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Re-thinking ritual traditions : interpreting structured deposition in watery contexts in Late Pre-Roman Iron Age and Roman Britain

This investigation seeks to define the strands of continuity and change in structured deposition across the Late Pre-Roman Iron Age to Early Roman transition in Britain, and interpret their significance in terms of cultural interaction. These interpretations not only examine and re-think structured deposition in relation to ritual traditions, but also explore how the continuity of such traditions was impacted by the transition between these two periods. Metalwork is a central focus but a wide range of other finds are also considered in order to take a holistic perspective on deposition. Watery deposits were an obvious starting point but comparisons with dry context deposits were necessary to provide a more complete understanding of these practices. The data were gathered from a number of individual sites throughout two contrasting case study zones defined by major waterways and labelled as such: the Severn-Thames Axis in the south and the Solway-Forth Axis in the north of Britain. Through the use of site reports as the main source of data, the analysis took a two-tiered approach. Individual episodes of structured deposition were examined and interpreted on a site-by-site basis. This then led to investigations on a broader scale by examining changes in the continuity of practices in the type of finds deposited, the contexts into which deposition took place and pre-deposition practices, such as deliberate breakage to determine patterns of deposition across the case study zones as a whole. With this comparative analysis it can be concluded that watery contexts were not a unique locus of structured deposition, and indeed that this practice is highly diverse across the zones studied. The temporal patterning in this diversity is examined in detail and related to cultural interaction.
Date January 2015
CreatorsCrease, Susheela Marie Elizabeth
PublisherUniversity College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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