Physical, social and intellectual landscapes in the Neolithic: contextualizing Scottish and Irish Megalithic architecture

Fraser, Shannon Marguerite. (1996) Physical, social and intellectual landscapes in the Neolithic: contextualizing Scottish and Irish Megalithic architecture. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The broad aim of this study is to examine the way in which people build worlds which are liveable and which make sense; to explore the means by which a social, intellectual order particular to time and place is embedded within the material universe. The phenomenon of monumentality is considered in the context of changing narratives of place and biographies of person and landscape, which are implicated in the making of the self and society and the perception of being in place.

Three groups of megalithic mortuary monuments of quite different formal characteristics, constructed and used predominantly during the fourth and third millennia BC, are analyzed in detail within their landscape setting: a series of Clyde tombs on the Isle of Arran in southwest Scotland; a group of cairns in the Black Isle of peninsula in the northeast of the country, which belong primarily to the Orkney-Cromarty tradition; and a passage tomb complex situated in east-central Ireland, among the Loughcrew hills. Individual studies are presented for each of these distinct and diverse landscapes, which consider the ways in which natural and built form interact through the medium of the human body, how megalithic architecture operated as part of local strategies for creating a workable scheme to 'place' humanity in relation to a wider cosmos, and how the interrelation of physical, social and intellectual landscapes may have engendered particular understandings of the world.

An attempt is made to write regionalized, localized neolithics which challenge some of the traditional frameworks of the discipline - in particular those concerned with morphological, chronological and economic classification - and modes of representation which, removing subject and monument from a specific material context, establish a spurious objectivity. (DXN 006, 349).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Archaeology, Department
Date of Award: 1996
Depositing User: Geraldine Coyle
Unique ID: glathesis:1996-787
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 May 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:26

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