Review of Animal Remains from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Southern Britain (4000 BC – 1500 BC)

Author(s): D Serjeantson

This review surveys the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age bone assemblages from c. 200 sites in southern Britain, summarising and synthesizing the data. Most assemblages are from Wiltshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire; other counties covered are Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London (Middlesex), Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent. Chapter 2 discusses the domestic animals, cattle, pig, sheep, goat, dog and horse. The focus is on animal husbandry, in particular traction and the milking of cows. Chapter 3 discusses the wild animals and the reasons why they might have been hunted or caught. Chapter 4 is concerned with how animals were butchered, cooked and consumed and examines the evidence for feasting. Chapter 5 looks at deliberately placed and possibly placed deposits of skulls, skeletons, bones in articulation and individual elements, and the possible motives which governed bone deposition at different times and in different places. Chapter 6 considers the extent to which micro-vertebrates and larger mammals reflect changes in vegetation and environment on a local and a wider scale. The implications of the findings for the economic and social life of the people living in southern Britain from the Early Neolithic to the end of the Early Bronze Age are discussed in Chapter 7 by period. The final chapter sets out recommendations for future research and excavation.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Animal Bone Bronze Age Neolithic


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