A View from the West: The Neolithic of the Irish Sea Zone


Author: Vicki Cummings

Publisher: Oxbow Books

Published: 2009

ISBN: 9781842173626

Synopsis: At the the heart of this study are the early Neolithic chambered tombs of the Irish Sea zone, defined as west Wales, the west coast of northern Britain, coastal south and western Scotland, the western isles and the Isle of Man, and the eastern coast of Ireland. In order to understand these monuments, there must be a broader consideration of their landscape settings. The landscape setting of the chambered tombs is considered in detail, both overall and through a number of specific case studies, incorporating a much wider area than has been previously considered. Cummings investigates the background against which the Neolithic began in the Irish Sea zone and what led to the adoption of Neolithic practices, such as the construction of monuments. Following on from this, she considers what the chambered tombs and landscape can add to our understanding of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. This volume aims to incorporate landscape analysis into a broader understanding of the Neolithic sequence in this area and beyond. It will provide an introduction to the Mesolithic and Neolithic of the Irish Sea zone, as well as a summary of previous work on this subject. It also offers a starting point for future research and a better understanding of this area.

Review: I REALLY loved this book.  The information on the chambered tombs was very interesting to read but that is not the only reason I loved this book.  Most books on archeology are very boring because they present the findings with no real background (unless the book was intended as a textbook or a read for the layman) but this book was really different.

The author has in every chapter an introduction and a conclusion.  The introduction tells you exactly what the author intends to write about in the chapter and the conclusion sums up all the important points of the chapter, so if you are looking for something specific you look thought the chapter introduction to see if this is the chapter you want and then look through the conclusion if you just want to read the important points without all the details.

The author’s writing style is very easy on the brain.  She explains things in very simple terms and she talks about the subject matter in a very detailed yet not boring way.  She talks about landscape archeology, she talks about the economy and the climate of the Neolithic Irish Sea Zone.  And from the very beginning she defines exactly what she means when she says Irish sea Zone.

This is a must have book for anyone interested in the Neolithic time frame, the chambered tombs and the interaction between either side of the Irish Sea.

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5 thoughts on “A View from the West: The Neolithic of the Irish Sea Zone

  1. Dafydd says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. Archaeology books that are accessible for the layman are hard to come by. One of my personal favourites is ‘Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans’ by English archaeologist Francis Pryor. At times it can be quite technical and detailed, but the writing is very accessible; it’s worth knowing that it also covers Ireland in the Neolithic period, especially the tombs at Newgrange and neolithic farming. A good if somewhat controversial book, Unfortunetaly the sequel, Britain AD, doesn’t live up to its predecessor.

    • celticscholar says:

      I’ve seen it, been wondering whether to buy it or not lol. So I’ll take a closer look now, thanks!

  2. Dafydd says:

    The sections on the Neolithic and the Bronze Age are really good, although I have to warn you that Pryor is definately a Celto-Skeptic when it comes to the Iron Age.

  3. Twitter Seo says:

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!
    ! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look
    at new things you post…

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