The centrality of rivers in Britain comes to the fore in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages (c. 2500–400 BC) – a period of unprecedented human/object mobility. Fields, settlements, and burials accrued along river valleys; riverine human/object offerings burgeoned; and travel along rivers increased. However, our understandings of rivers are fragmented: archaeologists have focused on the largest and hence potentially atypical examples, and they have often treated rivers as passive backdrops for human action. Ebb & Flow will put rivers first – offering a novel, in-depth look at human activities along/near/in/on four diverse river systems and illuminating how rivers actively transform the world.
Ebb & Flow will challenge current understandings and address outstanding questions about human-river interaction in later prehistoric Britain by exploring rivers at multiple scales using a diverse suite of data, drawing on archaeology and biomolecular science, anthropology and earth science.