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Ancestors: A prehistory of Britain in seven burials

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Had she been able to infuse the whole of the text with this compelling style, I would have given the book five stars. The native life, is far from the idyllic, pastoral picture archaeology and modern documentaries tend to paint.

As an aside, not in her book, I note that social gender categories often follow linguistic gender categories.

Remains have disappeared, as it would happen after 2 world wars and before the invention of 'archaeology'.

Told through seven fascinating burial sites, this groundbreaking prehistory of Britain teaches us more about ourselves and our history: how people came and went and how we came to be on this island.In the 20th Century, society was largely defined by a division into male and female, and property ownership was the key to social class. Interesting as the content was, the fluidity with which (in places) she shifted from technical analysis, to dialogue, to whimsy made it difficult to enjoy. Ancestors' is focused on the evolution and methods up from the grave digging, treasure hunting, and carnival attraction-seeking roots. Linguistic gender is the way that words are tied together by categorising the things they represent, thus nouns are tied to pronouns by gender, and both are tied to adjectives in many European languages. Detailed archaeology – trowel work – as well as historical imagination are still essential to understanding the past.

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