Supply and Demand in the Neolithic Quarry Production of Northwest Europe


What factors influenced non-agricultural production in prehistory? This has long been a topic of debate in prehistoric archaeology, because it relates to the question of whether people in prehistoric societies had ‘economic’ motivations and what those might have been. The paper presents the first results of the NEOMINE project, which is analyzing the evidence for stone quarrying and flint-mining and the factors affecting consumption of their products by Neolithic early farming communities in Britain and North West Europe (c.5300-2000 BC). The project’s aim is to evaluate what economic factors, if any, had an influence on their scale and intensity, and in particular the extent to which the amount of material they produced varied over time in response to external demand. Using newly collected and newly updated radiocarbon data on the dating of Neolithic mines and quarries in the region we will test whether their periods of use correlate with periods of high population and therefore high demand in the area surrounding the mine, using summed radiocarbon probabilities as a population proxy, taking into account sampling variation and fluctuations in the calibration curve. We go on to explore how the results compare with the patterns evidenced ethnographically in New Guinea.

Cite this Record

Supply and Demand in the Neolithic Quarry Production of Northwest Europe. Kevan Edinborough, Peter Schauer, Andrew Bevan, Mike Parker-Pearson, Stephen Shennan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429698)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14670