Rates of (Ex)change

Decay and growth, memory and the transformation of the dead in early Neolithic southern Britain
  • Chris Fowler


This contribution investigates how specific tempos of activity remind people of their place in the material world. It focuses in particular on the relationship between personhood, change, the dead, and processes of decay and regrowth. It is suggested that human bodies and the bodies of artefacts and places were all repeatedly transformed in complimentary ways during the earlier Neolithic of southern Britain. Incremental and gradual changes applied to each type of body. The repeated transformation of those bodies reminded the living of their place in the material world, their connections with the dead and with other bodies including the bodies of monumental places. These transformative acts both commemorated expected features of social identities and also formed the arena through which those identities could themselves be revised.

Key words

Bodies causewayed enclosures decay earthen long barrows materiality memory transformation tempo 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Fowler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK

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