Generalised socio-economic models have in the past been applied wholesale to Neolithic monuments throughout Scotland without taking the country's diverse physical landscape and cultural histories into account. This paper explores whether regional variations in Neolithic monumentality can be paralleled with earlier Mesolithic disparities, and considers to what extent, with the introduction of agriculture, contemporary social systems and thus the ideology underlying monumental construction was affected by geographical factors.
It is suggested that:
• Contrasts during the Mesolithic between the Western seaboard and the Eastern lowlands/South-east Scotland continue throughout the Neolithic.
• The different functions of monuments during the Early Neolithic are generally dictated by divergent topography in Eastern and Western Scotland.
• By the later Neolithic social hierarchies emerged in regions suited to agricultural development.