. Greater numbers of people may have been on the hills during spring and summer, with the main areas of settlement in the lower river valleys, where most people may have remained during autumn and winter (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1981: 223).

This may reflect a period when many of these places fell out of use for a while, maybe as a result of some form of social turmoil, but perhaps due to other, less dramatic changes in social and subsistence practice. Within perhaps just a few generations though, areas of dry, open downland were grazed and tilled once more. Sites such as the small depression left by the Fir Tree Field shaft and the Wyke Down Henge seem to have been cleared of vegetation again, although this was not consistent across the Chase. The great flat-bottomed pit at Monkton Up Wimbourne filled up with eroded soil, and nettles, brambles and shrubs grew within it. Certain places were being restored or rediscovered, whilst others were being allowed to fall out of use, and out of everyday experience or memory.

It is unlikely that this relatively mobile existence was based purely on nomadic herding however. Evidence from Hambledon Hill suggests that the main enclosure could have been ploughed during the Beaker period (Mercer 1988). Palaeo-environmental analyses of Beaker features on the Chase shows that both increasing quantities and a wider range of cereals were being grown (Allen 2000: 49). This might once have been regarded as indications of more settled settlement. However, in the early bronze age it is likely that across southern England, cereal growing was probably just part of broader subsistence practices that still also included the collection of nuts, fruits and other edible ‘wild’ plants (Entwistle and Grant 1989; Palmer and Jones 1991). Arable agriculture may have still been based on long-fallow, swidden cultivation. Physical divisions within the landscape to establish claims to particular plots would not have been required, access being claimed from rights of membership to kin groups and the community (Brück 1999a).

Across southern England there are few sites where structural remains of early bronze age settlements have been discovered, and where they are present these often seem to have been fairly ephemeral in nature. Most evidence of occupation consists of flint scatters. As with neolithic structures and settlements, this has been attributed in the past to post-depositional erosion or burial beneath colluvium and alluvium. Joanna Brück disagrees, arguing that middle and later bronze age sites have been found in areas where archaeological deposits have previously been presumed to have been destroyed, but early bronze age settlements are still not evident (Brück


gradual change may not simply be from ‘communal’ to ‘individual’, but with practices and deposits more directly linked to funerary rituals rather than ancestral rites.

The limited samples of the landscape and poor understanding of the complexities and mobilities of these prehistoric communities may be hampering archaeologists’ interpretations. The recent increase in rescue archaeological fieldwork has identified many more early bronze age occupation sites in southern England. These remains are by no means numerous, but demonstrate that absence of evidence should not be confused with evidence of absence. Early bronze age buildings did exist, and arable agriculture, but the character of settlement rather than the overall distribution of population might have been different during the early bronze age. Further difficulties in interpretation may still be due to archaeologists’ definitions and expectations of what ‘domestic’ sites should be like.

Beaker burials were very varied, and included burials under round barrows, flat graves, single and double inhumations, and some cremations. In addition to Beaker vessels, some contained flint and bronze daggers, flint arrowheads and stone ‘wristguards’, metal awls, jet ‘buttons’ and other objects of bone, stone and metal (Barrett 1994b; Thomas 1991c). A few particularly rich burials also had gold objects, including so-called earrings that were more likely to have been tresses for hair or hair decorations. More symbols were continually being used to augment the exclusiveness of some of these burials, and some of the inhumations with more numerous artefacts were placed in wooden coffins (Thomas 1991b, c). On Cranborne Chase, Colt Hoare investigated flat graves and barrows on Oakley Down, some 600 metres to the east of the earlier Wor Barrow complex (Green 2000: 93). In one bowl barrow, an especially rich crouched inhumation included a bronze dagger and awl, a shale or jet button, and four barbed and tanged flint arrowheads. A major cemetery of up to twenty barrows developed here, with at least ten outliers. Many of these Oakley Down monuments were disc barrows, which contained probable high status burials, possibly of women, who were buried with amber and faience beads and accessory cups. Bowl and bell barrows contained probable male graves with bronze daggers, bone pins and beads of amber and shale. Many of these disc, bowl and bell barrow burials also contained Collared Urns (Green 2000: 96-98), and barrows and flat burials frequently had later inhumations and cremation burials inserted into them.

