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date: 25 February 2021

(p. v) Preface

(p. v) Preface

This book is an ambitious project, involving over 70 authors working in more than 45 different institutions in 15 countries. We would like to thank all the authors for their hard work. A number of contributors agreed to co-author chapters with specialists they had not worked with before, sometimes based in different countries, and we have been delighted with the degree of cooperation and collaboration between them. This has been vital in producing a series of chapters that work across the national and regional boundaries which have often deflected archaeologists from synthesis at a scale that matches that of Neolithic phenomena. With a work of this scope, it is perhaps inevitable for delays to occur, and we would like to thank all contributors for their patience during this process.

First conceived in 2007, the Oxford Handbook of Neolithic Europe provides summaries of key debates that are ongoing and will remain current over coming years. The future is bright and exciting, and the chapters in the volume aim to function as valued waypoints, marking out how that future looks now and outlining how scholars have arrived at their present positions. Many authors reflect on emerging and future research at the time of writing; some have marked their chapters with a ‘date stamp’ indicating the last time that content was updated to put it in precise context, but all of the trends and trajectories identified remain valid at the time of press. Nonetheless, the European Neolithic is a very dynamic field of study, with every year yielding further projects on varied aspects of life in this period; just in the lifetime of the production of this volume there have been numerous significant developments in radiocarbon dating and chronologies, palaeo-genetics, and the application of stable isotope analyses, to name just a few. No such work can be exhaustive, but this volume aims to be highly representative and as comprehensive as possible, both in terms of the regions and material covered and analytical methods and interpretative approaches.

Copyright permission for images has been obtained from the legal holder wherever possible. Every effort has been made to identify and contact the copyright holders, but in some cases this has not been possible; for instance, where the age of the images is such that their creators have passed away and/or the publisher no longer exists. Throughout, the copyright holders are acknowledged for each image, and we would like to reiterate our thanks to them here. If oversights or errors are identified with copyright acknowledgements we undertake to investigate these and if appropriate correct the information in any future edition. The editors would like to thank John Robb for supplying the base maps adapted for Maps 1–4.

(p. vi) We would like to thank Hilary O’Shea for commissioning the volume, three anonymous reviewers of the initial proposal for their constructive comments, Taryn Das Neves, Annie Rose, and Michael Dela Cruz at OUP for producing the hard copy and online versions of the book, and Sivaraman G, Janish Ashwin, and Prashanthi Nadipalli, Sunoj Sankaran at Newgen for their work with the copy-editing.