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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter, which focuses on how settlement data from the Dutch river delta area sheds light on wider later prehistoric settlement and society, discusses the modelling of prehistoric settlement dynamics; social groups in settlement models; households, houses, and their biographies; and Bronze Age house and house-site biographies. The rich data on Dutch Bronze Age settlements indicate that the lifespan of individual Bronze Age house(site)s may be from 50 to 80 years, which suggests that cessation or relocation of habitation was probably unrelated to human generational cycles. Rather, such houses appear to have been constructed by and for communities larger than a single family. Particularly in wetland areas, the frequent rebuilding of farmhouses reflects transgenerational continuity of occupancy and indicates the existence of social ‘Houses’ for whom rebuilding of farmhouses was both means and goal.

Keywords: wetland settlement, Dutch river delta, wetland archaeology, Bronze Age, houses, social groups

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