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The Topographic Setting of Bronze Age Metalwork Deposits in North East England

Poyer, Andrew (2015) The Topographic Setting of Bronze Age Metalwork Deposits in North East England. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the relationship between Bronze Age metalwork deposits and topography in north-east England. Through a critical examination of the metalwork record for the region, the first time all Bronze Age metalwork finds from north-east England have been catalogued and analysed together, depositional patterns are demonstrated to be highly contingent on topography. Structured by means of a multi-scale approach that adopts the river catchment as the basic unit of study, a number of novel methodological approaches are applied to the dataset, such as the use of metal detecting records from the Portable Antiquities Scheme database to assess potential biases in the metalwork record (chapter 4), and a GIS based Monte Carlo simulation to characterise the distribution of find-spots of different types of metalwork deposit within a generic river catchment area (chapter 5). A number of associations identified between certain types of metalwork deposits and topographic features are consistent with overarching conventions that operated across Bronze Age Britain, such as the prevalence of Late Bronze Age swords from rivers and river valleys. However, the presence of discrete and more nuanced patterns within distinct topographic zones demonstrates the existence of unique depositional histories based on localised geographies of experience. A case study focusing on one such pattern - a discrete grouping of martial metalwork deposits from north Northumberland, is used to explore the potential significance of metalwork deposition within both a social and cosmological landscape. Deposition has commonly been interpreted as a ritual activity that took place in peripheral locations that were removed from daily life. This thesis provides an alternative perspective by considering how the places where metalwork deposition took place may have been linked to other activities and routines that were central to Bronze Age life.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)

The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.693262
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Poyer
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 09:12
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14248

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