Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Archaeobotany of Agricultural Intensification

  • Meriel McClatchieEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2262


Although agriculture was introduced into Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic period, archaeological studies often suggest that intensive systems of agricultural production were not practiced until the Bronze Age. In the case of Britain and Ireland, for example, the increased appearance of archaeologically identifiable fields and farmsteads during the Bronze Age is often understood to represent agricultural intensification (see Brück 2000: 275). The intensification of agriculture in Bronze Age Europe is of enormous significance, as it is considered to be a precursor to increasing social stratification, with the creation of a strong agricultural economic base enabling the development of hierarchies that controlled the means of production and distribution of produce. This model of increasing intensity over time will be challenged here through detailed consideration of agricultural terminology and archaeological evidence for intensification, with a focus on archaeobotany...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyUniversity College DublinBelfieldRepublic of Ireland