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Exploring places and landscapes of everyday experience in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age: a study of theory, method and application in experiential landscape archaeology

Rennell, R; (2012) Exploring places and landscapes of everyday experience in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age: a study of theory, method and application in experiential landscape archaeology. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores aspects of everyday experience and the creation of place within the Iron Age island landscapes of the Outer Hebrides. While investigations of place and landscape, as experiential phenomena, are well developed in the context of Neolithic and Bronze Age research such approaches have been largely neglected within British Iron Age studies and in the study of the Outer Hebridean Iron Age more specifically. A hitherto focus upon ritual landscapes partly explains the lack of uptake within British Iron Age contexts more frequently defined by concepts of domesticity. The experience of place and landscape, however, are not only of significance within 'ritual' contexts but play an important role in the shaping of human action in the realm of the everyday. Instead, the principal barrier appears to be methodological - how does one go about investigating everyday experiences within prehistoric landscapes? A major component of this research has therefore been to explore and develop a methodology for this research. Current archaeological practice provides two contrasting methods for the study of landscape experience - one rooted in the analysis of field observations, inspired more directly by phenomenology, and the other via the application of GIS as a means of modeling landscapes from the perspective of human engagement. Despite much shared theoretical ground there remains little dialogue between practitioners of these respective approaches. It is proposed, however, that both approaches can make valued contributions to our understanding of the past and this thesis aims to contribute to an emerging discourse between what are commonly conceived as contradictory methods of enquiry. By exploring the character and diversity of island landscape settlement locales and the everyday experiences of Iron Age places this research offers an alternative framework for understanding the Iron Age societies of the Outer Hebrides.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Exploring places and landscapes of everyday experience in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age: a study of theory, method and application in experiential landscape archaeology
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Volume 2 has been split into multiple smaller files and added as three zip folders
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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