Pre-History‎ > ‎

Neolithic

The Neolithic lifestyle was a combination of: farming, hunting and gathering. The start of the Neolithic is marked by pottery being made for the first time. These early pots were simple round-bottomed bowls made out of coils of clay and were probably fired in open, domestic hearths (fires).

Amesbury Archer - reconstructed beaker

Neolithic homes were rectangular buildings made of wood and with a turf-covered roof. A few crops like wheat might have been grown outside and new breeds of animals, such as sheep, would wander among any nearby grassland or trees. The best-preserved Neolithic settlement in Britain is Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands.

Knap of Howar - geograph.org.uk - 1398054

Neolithic tools were usually made by flaking and polishing flint. A sharp, long-lasting edge for an axe could take up to two days to be created but could then be used for: woodworking, forest clearance and as a weapon.


Animal fur was a popular natural material for making coats and dresses with to keep warm. Some people learned to stitch animal furs together using strips of leather (dried animal skin).  Important people wore necklaces made from sharp wolf teeth.

Archeoparc - Museum Ötzi Kleidung

Monuments such as causewayed enclosures and henges consisting of a circular ditch with a bank (mound) of earth started to appear in the Neolithic too. The henge at Avebury in Wiltshire, also contains the largest stone circle in Europe made up of alternating column- and diamond-shaped stones which are believed to represent the male and female gender. It is believed that they were used for rituals and ceremonies to force away and bad forces of nature, such as: the winter cold, death and disease.

Ancient temple at Avebury Wiltshire