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Settlement and landscape in the late Iron age of Hertfordshire and the Northern Chilterns

Bryant, Stewart (2000) Settlement and landscape in the late Iron age of Hertfordshire and the Northern Chilterns. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The Late Iron Age settlement evidence is considered for a geographical area that contains amongst the highest known concentration of such evidence and which has formed much of the basis of understanding of the period. The thesis aims are to evaluate this evidence with respect to: a. the reasons for its geographical concentration, b. whether a critical examination of it can contribute to understanding of social and economic processes in the Late Iron Age. An assessment of the evidence concluded that deficiencies in the analysis of artefacts and environmental evidence substantially restricts the extent to which it can address the thesis aims. An assessment of geographical distortions also concluded that the potential for spatial analysis is limited by the pattern of archaeological fieldwork. An analysis of factors, for which it is considered that the evidence can usefully be used, concluded that there appears to be a preference for site location in river valleys and close to principal overland routes. It also concluded that earlier Iron Age settlement probably did not have a significant influence upon Late Iron Age settlement. An assessment of the evidence for defined activities concluded that few sites have such evidence, and most of it is for burial or ritual. Spatial analysis suggested that earlier prehistoric sites were influential in the location of some Late Iron Age ritual sites. Conjectured territories were also identified around some of the major settlements fi7om patterns in the location of Late Iron Age ritual sites. It is concluded that a combination of agricultural wealth, the bias of archaeological fieldwork, the archaeological visibility of ritual and burial evidence and the development of probably long-lived contacts with northern France, is the likely explanation for the large number of sites within the Study Area. it is also concluded that developments in ritual practices in the Late Iron Age may have been a key factor determining the nature of the archaeological evidence.

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)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.521512
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2014 15:33
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 15:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6139

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