Introductions to Prehistory

Prehistory is a dynamic area of study in which interpretations can change radically in response to new evidence or developments in investigative techniques. Introductory books on the subject can therefore rapidly become out of date. In response to this problem and to aid the rapid retrieval of accessible, authoritative statements on aspects of the subject, members of the Prehistoric Society have produced the following documents. 

Each entry is a short summary of current thinking with suggestions for further reading. Readers wishing to keep abreast of unfolding evidence in archaeology generally are advised to subscribe to British Archaeology or Current Archaeology. The Prehistoric Society welcomes new members, novice or otherwise, and runs talks and visits.

The Introductions are arranged thematically, starting with Methods, and then chronologically (earliest first). All Introduction files can be downloaded as a compressed ZIP archive below.

Download all Introduction files (ZIP, 61 MB)

Methods - Dating Methods

Methods - Geophysical Survey

Methods - Aerial Photography & Lidar

Methods - Environmental Archaeology

Methods - Geoarchaeology

Palaeolithic - Earliest Evidence

Palaeolithic - Boxgrove

Palaeolithic - The Clacton Spear

Palaeolithic - Paviland

Palaeolithic - Britain in the Late Glacial Period

Palaeolithic - Creswell Crags

Mesolithic - Star Carr

Mesolithic Hunting Equipment

Neolithic - Animals

Neolithic - Plants

Neolithic - Long barrows

Neolithic - Chambered Tombs

Neolithic - Causewayed Enclosures

Neolithic - Early Houses

Neolithic - Flint Mines

Neolithic - Cursus monuments

Neolithic - Middle Neolithic Burials

Neolithic - Late Neolithic Houses

Neolithic - Henges

Neolithic - Timber Circles

Neolithic - Stone Circles

Neolithic - Stonehenge

Bronze Age - Beakers & Round Barrows

Bronze Age - Rock Art

Bronze Age - Early Bronze Age Weapons

Bronze Age - Prestige Artefacts

Bronze Age - Weapons & Warfare

Iron Age - Land Divisions

Iron Age - Roundhouses

Iron Age - Hillforts

Iron Age - Brochs

Iron Age - Celtic Art

Iron Age - Oppida

Iron Age - Coinage

Iron Age - Chariots

Iron Age - Bog Bodies & Rituals