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Wetwang Slack : an Iron Age cemetery on the Yorkshire Wolds.

Dent, John Strickland (1984) Wetwang Slack : an Iron Age cemetery on the Yorkshire Wolds. MPhil thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This work is an examination of a large Iron Age cemetery which was excavated by the writer at Wetwang Slack on the Yorkshire Wolds between 1975 and 1979. The chief features which make this site exceptional are the large number of inhumation burials involved (446), the unusually good stratigraphical evidence for the relative chronology of the cemetery, and the extensive remains of the contemporary settlement which the cemetery served. In an introduction British Iron Age studies and the extent of archaeological research in the region are summarised to indicate the extent of knowledge at the time when excavations were underway. Part 1 describes the circumstances of excavation and the location of the site, isolates the ditched enclosures and graves which were the principle constituents of the cemetery, and details the types of burial which were encountered. In Part 2 the evidence for a relative chronology of the cemetery is considered at length and from the stratification, the artifacts, and some changing characteristics recognisable among the burials and enclosures different chronological horizons can be recognised. Unlike artifacts found on settlement sites those found in graves can reasonably be assumed to have been in use up until the time of their burial. For this reason the cemetery provides a much needed guide to the relative date of artifacts, many of which are types with a widespread distribution. The skeletal evidence is examined in Part 3 for evidence of physical type, disease etc. and the data is searched for signs of social organisation. The settlement evidence in the form of buildings, land boundaries and trackways is described in Part 4 and the inter-relationship of burials and settlement is examined. Finally, the cultural affinities of the whole complex with the East Yorkshire "Arras Culture" and other traditions of Iron Age Britain are sought and an interpretation is given which identifies population growth as a principle underlying cause of changes which took place in society, settlement patterns and economy in the region during the Iron Age.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Keywords: Archaeology
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 09:29
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1819

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