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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Neolithic Britain witnessed a huge expansion in monument construction. The resultant structures often exhibit striking commonality across space that demands explanation. The agency behind this appears to have been pilgrimage—a process that can generate huge ritual fields and forge greatly expanded social identities. Its material outcomes are intensity of construction, monumentalization and long distance replication. Evidence of routine, as well as pilgrimage, details the increasing complexity of the religious ideas that permeated life—from early Neolithic kin-based formulations, through middle Neolithic kin-enlarged beliefs mediated by, and transmitted from, pilgrimage centres, to an expansive, intensely ceremonial late Neolithic ideology that seemingly relegated ancestry in favour of a solar focus.

Keywords: Assembly, cult site, cursus, Grooved Ware, henge, metallurgy, Orkney, pilgrimage, replication, transhumance

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