The reading list had been getting increasingly unwieldy as we added more and more stuff about a wide range of topics so I have attempted to group things together by broad subject area under headings to make it easier to find your way around.


There is no general account of the archaeology of British caves in the Holocene (post-glacial) period. We will maintain this as a general list of further reading, particularly around sites or discussions that are referred to in the blog. You can also follow at the Archaeology of Caves and Caverns (Archaeospeleology) research interest on for lots more up to date, and world-wide, reading.

Aldhouse-Green, S., Pettitt, P. & Stringer, C. 1996. Holocene humans at Pontnewydd and Cae Gronw caves. Antiquity 70, 444-7.

Barnatt, J. & Edmonds, M. 2002. Places Apart? Caves and monuments in Neolithic and Earlier Bronze Age Britain. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 12/1, 113-29.

Chamberlain, A. 1996. More dating evidence for human remains in British caves. Antiquity 70, 950-3.

Chamberlain, A. 2001. Early Neolithic dates on human bone from Fox Hole Cave, Derbyshire. Capra 3. Available at – (accessed 07/01/2011).

Chamberlain, A. & Williams, J. 1999. A Gazetteer of English Caves, Fissures and Rock Shelters Containing Human Remains. Revised Version June 2001. Capra 1 available at – (accessed 16/06/2011)

Chamberlain, A. & Williams, J. 2000. A Gazetteer of Scottish Caves, Fissures and Rock Shelters Containing Human Remains. Capra 2 available at – (accessed 16/06/2011)

Connock, K., Finlayson, W. & Mills, C. 1993. Excavation of a shell midden site at Carding Mill Bay, near Oban, Scotland. Glasgow Archaeological Journal 17, 25-38.

Dowd, M. 2008. The use of caves for funerary and ritual practices in Neolithic Ireland. Antiquity 82, 305-317.

Gilks, J. 1983. A note on the collared urn from Fairy Holes cave, Whitewell, Lancashire. Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society 82, 188-193.

Leach, S. 2008. Odd One Out? Earlier Neolithic deposition of human remains in caves and rock shelters in the Yorkshire Dales. In Murphy, E. (ed) Deviant Burial in the Archaeological Record. Oxford: Oxbow, 35-56.

Lewis, J. 2000. Upwards at 45 degrees: the use of vertical caves during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age on Mendip, Somerset. Capra 2. Available at – (accessed 07/01/2011).

Lundberg, J., Lord, T. and Murphy, P. 2010. Thermal ionisation mass spectrometer U-Th dates on Pleistocene speleothems from Victoria Cave, North Yorkshire, UK: implications for palaeoenvironment and stratigraphy over multiple glacial cycles. Geosphere 6/4, 379-95.

Musson, R.C. 1947. A Bronze Age cave site in the Little Bolland area of Lancashire. Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society 59, 161-70.

Schulting, R. 2007. Non-monumental burial in Britain: a (largely) cavernous view. In: Larsson, L., Lüth, F., & Terberger, T. (eds.), Non-Megalithic Mortuary Practices in the Baltic – New Methods and Research into the Development of Stone Age Society. Schwerin: Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 88, 581-603.

Schulting, R., Gardner, P., Hawkes, C. & Murray, E. 2010. The Mesolithic and Neolithic human bone assemblage from Totty Pot, Chedder, Somerset. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society 25/1, 75-95.


Metcalf, P. and Huntington, R. 1991. Celebrations of Death: the anthropology of mortuary ritual. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Prehistoric Enclosures

There are a number of possible dates for enclosures of the same style and shape as New Laund (probably a Late Neolithic ceremonial henge) and Whitewell (probably an earlier Neolithic causewayed enclosure). The following papers should give good background information on different kinds of enclosures and on the prehistory and early history of north-west England in general.

Bell, M., Fowler, P., and Hillson, S. 1996. The Experimental Earthwork Project: 1960-1992. CBA Research Report No 100. Available at – (accessed 17/07/2012)

Bradley, R. 1994. The philosopher and the field archaeologist: Collingwood, Bersu and the excavation of King Arthur’s Round Table. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 60, 27-34.

Bradley, R. 1998. The significance of the monuments: the shaping of human experience in Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe. London: Routledge.

Chadwick, A.M. 2012. Routine magic, mundane ritual: towards a unified notion of depositional practice. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 31/3, 283-315.

