Books : reviews

Mark Edmonds.
Ancestral Geographies of the Neolithic: landscapes, monuments and memory.
Routledge. 1999

Ancestral Geographies of the Neolithic is a vivid portrait of life in the small, dispersed communities of Neolithic Britain. Focusing on the landscape and monuments of the fourth millennium BC, Mark Edmonds provides a dramatic, colourful interpretation of how these prehistoric peoples understood the world in which they lived.

Central to this study is the idea that communities of the time may have thought about the land, and about themselves, in ways very different from those we take for granted today. Theirs was a world shaped by kinship, ancestry and various forms of affiliation. It was a world in which the dead were a powerful presence, and where distant times and places held a particular fascination. Many of these themes were brought into sharpest focus during periodic gatherings at the monumental enclosures and tombs that appear in our record for the first time, where communities engaged in ancestral rites, exchange and other forms of ceremonial. It was through both routine and ritual experience that dispersed and fragmented communities acknowledged their ties to the land, to the past and to each other.

Vin Davis, Mark Edmonds.
Stone Axe Studies III.
Oxbow Books. 2011