The later charcoal deposits are not the oak or birch of domestic hearths, but midwinter greenery, like holly, ivy and yew - suggesting to Darvill and Wainwright annual gatherings, perhaps for feasting and ceremony at the winter solstice, continuing as late as the 17th century. The modern day druids and pagans who assemble bearing green boughs for the winter and summer solstices, much mocked for inventing supposedly ancient rituals, may not be so far off the mark after all.
At the time of the symposium new research by anthropologists, such as Richard B. Lee’s work on the !Kung of southern Africa, was challenging popular notions that hunter-gatherer societies were always near the brink of starvation and continuously engaged in a struggle for survival. Sahlins gathered the data from these studies and used it to support a comprehensive argument that states that hunter-gatherers did not suffer from deprivation, but instead lived in a society in which "all the people’s wants are easily satisfied".
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