This week saw the annual autumn meeting of the Neolithic Studies Group or NSG as it’s often known! The NSG is a loose affiliation of archaeologists and interested parties who meet a couple of times a year to catch up with each other, and squeeze in a few academic papers. This year’s theme was movement and mobility, organised by Jim Leary of English Heritage.
The range of papers showed how current work in archaeology is addressing this question. From team members of the Feeding Stonehenge project, we heard that early results of Stontium isotope analysis were supporting the hypothesis that many of the cattle involved in ceremonies at Durrington Walls were not local. Implicit in this of course is that people too were moving to Durrington with their livestock. A similar story seems to be emerging from The First Farmers in Central Europe:diversity in LBK lifeways project, with a distinctly continental feel. The movement of people is perhaps the most obvious focus of this theme, however, the comparative absence of women in the general narrative of the neolithic (and other periods) was questioned by Kerri Brown. She argues that archaeologists should indeed attend to the potential of women and to include them in interpretation of changes in material culture.