Previous monuments in the landscape were still influencing how people in the late third millennium BC were carrying through their social practice. The broad NE-SW axis involved in the distributions of flat inhumations and barrows show that the Cursus still influenced peoples sense of place. Other relationships can be seen, including the association of many barrows with the valleys and tributaries of the Rivers Allen, Stour and Crane, and the concentration of the Scrubbity Barrows on an area of clay-with-flint where later neolithic settlement had been located. Round barrows were clustered around Knowlton (Barrett 1989a; Green 2000), and it is also noticeable that the western edge of the Wyke Down round barrow group appears to have been respecting the distribution of the natural naled features near Down Farm (Allen 1998: 41). This may have been regarded as an especially sacred or meaningful area. Indeed, the moundlike naleds may have even been regarded as earlier round barrows by later neolithic and early bronze age people, and referenced as if earlier human communities or other beings constructed them. Once again therefore, natural places and paths of movement in the landscape and places of long-term human significance were emphasised by these monuments.

Pitt Rivers and the Piggotts investigated some mounds on Crichel Down, to the south of the south-west end of the Cursus. They found many inhumations, some accompanied by Beakers (Piggott and Piggott 1944; Pitt Rivers 1898), and some which had been disturbed by subsequent re-opening and the possible removal of some skeletal remains. In one example investigated by the Piggotts, a cremation burial had been inserted into an earlier grave. At Launceston Down, both they and more recent investigators have excavated early bronze age barrows and flat inhumations. The more recent excavation of two low mounds at Launceston revealed two deep, chalk-cut graves with primary burial deposits (Green, Lynch and White 1982). In one was a probable adult man with a Beaker, and below the other mound was the grave of a probable young woman with some bones of an adult man, with the remains of an infant placed above both. The mounds covering both graves had been dug through subsequently, and the graves re-excavated. More inhumations were then added, and one mound also had secondary cremations inserted into it too.

These appropriations of the past may have been attempts to create specific genealogies, by linking known dead individuals to claimed ancestors of antiquity (Barrett 1990; Braithwaite 1984; Garwood 1991; Gosden and Lock 1998). The antiquity of some of the Beakers that were deposited in graves may also have been part of these ideas. John Barrett has drawn a useful distinction between funerary rituals and ancestor rituals (Barrett 1990, 1991; Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 121-124). Funerary rituals are rites of passage where individuals are transformed from the living into the dead. Ancestor rituals draw the symbolic presence of ancestors into the world of the living. A wide range of symbolism may be involved with these practices, including the handling or circulation of human remains, but a transition between the living and the dead need not occur. Ancestral rituals undoubtedly continued during the early bronze age, but late neolithic and early bronze age burials may have represented an increased focus on funerary rituals for specific individuals (Thomas 2000). Ancestry rather than ancestors was perhaps being stressed. However, this

At the Monkton Up Wimbourne complex, in the soil found in the silted up and overgrown large, shallow pit, some Beaker sherds and distinctive early bronze age arrowheads were found (Green 2000: 83-84). An adult male was buried underneath a cairn of flints in the centre 221

elaborate pits, and one of the cremations of an adult and infant was associated with a bronze and two bone awls. Another non-urn cremation was also found with a bronze awl. There were also five infant inhumation burials, two with Food Vessels, and one of these also had rounded flint nodules and part of a saddle quern as part of the grave fill. Four of these infant burials, though in separate cuts, seemed to have been filled in at the same time, and were thus probably contemporary. One of the adult cremation burials was associated with these four, in an inverted Collared Urn, and one of these infants had an inverted Food Vessel placed above it. There was also an unurned adult cremation with this group of burials.

of the monument and with his body orientated east-west along the monument’s long axis. By this stage, the feature may have been visible only as a very shallow, overgrown depression with low banks. At Down Farm, a circular pond barrow nearly 20 metres in diameter was excavated some 35 metres north of the Cursus. This was a shallow, scooped feature no more than 0.32 metres deep after thousands of years of erosion and ploughing, and it truncated the four earlier pits that contained Beaker and other early bronze age pottery. There may originally have been a low bank 3 metres wide and up to 0.75 metres high surrounding the feature. Over time some of this bank material probably eroded back into the hollow, along with sherds of Beaker pottery (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 128; Green 2000: 99100). Excavation revealed that when the people who constructed the pond barrow had scooped out the earth and chalk, they exposed a large fossil that was left in place within the feature. On the base of the hollow a small knapping cluster of flints was found, which may represent fortuitous use of the hollow, as flint nodules had been exposed during the original digging. Nevertheless, this knapping cluster was in line with a NW-SE orientated arrangement of pits and postholes, which extended to the south-east and included cut features within and outside of the pond barrow itself. The line of these features almost exactly paralleled that of the Cursus to the south. The eastern pits associated with the pond barrow also contained lithic material, probably derived from nodules from within the pond barrow (Brown 1991: 125).

