Photo overlooking the totem pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum


During the Final Honour School, students delve more deeply into the subject areas which have been introduced to them in the first year. They will also decide on which three options they would like to take from the following list of 30 subjects. One option is studied in the second year, two are studied in the third year.

The Later Prehistory of Europe

Later prehistoric Europe offers an unparalleled diversity and richness of material evidence for key transitions in human history, encompassing the shift from hunting and gathering to farming, the emergence of funerary monuments, spectacular early metalwork and the rise and fall of chiefly elites.  Moreover, the history of thought surrounding this evidence charts fundamental shifts in archaeological method and theory.

In this paper we survey the archaeology of later prehistoric Europe with reference to a series of themes, including:

  • the development of hunter-gatherer societies after the Ice Age;
  • the spread and nature of early farming and herding practices;
  • the long-term social consequences of farming/herding;
  • shifting materialities and identities.

Lectures provide an overview of the chronology and material evidence for the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, while tutorials critically review past and present approaches to key transitions in different parts of Europe. Object-based classes in the Ashmolean provide an opportunity to examine and discuss key forms of material culture.

Last update on 09/12/16 by Robyn Mason.

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