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However some were violently attacked, their palisaded ramparts burnt down and their people killed.By around 3625 BC, attempts to build new enclosures had almost ceased.For the first time ever, computer programmers and archaeologists have now fully developed and utilized on a mass scale a technique – known as Bayesian Chronological Modelling – to be able to glimpse the real political and even military events which shaped Britain’s prehistoric past.The new research, based on computer-refined radiocarbon dates, strongly suggests that farming life-styles were introduced from the continent through Kent and Essex by immigrants – not simply through the transmission of knowledge and ideas.

But the research also suggests that in around 3850 BC, the new farming culture reached some sort of demographic or political ‘critical mass’ – for the new dates reveal that suddenly the agricultural lifestyle (also being adopted by Britain’s indigenous pre-agricultural inhabitants) spread throughout Britain within just 50 years – at an average speed of around 9 miles per year – ie.The first program was brought out in 1995, but over the past 16 years constant improvements have been made to the system.Perhaps most importantly, however, the just completed English Heritage/Cardiff University investigation into the early Neolithic has enabled archaeologists for the first time to learn how to apply the new technique on a grand scale.When literally hundreds of pieces of radiocarbon and stratigraphic data from a given site have been systematically analysed by a Bayesian computer program, the precision can typically be improved to a 25 year rather than 250 year date range.The Bayesian software, which the archaeologists have been using, has been developed principally at Oxford University.

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