Darvill, T. and Thomas, J. 2001. Neolithic Enclosures in Atlantic northwest Europe: some recent trends. In Darvill, T. and Thomas, J. (eds) Neolithic Enclosures in Atlantic Northwest Europe. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers 6. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1-23.

Edmonds, M. 1999. Ancestral Geographies of the Neolithic: landscapes, monuments and memory. London: Routledge.

Frodsham, P., Hedley, I. and Young, R. 2007. Putting the neighbours in their place? Displays of position and possession in northern Cheviot ‘hillfort’ design. In In Haselgrove, C. and Moore T. (eds) The Later Iron Age in Britain and beyond. Oxford: Oxbow, 250-265.

Gibson, A. 2004. Round in Circles. Timber Circles, henges and stone circles: some possible relationships and transformations. In R. Cleal and J. Pollard (ed.) Monuments and Material Culture. Salisbury: Hobnob Press, 70-82.

Gibson, A. 2005. Stonehenge and Timber Circles. Stroud: Tempus

Gibson, A. and Simpson, D. (eds) 1998 Prehistoric ritual and religion: essays in honour of Aubrey Burl. Stround: Sutton.

Hodgson, J. and Brennand, M. 2006. The prehistoric period resource assessment. In Brennand, M. (ed) The Archaeology of North West England. An Archaeological Research Framework for North West England: Volume 1, Resource Assessment. Archaeology North West 8/18. Available at – (accessed 01/06/12)

Oswald, A, Dyer, C. and Barber, M. 2001. The Creation of Monuments: Neolithic causewayed enclosures in the British Isles. English Heritage:Swindon.

Turnbull, P. and Walsh, D. 1997. A prehistoric ritual sequence at Oddendale, near Shap. Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society 97, 11-44.

Varley, W.J. 1938. The Bleasdale Circle. Antiquaries Journal 18, 154-71.

Whittle, A., Healy, F. and Bayliss, A. 2011. Gathering Time: dating the early Neolithic enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Archaeological Techniques

General information on archaeological techniques can be found on the UCLan how to dig webpages (see the links on the sidebar of the blog) and also in the following books:

Barker, P. 1998. Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. (3rd ed) London: Routledge.

Gamble, C. 2001. Archaeology: the basics. London: Routledge.

Harris, E. 1989. Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. London & New York: Academic Press. Second edition.

Renfrew, C. and P. Bahn 2008. Archaeology: theories, methods and practice. London: Thames and Hudson.

Roskams, S. 2001. Excavation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wheatley, D. and Gillings, M. 2002. Spatial Technology and Archaeology: the archaeological applications of GIS. London: Taylor & Francis.


Budden, Sandy and Sofaer, Joanna (2009) Non-discursive knowledge and the construction of identity. Potters, potting and performance at the bronze age tell of Százhalombatta, Hungary. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 19, (2), 203-220.

Cowie, T. 1978. Bronze Age Food Vessel Urns in Northern Britain. BAR British Series 55. British Archaeological Reports.

Gibson, A. 1978. Bronze Age pottery in the North-East of England. BAR British Series 56. British Archaeological Reports.

Gosselain, O. 1999. In Pots we Trust: the processing of clay and symbols in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Material Culture 4/2, 205-230.

Longworth, I.H. 1984. The Collared Urns of the Bornze Age of Great Britain and Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, I.F. and Darvill, T. 1990. The Prehistoric Pottery. In. Saville, A. Hazleton North: the excavation of a Neolithic long cairn of the Cotswold-Severn group. London: English Heritage, 141-152. – you can download this from the Archaeology Data Service here

Stair, J. 2000. The Body Politic: the role of the body and contemporary craft. Crafts Council/University of Northumbria – you can download Stair’s introduction to this book here

Rice, P. 2006. Pottery Analysis: a sourcebook.  University of Chicago Press.

Waddell, J and Ó Ríordáin, B. 1993. The Funerary Bowls and Vases of the Irish Bronze Age. Galway University Press: Galway.

Environment and Landscape

Evans, C., Pollard, J. and Knight, M. 1999. Life in Woods: tree-throws, ‘settlement’ and forest cognition. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 18/3, 241-254.

Pits and Depostion

Thomas, J. and Anderson-Whymark, H. (eds) 2011. Regional Perspectives on Neolithic Pit Deposition: Beyond the Mundane. Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers 12. Oxford: Oxbow.

  1. d3 gold said:

    Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was searching for!

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