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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List HARC 0320 The Prehistoric British Isles

HARC 0320 The Prehistoric British Isles

This tutorial examines the later prehistoric landscapes of the British Isles.  The British Isles are dotted with preserved remnants of its later prehistoric past, including monumental ritual structures of the Neolithic such as the world-famous site of Stonehenge, Bronze Age funerary barrows and the surviving earthworks of Iron Age hillforts. Taking the work of some of Britain’s leading prehistoric archaeologists as starting point, this course looks at some of the major changes that took place during this period, such as the transformation from the ritual and funerary landscapes of the later Neolithic and early Bronze Age to the agricultural landscapes of the middle and later Bronze Age, and the emergence of more regionalised and isolated communities during the Iron Age. This course furthermore provides students with the necessary knowledge to appreciate fully some of the more spectacular later prehistoric landscapes and sites in southern Britain, such as the Stonehenge area and the sites along the prehistoric Ridgeway, which are easily reached on a day trip from Oxford. Key sites include Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, Avebury, the prehistoric sites of the Ridgeway, and the well-preserved archaeological remains on Dartmoor. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford also has some relevant collections.

Sample reading

Bradley, R. 2007. The prehistory of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press.

Cunliffe, B. 2012. Britain Begins. Oxford University Press.

Darvill, T. 2010. Prehistoric Britain. 2nd ed. Batsford.

Parker Pearson, M. 2013. Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery. Simon and Schuster.

Pollard, J. 2008. Prehistoric Britain. Blackwell Publishing.

The perfect environment
Located in the heart of Oxford, CMRS was the perfect environment for the pursuit of erudite learning and personal improvement.  When I was not studyi...
Garrett Fehner, Autumn Semester 2008, St Mary's College of Maryland