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Social Relations in Later Prehistory : Wessex in the First Millennium Bc (Hardcover)

Author: Sharples, Niall

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Product Overview

This book examines the nature of social relationships in later prehistoric Britain, taking, as a case study, the archaeology of the Wessex region of southern England in the first millennium BC.

Later prehistory is a crucial period in the development of British society, since it saw the establishment of many of the important features that we take for granted: permanent settlement (based on distinctive houses), large population centres (i.e. hillforts), complex exchange networks (based around gifts and commodities), and a landscape that is fully occupied and divided by substantial boundaries. Niall Sharples addresses all of these issues and promotes new interpretations.

The book is structured around four main themes corresponding to different scales of sociality. First, there is the manner in which individuals, households, and communities inhabit the historically complex landscapes of Wessex. Secondly, the creation of communities by exchange and by monumental construction programmes, which includes an important assessment of the role of gift exchange and how this can be used to interpret not just artefact distributions but labour relationships. Thirdly. Sharples turns to the creation and delimitation of households and the role of architecture in providing a cosmological model of the spatial and temporal world. Finally, he examines the significance and role of the individual, exploring issues of agency and permeable and partible personhood and providing the key to an overall interpretation of society. The book concludes with an examination of the relationship between Wessex and other regions of Britain and Europe.

Social Relations in Later Prehistory discusses two periods normally separated by disciplinary boundaries: the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. By bridging this divide Sharples highlights issues that have hitherto been ignored by the more constrained analyses of different specialist groups.


Publisher Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
Mfg Part# 9780199577712
SKU 213820702
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0199577714
Release Date 6/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0375
Publisher Oxford University Press
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