6.4.3 Material Culture

As with almost every aspect of the lives of individuals, from housekeeping to craft production, birth to illness, defecation and procreation, archaeology has often been in the dark. Buildings do seem to have been maintained and repaired, and fields were repeatedly ploughed, so researchers have assumed that there was some means by which property – however defined – was owned and probably passed down through generations. This seems to imply that daily life in the Bronze Age was bounded by rules, and that somehow these rules were enforced in some manner. Detailed work on typologies of material culture provide the first steps in identifying shared aesthetics and the passing of traditions, though the detailed mechanisms are, as yet, beyond our capacity to analyse in the archaeological record.

Most roundhouses have few artefacts, and therefore there is limited evidence of the activities taking place within them. Fortunately for the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age, a number of diagnostic artefacts exist. The increasing number of dated excavations are also allowing non-diagnostic finds to be added to this picture. As with other periods, there is also scope for re-evaluating older assemblages and museum finds. Ceramics Metalwork Jewellery and Dress Accessories of Jet and Similar Looking Materials Jewellery and Dress Accessories of Other Materials Lithics and Stone Tools Organics

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