The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent [Hardback]

Rachel Pope (Author); Colin Haselgrove (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842172537 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2006 | Language: English 416p, H297 x W210 (mm)

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The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent


The Earlier Iron Age (c. 800-400 BC) has often eluded attention in British Iron Age studies. Traditionally, we have been enticed by the wealth of material from the later part of the millennium and by developments in southern England in particular, culminating in the arrival of the Romans. The result has been a chronological and geographical imbalance, with the Earlier Iron Age often characterised more by what it lacks than what it comprises: for Bronze Age studies it lacks large quantities of bronze, whilst from the perspective of the Later Iron Age it lacks elaborate enclosure. In contrast, the same period on mainland Europe yields a wealth of burial evidence with links to Mediterranean communities and so has not suffered in quite the same way. Gradual acceptance of this problem over the past decade, along with the corpus of new discoveries produced by developer-funded archaeology, now provides us with an opportunity to create a more balanced picture of the Iron Age in Britain as a whole. The twenty-six papers in the book seek to establish what we now know (and do not know) about Earlier Iron Age communities in Britain and their neighbours on the Continent. The authors engage with a variety of current research themes, seeking to characterise the Earlier Iron Age via the topics of landscape, environment, and agriculture; material culture and everyday life; architecture, settlement, and social organisation; and with the issue of transition - looking at how communities of the Late Bronze Age transform into those of the Earlier Iron Age, and how we understand the social changes of the later first millennium BC. Geographically, the book brings together recent research from regional studies covering the full length of Britain, as well as taking us over to Ireland, across the Channel to France, and then over the North Sea to Denmark, the Low Countries, and beyond.

Table of Contents

Characterising the Earlier Iron Age (Colin Haselgrove and Rachel Pope)
The character of Late Bronze Age settlement in southern Britain (Joanna Brück)
800 BC, The Great Divide (Stuart Needham)
Llyn Fawr metalwork in Britain: a review (Brendan O'Connor)
Intensification of animal husbandry in the Late Bronze Age? The contribution of sheep and pigs (Dale Serjeantson)
After 'Celtic' fields: the social organisation of Iron Age agriculture (Richard Bradley and David Yates)
Refiguring rights in the Early Iron Age landscapes of East Yorkshire (Melanie Giles)
Pitted histories: early first millennium BC pit alignments in the central Welsh Marches (Andy Wigley)
Environmental evidence from the Iron Age in north central Britain: putting archaeology in its place (Jacqueline P Huntley)
Simple tools for tough tasks or tough tools for simple tasks? Analysis and experiment in Iron Age flint utilization (Jodie Humphrey)
A bloodless past: the pacification of Early Iron Age Britain (Simon James)
Building communities and creating identities in the first millennium BC (Niall Sharples)
Deposits and doorways: patterns within the Iron Age settlement at Crick Covert Farm, Northamptonshire (Ann Woodward and Gwilym Hughes)
Ritual and the roundhouse: a critique of recent ideas on the use of domestic space in later British prehistory (Rachel Pope)
The character of Earlier Iron Age societies in Scotland (Ian Ralston and Patrick Ashmore)
The Early Iron Age of the Peak District: re-reading the evidence (Bill Bevan)
The Early to Later Iron Age transition in the Severn-Cotswolds: enclosing the household? (Tom Moore)
The aesthetics of landscape on the Berkshire Downs (Chris Gosden and Gary Lock)
Settlement in Kent from 1500 to 300 BC (Timothy Champion)
The Atlantic West in the Early Iron Age (Jon C Henderson)
English and Danish Iron Ages - a comparison through houses, burials and hoards (M L S Sørensen)
Familar landscapes with unfamiliar pasts? Bronze Age barrows and Iron Age communities in the southern Netherlands (Fokke Gerritsen)
The emergence of early Iron Age 'chieftains' graves' in the southern Netherlands: reconsidering transformations in burial and depositional practices (David Fontijn and Harry Fokkens)
Early La Tène burial practices and social (re)constructions in the Marne-Moselle region (Marian Diepeveen-Jansen)
Rethinking Earlier Iron Age settlement in the eastern Paris Basin (Colin Haselgrove)
Boundaries and identity in Early Iron Age Europe (Peter S Wells)
List of contributors

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