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The landscape settings of three Iron Age ‘Territorial Oppida’in Southern Britain: a study carried out using aerial photographs and lidar

Truscoe, K. M. (2021) The landscape settings of three Iron Age ‘Territorial Oppida’in Southern Britain: a study carried out using aerial photographs and lidar. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00106246

Abstract/Summary

The aim of this thesis is to analyse the landscapes of three sites classified as territorial oppidain Southern Britain in order to assess whether they possess sufficient similarities to justify their being put into this category, and, by comparison with other sites, test the validity of the monument term. Three case studies, Chichester,ColchesterandSilchester, have been examinedusing a landscape-scale approachin order to contextualise these sites, to analyse how they might have developed,and the relationships they may have had with settlements within their environs. To this end new data havebeen collected from aerial photographs and lidar and combined with information from other sources for the three case study areas, in order to establish as consistent a baseline of archaeological knowledge as is possiblewith which to compare them. The three landscapes have then been analysed with the objective of answering the question of whether they form part of a common monument category, with similar features and patterns of settlement. Ithasbeendemonstrated that a systematic study of the landscapes ofthese sitescan yield new information which aids understanding of the patterns of settlement and land use, even in relativelywell-studied Colchester and Silchester. The conclusion of this study is thatthe differences between these three sites appear to outweigh theirsimilarities,and the inclusion ofChichester,ColchesterandSilchester in the same narrow monument category appears inappropriate.The concept of a specific territory bounded by linear earthworks is hard to define. It places an artificial distinction between the core settlements, where they can be defined,and the apparent links both with the landscapes around them, and the not necessarily coherent dyke`systems’that have been associatedwith them. Overall, use of themorphological descriptor `territorial oppidum’ to describe all these sites appearsinappropriate and the alternate term, Late Iron Age social centres,may be more suitable.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Fulford, M.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science
Identification Number/DOI:https://doi.org/10.48683/1926.00106246
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:106246

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