York Talk: Counter Culture: unearthing the truth about complexity, diversity and inequality in Neolithic times

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture


Blending smart data modelling, high resolution strontium isotope and dental calculus analysis with existing osteological information and evidence from ancient burial rites, Dr Penny Bickle and her eight-strong team of archaeologists are exploding myths about the early inhabitants of Europe. Penny will reveal how our ancestors lived through periods of rapid innovations; more like today’s boom and bust than through a slow transition from simple to complex. She will also show that inequality in Neolithic times is much more nuanced than conventional archaeological wisdom – hugely influenced by Karl Marx – has claimed.

By providing a more accurate understanding of the past, Dr Bickle argues, we are better equipped to negotiate the challenges of today. The centrality of food, for instance, and its sharing through the community, meant there were no food banks in Neolithic times. A lesson for today?
Period8 Jan 2020
Held atUniversity of York
Degree of RecognitionLocal