Abstracts from this volume
Mental and material landscapes in prehistoric Britain. Richard Bradley
It has been difficult to understand the evolution of the prehistoric landscape because the evidence from the Neolithic and early Bronze age is dominated by specialised forms of monuments and that of the later Bronze Age and Iron Age by settlements, enclosures and field systems. But that problem arises more from different traditions of research than from differences in the material being studied. One way of providing a more integrated study is through considering the symbolism of different kinds of monuments in relation to the landscapes in which they were set. This suggests that we might think in terms of three successive phases in which ritual and everyday activities were closely connected with one another. The first consists of traditions of monuments that recalled an ancestral past, real or imagined, in Continental Europe. The second involved monuments whose prototypes were to be found in the natural topography of Britain itself. In a final phase the main focus of symbolic elaboration was the house.