To the south-east of the main hollow, but off of the main NW-SE alignment, was a cluster of irregular pits and postholes. Some of their fills were packed with large flints, and there were nodular fragments and cortical flakes from flint quarrying and primary reduction. The upper, secondary fill of the pond barrow contained flint nodules, Deverel-Rimbury and later pottery and a bronze awl. It is likely that the barrow was ploughed out at some point during the middle bronze age (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991). Clearly a complex sequence of events had take place in and around the feature, which again exhibited a mix of apparently prosaic and ‘ritual’ practices. The fact that all four animal burials were female may be potentially significant, especially given that there is evidence from a sample of cremation burials in southern England that cremation burials of biologically female individuals were sometimes the primary internment in some bronze age round barrows (McKinley forthcoming a), in some areas perhaps more often than men.

A complete adult cow had been buried in a pit 6 metres to the north-west of the pond barrow, on this same line of postholes, pits and cremations. In line with one of the four central postholes and outside the south-east edge of the pond barrow were three pits that may have originally held wooden posts or markers, and this line might originally have continued further to the south-east. Opposite the first cow burial, and also to the south-east (though off the line of the posts and cremations) was another cow burial, this time of an old adult (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991; Green 2000). Just within the northern lip of the hollow was a pit containing a complete female sheep skeleton, and another female sheep burial was just inside the southern lip of the barrow, though this one had been disturbed by ploughing and was poorly preserved. Imaginary lines connecting these four female animal burials intersected at the group of four postholes in the centre of the hollow, and these posts had been removed in antiquity. One of these postholes contained an incomplete Food Vessel, and the upper fills of two had Beaker and Deverel-Rimbury pottery within them, the former presumably residual sherds.

Although many other pond barrows are known from southern England, at Cranborne Chase it may be significant that silted-up natural dolines such as the Fir Tree Field shaft, the main pit at Monkton Up Wimbourne and the Down Farm pond barrow were all roughly circular, relatively shallow features. These features may all have been regarded as metaphorically or metonymically equivalent in some way, or were drawn upon symbolically in a similar manner by later neolithic and early bronze age people. Chthonic or underworld forces may have been involved. Flint artefacts produced from nodules found during the digging of these features may have been regarded as especially auspicious. Despite being ‘functional’ items they may thus have been imbued with associations with the dead, memories of them or these events, or the specific places in the landscape where these practices had taken place. Bronze age cremations took place on pyres, in some cases situated next to the grave. The position of the bodies and artefacts in inhumations and the existence of pyres suggests that these places became the focal points of public display, where the personal ornamentation and dress of the dead would have been important (Barrett 1990; Downes 1999; Sørenson 1997). This stress of the visual and of the body may also have extended to those gathered to mourn the deceased. Shaved eyebrow hairs

Eleven human cremations were found in total, eight adults and three infants, and some cremation burials were of more than one individual. Five were in urns – two in inverted Food Vessels, and three in inverted Collared Urns (Barrett, Bradley and Green 1991: 132-136; Green 2000: 99). Three of these cremation burials were in 222

might have allowed certain individuals or groups to control and manipulate the movements, experiences and beliefs of those people who were assembled there. These may have been ritual specialists rather than social elites however. Whilst stone circles rarely preserve much evidence for the activities once carried out within and around them, henges often featured depositional episodes including special placed deposits, large quantities of animal bone, pottery and charcoal from apparent feasting episodes, and more prosaic, routine practices. These were clearly significant places in the landscape, but which were marked out in ways that did not reflect any simple, dualistic sacred : profane division (Brück 1999a). The presence of ‘domestic’ artefacts and discard at many of these sites also suggests that peoples’ periodic visits to them would have occurred within the context of a mobile annual series of movements.

