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Landscapes of labour: a quantitative study of earth-moving and stone-shifting in prehistoric northern Wessex

Harris, Barney; (2020) Landscapes of labour: a quantitative study of earth-moving and stone-shifting in prehistoric northern Wessex. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The study explores the construction of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in the region of northern Wessex in terms of the labour invested in their creation. A historiography of ‘megalithic construction studies’ is initially presented, along with an account of experimental studies evaluating different approaches to the material problems likely experienced by prehistoric monument builders. A summary of the various forms of prehistoric structure found throughout northern Wessex is then provided, along with any archaeological observations relating to their construction. Two key sub-areas are particular foci: the Stonehenge and Avebury landscapes. Individual case studies exploring the construction of key structures—Stonehenge and the West Kennet chambered tomb—within these sub-areas are presented, forging new understandings of the great effort expended in creating these places. Much of the main study draws on a previous research paper, published by Colin Renfrew in 1973, entitled Monuments, Mobilization and Social Organization in Neolithic Wessex. The study presented herein attempts to replicate Renfrew’s (ibid.) findings and critically evaluate the empirical basis of his claims.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Landscapes of labour: a quantitative study of earth-moving and stone-shifting in prehistoric northern Wessex
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10114100
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