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Territorial Oppida and the transformation of landscape and society in south-eastern Britain from BC 300 to 100 AD

Garland, NJ; (2017) Territorial Oppida and the transformation of landscape and society in south-eastern Britain from BC 300 to 100 AD. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Territorial oppida, defined as large-scale ditched sites, are an often discussed but poorly understood phenomena of the Late Iron Age/Roman transition period in south-eastern Britain. Previous research has attempted to compare known examples, however, classification and interpretation remain problematic. While it is understood that the emergence of oppida formed an integral part of a range of changes occurring in Late Iron Age south-east Britain, our knowledge of how they were used and for what purpose(s) remains limited. This thesis aims to advance the study of oppida by developing an innovative theoretical and methodological approach to examine their social structure on multiple scales (people, groups, regions). An understanding of the development of British oppida research, in parallel to considering the wider changes within British Iron Age and Roman studies, provides the context for a reconsideration of the function, social structure and temporal transformations of territorial oppida. The multi-scalar approach adopted in this research reinvigorates past theoretical perspectives, emphasising meaning-laden/human-centred studies of landscapes and the examination of identity and social practice. The areas surrounding Colchester and Chichester provide the focal case-studies, in addition to comparisons to other British and continental examples. The addition of developer-funded archaeological data to more familiar information, derived from earlier investigation, has allowed the understanding of oppida as diverse and socially complex settlements, which - rather than focused on an ‘elite’ class - were inhabited by a range of groups who undertook domestic and ritual practices within a dynamic social structure. Furthermore, an understanding of the temporality of oppida has highlighted their origins as important ‘places’ in the Iron Age landscape and underlined the complexity of responses to colonial contact with the Roman Empire following the Claudian invasion. These conclusions are fundamental in changing our interpretation of territorial oppida and the social conditions in Late Iron Age Britain.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Territorial Oppida and the transformation of landscape and society in south-eastern Britain from BC 300 to 100 AD
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1542261
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