from several different people were recovered with a bronze razor and a cremation in an inverted vessel at Winterslow (Grinsell 1950), although it is possible that these hairs may result from contamination during excavation (M. Hamilton pers. comm.). The conflagratory nature of cremation would have been a dramatic spectacle, and cremation pyres would also have required significant amounts of timber for fuel (Downes 1999; McKinley 1997). It would have taken up to a tonne of wood for each corpse, and these pyres would therefore have required time and care to build. Pyres may have had to have been sited near woodland, or else the wood would have had to be cut and transported to the pyre site. There is evidence from underneath many barrows of activities carried out prior to the construction of a mound. Small hearths have been excavated, and circular stakehole alignments. It has been claimed that houses were being re-used as the sites of funerary mounds (Gibson 1980; Parker Pearson 1993b), but it seems more likely that these were funerary structures and practices, perhaps symbolic references to dwellings rather than actual houses (Ashbee 1960; Bradley 1997). Circles of stakes would have surrounded the body and controlled access to it, but would have also kept it visible to mourners. The permeability of these boundaries might have been important. Stake circles may have allowed the souls of the dead to escape to an afterlife without harming the living.

In stone circles and henges, the observations of solar and lunar alignments and the marking of the passage of the seasons may have reinforced the ceaseless nature of the cosmos and ancestral timelessness (Edmonds 1995; Thorpe 1983). Movements of the sun and moon must have continued to be crucial to the beliefs of these people, and their cosmological principles of the world may have been perceived as operating as they always had done. As their material and social environment changed however, different symbolic resources were drawn upon to understand these developments (Barrett 1997a). Different understandings of the world may then have begun to emerge, with diverging kinds of political and social authority which were themselves reinterpreted, reworked and altered through the generations.

The positioning of bodies (both living and dead) in space and time was therefore important to funerary rites. These burials were specific acts of mourning and burial, where individual lives would have been underscored (Barrett 1990, 1994a; Braithwaite 1984). Unlike long mounds, round barrows were not the sites of repeated structured depositional episodes, other than further burials. Lives came to an end at clearly defined points in time. Round barrow distributions and the lack of artefact scatters has been taken by some to suggest that some areas around cemeteries may have been set aside solely for the dead, with the living only entering these areas only at certain appropriate, infrequent occasions (Woodward and Woodward 1996). Stone circles and stone avenues too may also have been regarded as ancestral space and out of bounds (Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina 1998). Instead, ceremonies involving the living may have taken place within timber circles. Although these ideas are interesting, such rigid distinctions between the living and the dead may be overdrawn however, and monuments might have been experienced on a daily, prosaic basis, as well as forming the settings for more formal encounters at certain specific times.

Material culture was implicit in these changes. The spread of new pottery forms such as Beakers, and later Food Vessels and Collared Urns, may demonstrate both a desire for novelty and the need for new ways of expressing these social changes. The adoption of copper and bronze working was also extremely significant. These metal objects were smoother and would have caught the light differently to anything that had gone before. Few naturally-occurring substances had the combination of hardness and smoothness. We should also not assume that all metal axes were necessarily hafted. In the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, a small copper axe can be seen in a tailored leather pouch with a covering flap, preserved in the peat bog the axe was deposited in. This particular object could therefore have been concealed about someone’s person or in their clothing, and only made visible to certain people and at certain times. Many of these metal artefacts would have been objects of great power, and some of this power might therefore have passed to those people who were associated with them.

These individual burials contrasted and may have competed with the temporalities accentuated at large henge monuments and stone circles, which were perhaps the focus of communal activities. These were special spaces often marked out with massive ditches and banks, and/or with limited access into their interiors, unlike earlier causewayed enclosures. Although the focus for communal gatherings, henges and some stone circles

Many of these objects were drawn from places and communities that were very distant indeed. Whether this was direct contact or ‘down-the-line’ trade is less certain, and may have varied. It might not have mattered to these people in any case. It was this sense of the exotic and the distance the objects had travelled that may have been 223

important to the people using them. Some local communities had people with knowledge of metalworking, but perhaps not all of them. At the same time, within these communities themselves the production of metal artefacts may have been a highly specialised activity fraught with potential physical and spiritual danger. A highly skilled process requiring years of learning and restricted knowledge, the transformation of rock through fire into polished metal objects may have been regarded as magic. The addition of organic materials such as blood, semen or powerful herbs may have been regarded as much a part of the process as the metallurgy itself (q.v. Budd and Taylor 1995; Herbert 1993). Some of this work may have taken place at night or in dark, restricted places, so that the colours of charcoal, ores and heated metal could be assessed for temperature, and the right moments judged during the smelting and smithing processes. Because of all this, these specialists may have been half-feared as much as they were revered. Some may have lived on the fringes of communities, and might have been scarred by splashes of hot metal. The longterm health implications of the early arsenic-based bronzes may also have distinguished those making them from others in their societies.

the living worked through the fears and tensions produced by death, and the subsequent need of the living to renegotiate their own social and power relationships. Some inhumations and cremations became the focus for later secondary burials and cremations that were often more simple. These indicate knowledge of the original internment, both in terms of their positioning within the mounds and in the range of artefacts incorporated with them.

