The Archaeology of Prehistoric Europe: Neolithic–Bronze Age

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Megalithic tombs, stone alignments and circles, hillforts, henges, and hoards populate the landscape of Atlantic Europe during the Neolithic and Bronze Age (c. 4500–1800 BC). These were periods of tremendous change and development, which gave rise to a range of internationally famous archaeological, such as Stonehenge (England), Newgrange (Ireland), Barnenez (France), Los Millares (Spain), and Maeshowe (Orkney). In addition to the impressive structures, the materials circulating during each of these periods include carefully produced stone tools, beads, and pottery, as well as a wide range of Bronze Age weapons, shields, caldrons, jewelry, and horse fittings.


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This course will present an introduction to these two periods by providing an overview of the lifestyles and settlement patterns of its people, the large structures they built, and the materials they made and used. It will also discuss some of the astronomical alignments and ritual practices associated with these sites. New archaeological discoveries that may add to our understanding of these periods will be presented when appropriate as they are made.

© Mara Vejby 1 February 2018