Natural Society: Analyzing the Environmental Impact on Social Structures Through the Megalithic Tombs in the Boyne Valley




Jenson, Rachel

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This thesis analyzes the influence of climate change on the social structures of the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age society in the Boyne River Valley in Ireland. One of the many factors that affect society, especially in early groups, is the environment and climate stability. Furthermore, how social systems and structures work is revealed most clearly when those systems are placedunder stress, such as climate change. To analyze these potential effects on social structures, this thesis analyzes research done by other scholars on the megalithic Passage Tombs in the Boyne River Valley -- primarily Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth -- to understand the social structure of the Neolithic society that built them and the differences in how the Beaker People of the Bronze age used them. Although the discussion on the late Neolithic in Ireland and the Boyne Valley society is lacking, I argue the evidence that does exist currently suggests that a hierarchical social structure, which developed during the advent of farming, eventually shifted into a new social structure, coinciding with a climatic change.



Ireland, neolithic, early Bronze Age, megalithic, passage tombs, social structures, Honors College


Jenson, R. (2017). Natural society: Analyzing the environmental impact on social structures through the megalithic tombs in the Boyne Valley (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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