The wide range of artefacts from burials reflected individual identities being carried through into the grave, and the increasingly varied sets of materials used and may show that the processes of categorisation of the later neolithic became even more complex. Metalwork was also drawn into this. Analysis of ‘Wessex’ daggers for example has suggested that there were two main groups of these objects, dating to different phases of the early bronze age. The finer, more elaborate daggers appeared to have been used or were in circulation for long periods of time before they were buried (Wall 1987). The plainer, simpler daggers made over the same period had much less wear on them, and therefore seem to have had much shorter histories. They were more often associated with simple burials. The elaborate daggers may have been prestigious objects, badges of status or authority that were curated and passed down through lineages for several human generations. The other group of daggers had quite different histories, and it is possible that some may have been made specifically for mortuary rites or as grave goods.

Do the Beaker burials containing ‘prestige’ objects of metal, pottery and other materials reflect high status individuals that were part of an established social hierarchy? Some or all of the objects in the graves may have been idealised markers of rank, rather than reflecting the actual social status of the people when they were alive. Some or all of the objects might not have belonged to the dead. They may not reflect a vertical social hierarchy at all, and any relations of inequality present in these communities may not have involved vertical hierarchies or social classes such as ‘warriors’. The objects might have also had political messages, and some may have been an attempt by some of the living to assert or legitimate power through the conspicuous discard of items. They might have been a conscious attempt to show social cohesion, and some or all of them may have come from many different individuals and groups. This could also be misleading. They may instead have been a highly visible attempt to demonstrate a respect that was actually not felt, and which was actually being challenged and subverted. In some instances there may have even been a sense of guilt associated with the death for some reason. Archaeologists and anthropologists have recognised that social status cannot be simply ‘read off’ the objects deposited with burials (Chapman and Randsborg 1981; Huntingdon and Metcalf 1979; Parker Pearson 1982, 1993a, 2001; Tarlow 1992).

In addition to these complicated referential schemes, other shared associations were also stressed in burials too. The presence of Beakers themselves is the most obvious, but many biologically male burials have been found with flint arrowheads and stone wristguards, perhaps an idealised representation of masculinity or adult male status (Edmonds and Thomas 1987). They were unlikely to have all been archers. Other artefacts may have identified people with specific crafts, or with clans or societies within the overall community, and the positioning of bodies and their relation to the position of the Beakers may be indicative of age and gender representations. These may however all reflect idealised social relationships rather than the actual lives of the deceased. They might have been part of the way in which

The recent discovery of a particularly richly furnished inhumation near Amesbury in Wiltshire has even been claimed as being that of the ‘King of Stonehenge’ 224

The older man had travelled far distances, bringing with him different words and languages, stories, and knowledge of copper and gold working. There would have been numerous embodied, face-to-face political and social negotiations as he travelled through different peoples’ territories and eventually settled, with alliances and perhaps marriage(s). His copper objects may never have been seen before in that part of southern Britain. A ‘cushion stone’ found in his grave may have been used for fine metalworking, and could mean that this man was himself a metalsmith, with all the power and magical associations such new knowledge, techniques and objects no doubt had. His relative, possibly his son, had grown up in southern England, but the younger man’s teeth and the Beaker in the older man’s grave suggest further links and long-distance movements with Scotland. Rather than being an archer and warrior of an established social elite, the recent evidence suggests a much more complicated and more interesting biography.

(Fitzpatrick 2002). Laid in a wooden-lined grave pit was the skeleton of an adult male aged between 35-45. His grave goods included five Beakers, two in an unusually dark, almost black reduced fabric, with the others of a more usual reddish-brown hue. Two of these Beakers had rare, plaited cord decoration, and one Beaker had motifs normally associated with vessels found in Scotland. One stone wristguard or bracer was reddish brown in colour, whilst a second slate example was almost black. There was a tanged copper knife that may have been held in a sheath on the chest, and two further copper knives. There were two gold hair tresses, boars tusks, a bone pin and a shale belt ring, flint knives, scrapers, flakes and arrowhead blanks, and sixteen barbed and tanged arrowheads. It is possible that these objects may have been ‘the accoutrements of a hunter or warrior’ (ibid.). A nearby inhumation burial of a younger male aged between 20-30 also had two gold hair tresses associated with it. Rare traits on the foot bones of the two individuals suggest that they were closely related (Wessex Archaeology 2003). Both dated to approximately 2400-2200 BC, right at the beginning of both the Beaker period in Britain, and the use of metal.

