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In search of 'The people of La Manche': A comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (250BC-1500BC)

Hammond, John (2010) In search of 'The people of La Manche': A comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (250BC-1500BC). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86418) (KAR id:86418)

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This research project sets out to discover whether archaeological evidence dating between 2500 BC - 1500 BC from supposed funerary contexts in Kent, flanders and north-eastern Transmanche France is sufficient to make valid comparisons between social and cultural structures on either side of the short-sea Channel region. Evidence from the beginning of the period primarily comes in the form of the widespread Beaker phenomenon. Chapter 5 shows that this class of data is abundant in Kent but quite sparse in the Continental zones - most probably because it has not survived well. This problem also affects the human depositional evidence catalogued in Chapter 6, particularly in Fanders but also in north-eastern Transmanche France. This constricts comparative analysis, however, the abundant data from Kent means that general trends are still discernible. The quality and volume of data relating to the distribution, location, morphology and use of circular monuments in all three zones is far better - as demonstrated in Chapter 7 -mostly due to extensive aerial surveying over several decades. When the datasets are taken as a whole, it becomes possible to successfully apply various forms of comparative analyses. Most remarkably, this has revealed that some monuments apparently have encoded within them a sophisticated and potentially symbolically charged geometric shape. This, along with other less contentious evidence, demonstrates a level of conformity that strongly suggests a stratum of cultural homogeneity existed throughout the Transmanche region during the period 2500 BC - 1500 BC. The fact that such changes as are apparent seem to have developed simultaneously in each of the zones adds additional weight to the theory that contact throughout the Transmanche region was endemic. Even so, it may not have been continuous; there may actually have been times of relative isolation - the data is simply too course to eliminate such a possibility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86418
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: 2500 BC - 1500 BC, funerary context, Kent, flanders, north-eastern Transmanche France, Beaker phenomenon
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D51 Ancient History
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:58 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 13:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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