A2 Mod  4 13.1  Global Change. Long Term Climatic Change

Chronology for British Archaeology. A regional chronological guide for human activity.

The AQA Spec. B topics are particularly:

ˇ         Major climatic fluctuations in temperature and precipitation in the British Isles since the Pleistocene Ice Age

The Pleistocene epoch is regarded as having lasted from approx. 2 Million years ago until the beginning of the Holocene at about 10,000 years ago; 8000BC. The Pleistocene and Holocene are the last two epochs of the Quaternary Period and their transition marks the end of the last Ice Age in Britain, around 10-11,000 years ago.

Understanding the time sequence is more important than remembering dates.

It gives BIAB classification numbers (2-9) with an indication of the approximate span of each period in calendar years. N. B. This archaeological chronology uses BC before Christian era; radioisotopic dates are quoted in BP before Present; i.e.1950.


Used with the permission of the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography www.biab.ac.uk:


These dates should not be taken as definitive or absolute and may well be debated.


ˇ         Palaeolithic (Pal) 500,000BC-10, 000 BC

ˇ         Lower Palaeolithic 500,000 BC-70,000 BC

ˇ         Middle Palaeolithic 70,000 BC-35,000 BC

ˇ         Upper Palaeolithic 35,000 BC-10,000 BC

ˇ         Early Upper Palaeolithic 35,000 BC-20,000 BC

ˇ         [Last Glacial 23,000BC-15, 000 BC]

ˇ         Late Upper Palaeolithic 15,000 BC-10,000 BC

ˇ         Mesolithic (Meso) 10,000 BC-4000 BC

ˇ         Earlier Mesolithic 10,000 BC-8000 BC

ˇ         Later Mesolithic 8000 BC-4000 BC

1.       NEOLITHIC

ˇ         Neolithic (Neo) 4000 BC-2300 BC

ˇ         Early Neolithic 4000 BC-3400 BC

ˇ         Later Neolithic 3400 BC-2300 BC

2.       BRONZE AGE

ˇ         Bronze Age (BA) 2300 BC-700 BC

ˇ         Early Bronze Age (EBA) 2300 BC-1200 BC

ˇ         Middle Bronze Age (MBA) [2000 BC-1500 BC (Mid E dates)]

ˇ         Late Bronze Age (LBA) 1200 BC-700 BC

3.       IRON AGE

ˇ         Iron Age (IA) [Lowland Britain] 700 BC-AD43

ˇ         Early Iron Age (EIA) 700 BC-400 BC

ˇ         Middle Iron Age (MIA) 400 BC-100 BC

ˇ         Late Iron Age (LIA) 100 BC-AD43

ˇ         Iron Age (IA) [Ireland & N Scotland] 700 BC-AD450

ˇ         Early Iron Age (EIA) 700 BC-400 BC

ˇ         Middle Iron Age (MIA) 400 BC-100BC

ˇ         Late Iron Age (LIA) 100 BC-AD450


ˇ         Romano-British (RB) [Lowland Britain] AD43-AD450


ˇ         Migration & Early Medieval (MEM) AD450-1066

ˇ         MEM [Ireland] AD450-1170

ˇ         Anglo-Saxon (AS) AD450-1066

6.       MEDIEVAL

ˇ         Medieval (med) 1066-1547

ˇ         Medieval (med) [Ireland] 1170-1547


ˇ         Post-medieval (post-med) 1547-

ˇ         Industrial (Ind) 1700-

ˇ         Modern (mod) 1901-