Where there were early bronze age multiple inhumation and cremation burials, as mentioned above, there is some evidence from southern England that biologically female human individuals were often the primary interment, especially with cremation burials (McKinley forthcoming a). The variety seen within these funerary assemblages may have been a deliberate attempt to establish the concept of ‘difference’ based on the unique identities of the dead individuals, but these also formed deliberately constructed narratives of society stretching back to real or near-mythic ancestral individuals (Last 1998). If it was the case that women were often the first of those to be buried, this may imply that matrilineal lines of descent were considered important, and/or that these women held some significant power and status within their communities whilst alive.

There were some other interesting features too. The older man had evidence for a traumatic leg injury, which had partly healed but which probably resulted in the loss of his kneecap, and continuing infection afterwards. This injury would have greatly impaired his movements in the last few years of his life. Several bones were also missing from the skeleton, and this may not be simply the result of preservation or recovery. Finger and hand bones were missing from one hand. These may have also reflected an injury or deliberate mutilation, but one rib was also gone, and had perhaps been taken after death (J. McKinley pers. comm.). Some bones may have been removed when the corpse was only partially articulated therefore. It is thus also possible that accompanying objects were added to, removed or moved around in the grave after the deposition of the man’s body. This makes any relationships that were being drawn between the dead individual and the objects even more complex.

It is unlikely that by the early bronze age entrenched, vertical social hierarchies had become established. These were still small-scale communities, who for most of the year at least must have been organised along extended family and kinship lines. Settlements seem to have been short-lived, and for parts of the year at least people may have moved with the herds. There were larger social gatherings, when people came together in the larger groups that we might perhaps consider very loosely as ‘tribes’. These larger groups may indeed have been mobilised to construct monuments such as the Knowlton henges, or Stonehenge to the east, but this may have resulted from communal decisions and labour rather than the imposed wishes of elites. Particular individuals may have suggested, planned or even organised such work, but they had to consult their own communities and achieve consensus to do this. Some individuals were particularly marked out after death through the use of material culture, but these acts may have been based on the biographies and lifetime achievements of the dead. During their lifetimes many may have appeared and lived in much the same manner as those honouring them after death. Although social elites were undoubtedly appearing during the late bronze age and early iron age, I remain sceptical that any rigid descent-based hierarchies existed

The fact that an injured individual whose mobility may have been severely impaired was accorded such treatment in death could imply that he was part of a social elite whose authority, power and status were inherited. But it is equally likely that the status this individual may have had was accrued through his lifetime, rather than being acquired at birth. Recent isotope analysis of teeth from the two skeletons has discovered that the older man was born and spent his childhood in central Europe, probably in modern Switzerland or southern Germany (Wessex Archaeology 2003). The younger man, perhaps his son, might have been born in southern England, but spent some of his youth in the midlands or north-east Scotland. Two of the older man’s copper knives were made of ore from Europe, and the third was of a particularly rare arsenic-rich ore from western France or northern Spain, though as yet no mines of this type of ore from this period have been discovered. These three knives are amongst the oldest known copper objects from Britain. 225

had control over particular crafts such as metalworking and pottery production, or ritual specialists. Leadership and seniority may have continually been assessed, and criticised where it was found wanting. Power could be contested and challenged. The idea of hierarchical kings or chiefs is a rather untheorised, evolutionary model of social relations. Careful consideration of archaeological, ethnographic and historical evidence suggests that there can be many forms of unequal social relations, which need not necessarily be explained by ideas of hierarchy, control and exploitation (e.g. McIntosh 1999; Saitta 1994; Stein 1998). Rather than vertical hierarchies, we should perhaps be considering ‘heterarchies’ of inequality, power and status instead (q.v. Crumley 1995). Apparently richly furnished inhumation and cremation burials may correspond to our modern ideas of how status and hierarchy should be marked, but we should be extremely cautious in how we interpret these remains. The close spatial relationships between different burials and groups of barrows suggest that some form of lineage or kinship was being stressed, no matter how fictive. The relationships constructed through subsequent burials and later barrows would have become the basis for genealogical histories that knitted the landscape together over time, and the focus for stories and songs recounting these earlier lives and deeds. These genealogies may have been symbolic or ideological, or politically expedient as much as on ‘real’ blood ties of kinship. Some groups or individuals trying to exert authority over others may have found this attractive, and the potential for dominating or subverting such lineages must also have been great. However, this may have been a complex, on-going political process, rather than just the linear, evolutionary development of social hierarchies or ‘chiefdoms’. It also seems to have been the case that people within these societies were becoming aware of history as a long-term chronological process. History also demonstrates an awareness that social relations and changes may be shaped by individual or collective action (Gosden and Lock 1998). It only exists where named figures and known acts can provide a framework both for framing the past and for structuring the present.

