Britain has been inhabited by humans for over half a million years, during which time there were a great many changes in lifestyles and in the surrounding landscape. This book, now in its second edition, examines the development of human societies in Britain from earliest times to the Roman conquest of AD 43, as revealed by archaeological evidence. Special attention is given to six themes which are traced through prehistory: subsistence, technology, ritual, trade, society, and population.
Prehistoric Britain begins by introducing the background to prehistoric studies in Britain, presenting it in terms of the development of interest in the subject and the changes wrought by new techniques such as radiocarbon dating, and new theories, such as the emphasis on social archaeology. The central sections trace the development of society from the hunter-gatherer groups of the last Ice Age, through the adoption of farming, the introduction of metalworking, and on to the rise of highly organized societies living on the fringes of the mighty Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Throughout, emphasis is given to documenting and explaining changes within these prehistoric communities, and to exploring the regional variations found in Britain. In this way the wealth of evidence that can be seen in the countryside and in our museums is placed firmly in its proper context. It concludes with a review of the effects of prehistoric communities on life today.
With over 120 illustrations, this is a unique review of Britain's ancient past as revealed by modern archaeology. The revisions and updates to Prehistoric Britain ensure that this will continue to be the most comprehensive and authoritative account of British prehistory for those students and interested readers studying the subject.
Praise for the first edition:
'Excellent and readable, and informed by a love of the land.' – Financial Times
'A lively up-to-date introduction.' – Oxbow News
'Darvill's book provides a pleasing introduction to the story of British prehistory.' – TLS
'Tim Darvill has shown that there is always a place for a well-written account of the subject that makes effective use of modern approaches.' – British Archaeological News
1. Right Here! Right Now! Prehistory in the Present 2. Before the Flood: Early Hunter-gatherer Societies to 13,000 BC 3. Tales from Topographic Oceans: Post-glacial Hunter-gatherers 13,000–4000 BC 4. Blood on the Tracks: Hunter-farmers 4000–3200 BC 5. Rise Up Like the Sun: Early Chiefdom Societies 3200–2000 BC 6. Dark Sides of the Moon: Agrarian Societies 2000–800 BC 7. Brothers in Arms: Tribes and Chiefdoms 800–100 BC 8. On the Threshold of a Dream: Living Beside the Roman Empire 100 BC–AD 50 9. Let it Be: Patterns of Society and Change. Bibliography and Further Reading
The Routledge World Archaeology series provides up-to-date surveys of key areas of the world. The volumes are intended to support students wishing to study the archaeology of these important regions for the first time. However, by including the latest research and discoveries the books will also be of interest to scholars and professional archaeologists. The Routledge World Archaeology series details in a clear and approachable fashion the wonder of archaeological findings and interpretation from around the globe.