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Preferred Economies

The nature of the subsistance base throughout mainland Britain during prehistory

Andrew Richmond
Publication Year:
177pp. Includes 5 maps, two photographs
ISBN 10:
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Contrary to popular belief, evidence of prehistoric economic activities is notoriously difficult to identify and interpret successfully.This book traces the development of prehistoric societies throughout mainland Britain with the aim of identifying the economic bases which supported them.It is a fresh study primarily utilising the growing body of data from the field of environmental science.Its aim is to question existing theories and to formulate new statements concerning the nature and development of the subsistence bases of past societies.In doing this it reanalyses accepted sequences in prehistory. The book covers a considerable time scale, from the fifth through to the first millennia BC, and a large geographical expanse. The research shows that agriculture, as it is viewed today, will have played a peripheral role in the formation of the prehistoric landscape until more recent times.In this respect the 'Neolithic economy', as traditionally defined, perhaps did not develop across Britain until several millennia following the actual Neolithic.What is clear from the study is a later date for the onset of an agricultural economy than has formerly been suggested.