in Britain until the middle iron age period (q.v. Hill 1995). There have been too many uncritical assumptions made about social organisation. In the early bronze age, status may instead have been acquired and accrued by senior men and women, or through the recognition of particular acts of bravery, loyalty or generosity. Many of the items found in male Beaker burials may thus have been the idealised markers of a senior adult male age grade, rather than being the objects that individual used or owned in his lifetime. Senior women too had their own markers of adult status. Some individuals may also have been given fine grave goods simply because they were well liked, and people wished to demonstrate their affection for them. We must not forget the often shocking, hurtful nature of death and bereavement (q.v. Tarlow 1992). There are many possibilities. In these communities, only those who had proven themselves as negotiators, brokers and during fighting might have been allowed to lead. Others who may have achieved higher status might have included those who

Movement III The afternoon is waning. A long procession of people winds its way up the shallow river valley, following the path that will be taken by the setting sun. Large herds of cattle can be seen on the extensive areas of open, short-grass pasture, tended by the younger boys and girls, with a few older people and their dogs also standing watch. This land forms the fringes of their grazing and the seasonal movements of the herds. At the head of the river valleys, running from the rising to the setting sun, is a strange, long shape in the ground. Some say it is a dagger dropped by the ancestors, and some think it is formed from the spines of the giant cattle that used to live in the world. None know for sure, and there are many stories of it. All agree that it is a powerful marker however, and so it is fitting that in the places near to it they also lay their dead. On the slopes and ridges on either side of them, the burial mounds of their people lie, the low light of the sinking sun picking them out with sepulchral shadows. So many have died, and many amongst them can count on both hands the loved ones that they have laid to rest under the mounds. They are a proud and ancient people, and it is said that the huge, grass-covered long mounds and the long banks around which their dead are lain to rest were built by their distant forefathers. The first man and woman were giants and immortal in those days, and forests covered all of the earth, but then the man and woman stole the animals and crops reserved for the gods. The gods punished them by making them mortal, and by reducing their stature. 226

