"British", "Irish" and "Continentish": Practising Comparative in the Later Prehistory of North-Western Europe

Author(s): Marc Vander Linden

Year: 2018


Projecting back notions of "British", "Irish" or "European" back into prehistory does not go without problems as, explicitly or not, these concepts are closely associated with the rise of nation-states, and still echoed in yesterday's and today's turbulent politics. And yet, even advocating a simple geographic meaning for these terms does not prevent any problems, as it raises theoretical and methodological issues regarding the choice of location and scale of case-studies to be analysed. In the case of North-Western Europe, these problems are even more challenging given the insular character of several areas: does the Channel for instance work as a connecting fluid or as a water barrier? Are periods of cross-Channel interactions associated with increased connectivity within islands and the nearby continent?

In order to provide first elements of answer to these many questions, two distinct Later European case-studies will be explored; firstly, the early 4th mill. cal BC and, secondly, the introduction of animal and plant domesticates, and the late 3rd mill BC and the Bell Beaker Phenomenon. In both instance, long-standing debates have argued the contemporary association of extensive cross-Channel contacts, whilst recent aDNA studies have stressed the role of human migrations.

Cite this Record

"British", "Irish" and "Continentish": Practising Comparative in the Later Prehistory of North-Western Europe. Marc Vander Linden. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443781)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20852