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The Durius Valley Project: Local Identity, Cultural Change, and Landscape Relationships in Roman Spain and Portugal

Clarke, Henry Howard Bowden (2017) The Durius Valley Project: Local Identity, Cultural Change, and Landscape Relationships in Roman Spain and Portugal. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Research on the western provinces of the Roman empire has undergone a paradigm shift in recent decades, away from dated studies of Roman imperialism and sweeping notions of ‘Romanisation’, towards an interest in the multicultural nature of the empire, and its complex local identities. In this thesis, I formulate an analytical model that combines the strengths of established scholarship on intercultural change, identity, landscape archaeology, and the relationship between human society and environment in the ancient world. I apply this to the archaeological, literary and epigraphic record of the lived experiences of the communities of the Durius River Valley (the modern Duero/Douro) in the Iberian peninsula. By drawing scholarly thinking on identity, cultural change/interaction, and landscape together, I exemplify the effects of empire on the landscape relationships and fluid, situational, multi-valent identities of the inhabitants of the valley during and after the establishment of Roman power here, from approximately the third/second centuries BC to the second century AD. By selecting a clearly-defined region as an arena to apply my methods, I achieve a more nuanced and detailed understanding of the experiences of the fullest possible range of social groups in the context of Roman influence and control. My approach also provides more opportunities for identifying complexity at the local level, without obscuring evidence of regional or empire-wide patterns of behaviour. It likewise enables me to explore the relationship between cultural and environmental factors when looking at responses to the different landscapes encountered along the valley. I also consider whether there is any identifiable sense of a shared valley-long identity. Ultimately, I justify the study of identity and cultural interaction on the micro-level, keeping local perspectives in the Durius Valley at the heart of my analysis, and thereby bringing the experiences of its fundamentally voiceless historical groups into keener focus.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Roman history, archaeology, ancient history, identity, cultural change, landscape, Spain, Portugal
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Henry Howard Bowden Clarke
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 13:48
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19946

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