CORDIS - EU research results

Comparative Models of Megalithic Landscapes in Neolithic Atlantic Europe

Project description

Studying neolithic megalithic architecture along Europe’s Atlantic façade

Geographers and archaeologists have long been interested in the possibility of a common culture rooted deep in prehistory between people along Europe’s Atlantic façade. With this interest in mind, the EU-funded MegaScapes project intends to determine if the spatial meaning of neolithic megalithic architecture was regionally variable or shared along the Atlantic European seaboard. To do so, it will conduct a comparative study of megalithic constructions across Europe’s Atlantic façade during the period 5000–2500 BC, focussing on Spain, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The project will shed more light on megalithic landscapes in neolithic Atlantic Europe.


The idea that Europe’s Atlantic façade shares elements of a common culture rooted deep in prehistory has long fascinated geographers and archaeologists, and finds expression in modern political organisations such as the Atlantic Arc Commission. The MegaScapes project will use the latest statistical and quantitative methods to examine whether the explosion of megalithic construction across Europe’s Atlantic façade between 5000-2500 BC (and especially 4500-3500 BC) provides evidence of a shared understanding across distant regions of the Atlantic European seaboard as long ago as the Neolithic. It will undertake a comparative study of four important micro-regions of megalithic construction spanning the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Spain, which will use advances in computational and spatial statistical modelling to analyse spatio-temporal patterns in the arrangement of megalithic monuments, and their possible meaning in a wider landscape context. The latter will be inferred by rigorously investigating regularities in the geographical placement of megaliths, trends in their visibility, their association with pathways and their relation with the lived environment such as settlement and land use. Ultimately the core aim of MegaScapes is to investigate whether the spatial meaning of Neolithic megalithic architecture was regionally variable, or whether it was indeed shared along the Atlantic European seaboard.


Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Camden and City of London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 212 933,76