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Claire Hornshaw
University of Bath in Swindon Press Office
01793 328890 or 07966 341 431.

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Crickley Hill: today a country park but 5,500 years ago a defended Neolithic enclosure
Crickley Hill: today a country park but 5,500 years ago a defended Neolithic enclosure

Press Release - 01 February 2006

Free public lecture: the Cotswolds reveal the secret lives of Neolithic inhabitants

Local people can hear about how the Cotswolds have revealed secrets about the daily lives of the Neolithic communities at a free public lecture next week (Wednesday 8 February). The lecture will be held at the University of Bath in Swindon’s Oakfield campus.

Until now our knowledge of the local Neolithic communities has been limited to their formal rituals rather than their daily life. During her research in the Cotswolds area, Dr Nick Snashall, an archaeologist at the University of Bath, studied surviving flint tools and their by-products.

“Until recently, research has concentrated on the spectacular upstanding monuments from the period, which has taught us about the rituals surrounding death but little about how Neolithic people lived,” said Dr Snashall.

“The Cotswolds are the ideal site for a new type of research, and is an area I have worked in for over two decades. There is very little naturally occurring flint so you know that what you find has been introduced and man-made. I looked at the tools to find out more about how the Neolithic communities worked and lived.”

The Neolithic period was a time of tremendous change. The people that lived during this period witnessed the construction of the first tombs and monuments, the introduction of domesticated crops and animals and the production of the first pottery. The research by Dr Snashall enables us to start to understand how the people of the Neolithic Cotswolds experienced and understood their world.

Dr Snashall has excavated on prehistoric sites across Britain and Europe. She has been actively involved in fieldwork and research in the Cotswolds for over two decades and is currently the National Trust Archaeologist for Avebury.

Admission to the talk is free and people can just turn up on the evening. Free parking is available in the West Car Park. All lectures run from 5.30pm until 6.30pm in the Main Hall on the Oakfield Campus, Marlowe Avenue.

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