Eight suns ago a great one died, and now it is time for all to gather, to watch him enter the earth. From all the different compounds they have come, for he was a great man in life, whose leadership had been permitted for doing well in battle and being generous in peace. His cattle were amongst the finest in any herd, and the gifts he had given away to others and to the gods could not be counted. He was getting old however, and his one arm had been damaged years before. The gods had decided that it was his time to die. The people file in from many directions, coming together as much to express their relationships with each other as the dead man. All wear their clan’s cloaks, woven into patterns of the moon and stars, but also differentiated according to their lineage and status. The official mourners at the head of the procession have reached the house of the dead. The body of the great one was brought here, on a sled pulled by two fine young bulls. A large and roughly circular swathe of turf has been removed, and in the centre the white chalk beneath the soil has been revealed. Here, round a small fire inside circular walls of stakes, the soothsayer and he/r assistants have watched over the body of the great one and prepared it to enter the earth. They have washed and dressed the body, and now the great one wears raiments far finer than any of the clothes he had actually worn in life. The clothes he had died in were burnt, as they were polluted. His kin, who with great effort in such a short time, have provided these new garments of intricately tooled and stitched leather and fur. It would shame them if they could not dress a great one this way, and they would lose face and influence. There had been whispers for a while that the great man had no longer been suitable to lead, and that someone else from another line should be made leader instead. This funeral would be the kinsfolk’s chance to remind everyone of the dead man’s power, and their own. The soothsayer has talked to the spirit of the great one to persuade it to leave. If the spirit cannot escape, it may linger and seek revenge on those who have left it in perpetual torment. Then disaster would fall on the people, and crops would wither and animals die. Only the soothsayer and he/r assistants can stay this close to the dead for any length of time, and for this power and others they are feared as much as they are respected. The official mourners enter the circles of stakes, and proceed to set up such cries of lamentation that people shiver and even those who had only seen the great one from a distance now begin to weep. Close by, the two young bulls have been tethered and stand ready for sacrifice, snorting nervously, scraping the ground with their hooves and rolling their eyes as the fear grows within them. Their hides are patterned in a manner regarded as especially auspicious, and they have been decorated with dyes and with tassels on their horns. A great fire has been prepared to receive their flesh. Everyone gathers round the place where the turf has been scraped off the white ground below, and the great one’s kin file into the circles of stakes marking the house of the dead. In the innermost circle, the chants of the soothsayer and he/r assistants are almost drowned out by the wailing. They face the houses of the dead giants, and pray that this man will be long remembered. The wives, brothers, sisters and children of the dead man now gather round the grave, and in the circle behind them his other kinsfolk. The women have dusted themselves with ash or soil, as is their custom. They nod with approval at the grave, where the great one lies with his beer pot and dagger of polished sun-metal. The beer pot is old and chipped, and had belonged to his father, and his father’s father before him, but it was now its time to enter the earth. The dagger too was old, though burnished for the ceremony. His wives had added these, as was the custom. As a member of the Red Wolf Society, it is his right to be buried with arrows and bow, but these are newly made. The heavily decorated bow and arrow shafts, and the exquisitely knapped flints that tip the arrows, are a far cry from the point damaged or heavily retouched flints and simple arrow shafts the great one actually used when on the hunt or when fighting. Each arrowhead had been knapped by a different person, one from all of the major lines, and each arrowshaft was likewise marked in the way of each lineage. In any case, in his last years the great one could not even draw a bow at all, due to an arm injury. This was one reason why his leadership had been questioned. A sun-metal razor is now passed around, the light from the setting sun, the fires and the torches reflecting off of its highly polished surface. The whisper of metal, and then the skin and eyebrow hair is gathered up by one of the soothsayer’s assistants. This will be placed in the great one’s grave. Two cuts for his wives and children, one cut for his other kin. Blood marks their faces, marks their mourning, and there is a roar of approval. The noise of the chanting and the wailing builds to a crescendo and then, at last, it is over. His spirit has left the body. The drumming now begins, and beer is passed round from person to person, a pungent, short-brewed and especially efficacious concoction. It has to be sweetened with honey and meadowsweet to disguise some of its acidic taste. When all have drunk their first draught, the throats of the two bulls are slit. Great gouts of hot blood splash out across the white chalk, and the death bellows of the animals are matched by the exultant cries of the crowd. The metallic smell of blood fills the air, and the ripe, sweet scent of the grey guts lying in warm coils in the dust, onto which the last flies of the day land eagerly. The beasts are skinned whilst still twitching, and the hides are draped over the dead man, and around the grave cut. They will accompany him to the next world, where they will be reborn as fine breeding animals Great dripping joints of meat are quickly removed from the carcasses, and thrown onto the glowing coals of the fire. 227

The hours pass, and the drinking and drumming continues. Sometimes the rhythm is fast, when the people dance and sing frenziedly, many whirling round until they vomit and pass out. At such times, horns and bull-roarers add to the tumult. There are also some quieter moments however, when the rhythm slows, and more beer circulates. Meat is passed round, often charred on one side, but still bloody on the other. It is during these quiet interludes that individuals stand up, to sing songs of the deceased, or to tell stories of him. It is their way of mourning, but also of establishing claims to him, to his surviving line, and perhaps to future favours. Suddenly, there is tension. A man from a minor line compared to that of the great one lurches to his feet. Wiping the grease from his mouth, he begins to recount a hunting trip with the dead man, during which he saved the great one’s life from an enraged wild ox. As a result, the great one had made certain obligations to this man, and this man’s line. At first there is muttering, but these become angry cries. Some of those from the great one’s family protest that such a hunt had never taken place, much less the promise of food, a daughter and cattle. Others support the first speaker. The arguments become more heated, and those in the great one’s line and that of the rival jostle and push one another. Some blows are exchanged. The great one’s widows force their way forwards, adamantly denying the man’s claims. The daughter this man claims for a wife also joins in. Though arranged matches are common, these are always undertaken with the knowledge of the son and daughter involved. It would go against custom to do otherwise, and her heart is set on a match with someone better than this man of little status from a minor lineage. Before the quarrel turns into fighting and a blood feud, the soothsayer intervenes, thrus