New paper on Grooved ware and Passage tombs has just been published in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.

Congratulations to Dr Neil Carlin whose paper on Grooved ware and Passage tombs has just been published in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.

This paper is based on research conducted as part of his previous Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellowship - Understanding the Irish Late Neolithic: Grooved Ware in Context - at UCD School of Archaeology (2012-2014). It makes an important contribution to debates about the adoption of Grooved Ware in Ireland by demonstrating that it was first used here c. 3000/2900 cal BC as part of the Middle Neolithic passage tomb tradition which continued largely unchanged until c. 2700 BC. It also argues that the development of the Grooved Ware complex resulted from interactions between people across the islands of Ireland and Britain who who shared architecture, practices, and objects relating to the use of passage tombs.

Carlin, N. 2017. Getting into the groove: exploring the relationship between Grooved Ware and developed passage tombs in Ireland c. 3000-2700 BC. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 83.

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the use of late Irish passage tombs and the development of the British and Irish Grooved Ware complex, including its Orcadian origins. The architectural forms of these passage tombs and their associated material culture, symbolic repertoires, and depositional practices in Ireland and Orkney indicate sustained connections between people in these places. It is argued that these interactions strongly influenced the development of Grooved Ware and its associated material culture in Orkney and beyond. The results of recent dating programmes are synthesised, and the character of depositional practices from 3300 to 2700 cal BC are reassessed to highlight continuities in traditions of practice and representation. Together, these indicate that the adoption of Grooved Ware in Ireland did not herald an era of large-scale social transformation and that the primary use of late passage tombs did not suddenly cease at the end of the 4th millennium BC. Instead they continued as foci for largely unchanged forms of ceremonial activity until 2450 cal BC as part of a series of ongoing social and cultural shifts in people’s material culture and practices. It is argued that the current periodisation of the late 4th–3rd millennia BC in Ireland unduly emphasises a disjuncture between the Irish Middle and Late Neolithic. An alternative view of social and cultural change that refocuses attention on social agency is proposed.

Keywords: Grooved Ware, Neolithic, passage tombs, radiocarbon dates, Orkney, Boyne Valley, temporality, culture change