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Life and death of the longhouse: Daily life during and after the early Neolithic in the river valleys of the Paris Basin.

Bickle, Penny. 2008. Life and death of the longhouse: Daily life during and after the early Neolithic in the river valleys of the Paris Basin. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis discusses the social and architectural changes from the early Neolithic (just before 5000 cal BC; the RRBP: Rubane Recent du Bassin parisien and the VSG: Villeneuve-Saint-Germain cultures) to the middle Neolithic (4700 cal BC; the Cerny and Michelsberg/Chasseen cultures) in the Paris Basin, France. Commencing with a characterisation of daily life, the thesis considers the dwelling perspective, which underpins the theoretical approach taken here, and then debates different approaches to the study of houses found in anthropology and archaeology. It is concluded that daily life in the early Neolithic of the Paris Basin can be illuminated through consideration of different practices of inhabitation, and how materials and tasks provided particular constructions of time. Thus an approach to archaeology and prehistoric architectures that envisions social life as creative, tactical and performative is advocated. The longhouse is considered as a suite of practices that provided daily life with a particular temporality and it is argued that this temporality was increasingly challenged throughout the VSG period. The archaeological data is discussed in two case studies. The first is based around the early and middle Neolithic settlements in the Aisne and Oise valleys and the second, those sites at the Seine-Yonne confluence. This facilitates discussion of local experiences of settlement, landscape and deposition, demonstrating that different conceptions of community relations, architecture, animals and social scale existed, leading to the creation of different post-RRBP and VSG architectures in the two areas, including the Passy-style monuments. This challenges the rather static views of LBK social structure that have been prevalent in current literature. The death of the longhouse is characterised as a change in the scale of community and conceptions of temporality experienced in the middle Neolithic, inspired by the desire to explore difference in social relations in a more immediate setting than the longhouse provided. Three appendices contain a site gazetteer and a discussion of the architectural and burial data from the Paris Basin.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
ISBN: 9781303185540
Funders: Cardiff University School of History and Archaeology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 01:50

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