An Asymmetrical Trade: Trade in the Exotic and Our Understanding of Axes and Early Neolithic Exchange

Tom Clare


This article explores the idea that the movement of axes away from their source of procurement, such as those of Group VI, reflects in part an invisible trade in perishable goods. In particular, it hypothesises that the pattern of movement was stimulated in the early Neolithic by the dispersal of those exotic goods required to establish farming. The evidence for and the implications of this are explored, and it is suggested that in order to facilitate understanding of both the 'trade' in stone axes and the Neolithic in general, what is needed is a systematic programme of petrological sourcing of pottery and other artefacts.

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