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Grooved Ware in Britain and Ireland Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers 3 by ROSAMUND CLEAL AND ANN MACSWEEN Editors Oxbow Books.

ISBN 1 77 5. This collection of fourteen papers plus Introduction and Gazetteer arose from a Neolithic Studies Group seminar that took place on a memorably eventful and frosty day in February As one of the speakers and subsequent contributors to the volume, my comments are those of an active participant in the demi-monde of Grooved Ware studies, and they are offered with the benefit of hindsight.

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It is with affection to the Editors, and in admiration of their achievement, that these remarks are addressed. As Sara Champion commented, in single tanzkurs rosenheim review of the seminar aubrey edwards dating PAST in Decemberonly 19 finds of Grooved Ware were known of when Stuart Piggott first defined this pottery as a widespread late Neolithic ceramic tradition in Over the next 23 years this total would virtually triple towith major assemblages emerging from the Orkney Islands, the distribution expanding to encompass hitherto 'blank' areas such as Wales and Ireland, and a good number of radiocarbon determinations becoming available.

By the time was therefore ripe for a fresh re-evaluation. In her Introduction aubrey edwards dating the volume, Ros Cleal explains that she and co-Editor Ann MacSween were drawn to the challenge of organising such an exercise when they — like others before them — realised that the assemblages on which they had been working, from opposite ends of Britain in southern England and in Orkney respectively, contained some striking similarities.

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The agenda which they set, for both the seminar and the volume, was 'Grooved Ware: What, Where, When and Why? In assessing how well the volume works in helping us to understand this ceramic phenomenon and its broader context, these four questions will be kept in mind. The volume was long in gestation - five years from the seminar to the publication - and in the interim, aubrey edwards dating line-up of contributors changed.

The published papers are arranged in four sections, with two 'Regional Surveys' and the curiously non-adjacent 'Grooved Ware from excavations' broadly covering questions of 'what? This question is also touched upon in several other papers.

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The final 'Dating' section consists of two intriguing papers, which offer different perspectives on the chronological ordering of Grooved Ware. The first is an ambitious attempt by Anna Brindley to present an overall sequence for the development of the tradition in Britain and Ireland, using typochronology and radiocarbon dating.

The second is a meticulous study, by Paul Garwood, of the same kinds of information as they pertain to southern England.

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Without doubt, the volume is a 'must-have' for anyone interested in late Neolithic Britain and Ireland. It offers a wealth of information that is concise and well-presented, with numerous, aubrey edwards dating excellent-quality illustrations. It aubrey edwards dating us with the first substantive review of Irish Grooved Ware, and a aubrey edwards dating of most of the radiocarbon dating evidence from Ireland and Britain that was available at the time of publication, along with a useful discussion of the potential and limitations of aubrey edwards dating C14 dates for this period of prehistory, given the vagaries of this part of the calibration curve.

It also goes into the question of design similarities with passage tomb art e. Barclay, p.

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Kinnes on the spiral motif, and Bradley— although there is doubtless more that can be said on these topics. Grooved Ware, or Grooved Ware vs. Beaker use.

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Furthermore, the Gazetteer - compiled with the help of numerous contributors - represents the fruits of a considerable amount of labour. For all of this, the Editors and contributors are to be congratulated.

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But to what extent does the volume help us to understand Grooved Ware, either as a ceramic tradition or as part of broader late Neolithic developments? Given the undoubtedly justifiable claims for stylistic variability at site, local, regional and national levels, it would have been useful to see more illustrative evidence of this.

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Similarly, as regards radiocarbon dating, it would have been useful to single dog feeder stand seen a complete list of all the relevant radiocarbon dates for Grooved Ware in Britain and Ireland, and to have had a critical evaluation of all of them, not just those from Ireland and southern Britain.

One casualty of the delay in publishing is that some papers were several years old when aubrey edwards dating book was printed, and there may have been an understandable reluctance to effect substantial revisions as new information became available. Furthermore, Merryn Dineley's intriguing suggestion reported in British Archaeology 27,'News' that some large Grooved Ware tubs may have been used for brewing ale is worthy of serious consideration, albeit hard to prove.

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More serious, perhaps, is the assumption that readers all know, and aubrey edwards dating, what Grooved Ware actually is and how it is defined. A degree of prior knowledge — particularly of Longworth's four styles — is required of the reader, and it is a shame that his review of the concept of Grooved Ware and the history of its study that had been delivered at the seminar was not published, as this would have helped to set the scene.

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One of the most trenchant criticisms of Grooved Ware studies, as voiced for example in David Clarke's review of this volume for the Antiquaries Journal, has been the elasticity of its definition. It would seem that any pottery assumed to be of late third or second millennium date that did not readily fit within the categories of Peterborough Ware or its northern and western congeners or Beaker has been placed in the voluminous conceptual tub that is Grooved Ware.

The pitfalls of this approach have recently been highlighted by Alex Gibson's compelling re-evaluation of some claimed examples of atypical regional material from the Milfield Basin as Bronze Age ceramics Gibson Barclay The validity of Longworth's four Grooved Ware 'styles' is touched on, and its shortcomings in describing material from Scotland and Ireland acknowledged which is just as well, since one pot from Skara Brae kennenlernen des englisch elements of three of these styles: Clarke pers.

However, among southern-based scholars, at least, these convenient conceptual divisions have become deeply rooted, and indeed Garwood's paper suggests that there may be some degree of stylistic succession over the estimated years of this pottery's use in southern Britain c BC, with the Woodlands style generally post-dating the Clacton, and both in use concurrently with the Durrington Walls style.

Not one of the papers advocates a rigorous back-to-source critique of these basic categories, however. Aubrey edwards dating aubrey edwards dating it suggested that these style groupings might actually be straitjacketing our way of thinking about ceramic design and its meaning: pigeonholing pots into a defined style is not tantamount to explaining them.

This reviewer concurs with Brindley's and Garwood's position that what we need, to understand patterns and aubrey edwards dating in this broad ceramic aubrey edwards dating, is a firm chronological framework, "drawing on rigorous analyses of relative dating evidence to lend detail to absolute chronologies based on the critical evaluation of aubrey edwards dating dates" Garwood, p. Whether that is actually achievable, given the limitations of calibration, is debatable; but there is certainly room for improvement.