Dating the onset of cereal cultivation in Britain and Ireland: the evidence from charred cereal grains
Brown, A. D. (2007) Dating the onset of cereal cultivation in Britain and Ireland: the evidence from charred cereal grains. Antiquity, 81 (314). pp. 1042-1052. ISSN 0003-598X
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When does Neolithic life begin in Britain? The author gathered up the current evidence for radiocarbon-dated first use of cereals, distinguishing between dates from charcoal in contexts with cereals, and dates from the charred grains themselves. The charred grains begin to appear around 4000 cal BC and become prominent in settlements between 3800 and 3000 cal BC This correlates well with the appearance of megalithic tombs (3800-3500 cal BC) and argues for a relatively rapid adoption of the Neolithic package during an experimental phase of two centuries, 4000-3800 cal BC. The early cereals reported in the pollen record (from 5000 BC) are attributed to wild species.