Barney Harris (UCL) - 2015-16 Students

Macroengineering in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain and Ireland

My research will inform a new perspective on shifting social orders and cultural change during a pivotal episode in British and Irish prehistory; the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (4th-3rd millenia BC). During this extraordinary period communities came together to undertake massive engineering works, began farming, manufacturing pottery and adopting a more sedentary way of life. I will explore the physical and social aspects of megalithic (large, stone-built) monuments, examining how they were constructed and documenting the impact of this process on the everyday lives of Britain and Ireland’s earliest agrarian communities. Specifically, I will assess the levels of labour invested in monumental construction activities across 3 regions in Britain – the Wessex chalklands, Eastern Ireland and the Orkney Islands – each a prehistoric centre of regional influence and key in the development of a particular style of megalithic architecture.

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