New: Article on the Medieval minsters of Beverley, Rippon and York, submitted by Stuart Sharp.
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The traditional time divisions into which pre-history is divided are not necessarily reliable. They were devised in the early 1900s when the level of archaeological expertise was low, compared to today. Often assumptions were made based on very sketchy archeological finds, while these have been revised somewhat over the years the general "time bands" are still in use today.
Without accepting these eras as anything more than broad band indicators of the current level of technological and social development, the main divisions were the:
Generally speaking, the Celts were an Iron Age culture meaning when we talk about pre-celtic Britain, we mean the time beofre the seventh century BC.
Most British prehistoric sites date from the Neolithic and Bronze Age eras. This was a period of innovation with the first elaborate burials, the introduction of pottery, the implementation of huge engineering projects and the construction of Britain's most famous ancient monuments, including the first phases of construction at Stonehenge and Avebury. (Time Team In Avebury)
As this is "pre-history" there are no written records. Most of what we know about prehistory has been deduced from artefacts. The only source for pre-history is archaeology. This means that lots of sites are destroyed just to find out about them. It means treaures are looted to put in museums and universities, at best, and to sell to collectors at worst.
Most commentaries assume that people in the neolithic were concerned with nothing except ritual. However, this stands oddly beside a consideration of the practical intelligence of our ancestors who invented agriculture and metal working. There was clearly a lot more to their societies than ritual observances. Our hope is that more attention gets paid to the logic behind their actions./ For instance, underground constructions oriented towards the midwinter sun - how else could the spaces be conveniently lit (even for rituals) if they aren't facing the sun in the darkest part of the year?
Obviously the last thing we want is for you to go off to other sites, but we have listed a few good or brilliant sources for pre-historic sites that are worth looking at :
Etrusia is in the process of compiling a list of national events. If you are organising, supporting, publicising or simply know of an event related to any part of the UK history then let us know and we will add it to our list.