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Word Count: 769
There are some similarities between the ways in which the Neolithic and Iron Age present evidence for religion and ritual however there are many more differences There is definite evidence of ritual in the Neolithic period This evidence consists mainly of burials and various structures that have no clearly defined use In the Neolithic period there have been found large unchambered tombs called long barrows These long barrows have been found up to 545 metres long and so they would have required a lot of time and effort to construct and maintain This points to them having some kind of significance and as they were used to house bodies points to the dead having a high level of significanceimportance There is no practical use for the dead so there must be some kind of ritual or religious belief associated with the dead that would warrant such time and effort and also such use of valuable resources Long barrows were not the only indication of religion and ritual in the Neolithic period Ring cairns and ring barrows have also been found and dated to the Neolithic period These ring structures were made of standing stones and often involved mounds or ditches There were also often burials in the centre The rings helped to focus attention on the centre burials which again points to some kind of significance to the bodies beyond practicality The Neolithic period indicators toward religion and ritual were focused around bodies and structures some of which were fairly complicated that drew attention to these bodies where as the Bronze Age tended to be more in favour of simplicity and often subtlety There werent really any large complicated structure such as the Neolithic tombs there were Henges and simple barrows Some things such as Cairns were carried over from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age however in the bronze Age it bodies were often cremated and placed in the centre
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