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Axe-heads and identity: an investigation into the roles of imported axe-heads in identity formation in Neolithic Britain (Volume 1 and 2)

Axe-heads and identity: an investigation into the roles of imported axe-heads in identity formation in Neolithic Britain (Volume 1 and 2)
Axe-heads and identity: an investigation into the roles of imported axe-heads in identity formation in Neolithic Britain (Volume 1 and 2)
This thesis addresses the significance accorded, past and present, to those axe-heads of flint and stone that were imported to Britain from the Continent. It starts from the premise that this poorly understood body of material has been overlooked and has been made effectively ‘peripheral’ in Neolithic studies, particularly over the past five decades or so. This is due to the insularity of British Neolithic scholarship as a reaction against the invasion hypothesis and diffusionist models. The aim of the study is to redress this imbalance, pulling material back into focus, establishing a secure evidential base and exploring the likely conditions in which these often distinctive items made their way across the water. The work presented here rests upon the argument that these ‘imported’ axe-heads of flint and stone made their way into what is today called Britain as objects of considerable significance. Specifically, they were items of high symbolic value that played a crucial role in fostering the particular ways of thinking about, and addressing, social identity that are associated with the Neolithic. These issues are effectively the intellectual or academic context or background for the project, whose main objectives are the close and detailed cataloguing of relevant material, and a documentation of the ‘detective work’ needed to establish the credentials of each artefact.
Walker, Katharine
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Walker, Katharine
b99aa299-2b4b-4581-8ae6-ef3d0d4bf8d0
Pollard, Carl
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Walker, Katharine (2015) Axe-heads and identity: an investigation into the roles of imported axe-heads in identity formation in Neolithic Britain (Volume 1 and 2). University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 723pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis addresses the significance accorded, past and present, to those axe-heads of flint and stone that were imported to Britain from the Continent. It starts from the premise that this poorly understood body of material has been overlooked and has been made effectively ‘peripheral’ in Neolithic studies, particularly over the past five decades or so. This is due to the insularity of British Neolithic scholarship as a reaction against the invasion hypothesis and diffusionist models. The aim of the study is to redress this imbalance, pulling material back into focus, establishing a secure evidential base and exploring the likely conditions in which these often distinctive items made their way across the water. The work presented here rests upon the argument that these ‘imported’ axe-heads of flint and stone made their way into what is today called Britain as objects of considerable significance. Specifically, they were items of high symbolic value that played a crucial role in fostering the particular ways of thinking about, and addressing, social identity that are associated with the Neolithic. These issues are effectively the intellectual or academic context or background for the project, whose main objectives are the close and detailed cataloguing of relevant material, and a documentation of the ‘detective work’ needed to establish the credentials of each artefact.

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Published date: March 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383149
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383149
PURE UUID: 7798577f-64cb-48f1-a68b-7cc9801a5d24
ORCID for Carl Pollard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8429-2009

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Date deposited: 12 Nov 2015 14:03
Last modified: 25 Jul 2019 00:32

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