The Neolithic is the term used for the period in our past when the shift from hunting and gathering wild animals and plants to a farming lifestyle occurred. This change happened at different times and in different ways throughout the world, beginning 4,000 BC in Britain and Ireland.
The process by which the Neolithic arrived in Britain and Ireland is currently a hotly debated topic.
What is agreed is that some contact between Britain, Ireland and the European mainland must have occurred in the centuries around 4000 BC for the change to happen at all, and that this most likely happened across the ‘western seaways’ – an arc of sea extending approximately from the Channel Islands in the south, through the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, around to Orkney in the north.
Archaeologists from Liverpool and Southampton Universities are working with local museums, including the Isles of Scilly Museum, to try and uncover the facts surrounding this hotly debated topic.
You can find out more about this fascinating project here.