The Later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, covering the period from 3000 to 1500 b c , was a time of dramatic change. It is most simply characterized as a period of social transition between the comparatively egalitarian society of the earliest food-producing communities and a far more rigorously structured hierarchic society based on the control of resources. The contrast between the two extremes is most clearly demonstrated by burial rite. In the Earlier Neolithic the kin-group was all important. As we have seen a segment of the population was chosen for collective burial in impressive long mounds to symbolize the power and legitimacy of the community through a reverence for its ancestors. By the end of the period burial rite had completely changed: burials were now invariably individual though often the individuals were grouped in barrows or cemeteries. The dead person, either cremated or inhumed, was frequently provided with personal equipment appropriate to status and the burial was usually marked by a round barrow. This change from communal to individual burial symbolizes the deep-seated transform­ ations that were taking place in society.