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Maritime lives in Iron Age Britain

Maritime lives in Iron Age Britain
Maritime lives in Iron Age Britain
Iron Age coastal communities in England have been poorly understood since the beginning of our discipline. This is mainly as result of the lack of evidence for everyday maritime activities and also the focus of research on explaining an agro-pastoral way of living. Evidence of fishing, boats, harbour structures and ports are very rare archaeologically, and thinking about people living by the sea in this period has been widely overlooked as most of the interest has been the nature of the connections and trade-networks (mainly by Cunliffe 2008). In contrast, evidence for non maritime activities, such as farming and cattle rearing is so rich that looking to the coast only happens in special situations.

Using the Isles of Scilly as a case study, this research challenges the established views that societies on the coasts of south-west of England were mainly cattle herders and farmers. Through palaeolandscape reconstruction, site analysis and material culture study, this research argues that settlement on the coastline is as important as that found inland. It shows that Iron Age maritime aspects of culture were deeply embedded within cultural traditions and that the maritime way of living had little to do with extraordinary or unusual situations.

This research shows that preconceived ideas of what a maritime site should look like, as is the case of harbour structures and important ports, divert the attention from the subtleties of recognising maritime culture’s signature. It is through the study of archaeological context and environmental evidence that these are likely to become more obvious. Therefore, throughout this document the analysis of maritime landscape, settlement pattern and material culture generates new perspectives on how to approach the study of maritime societies in archaeology.
Pacheco Ruiz, Rodrigo
19d1582f-078e-4cad-844d-7351a76b2436
Pacheco Ruiz, Rodrigo
19d1582f-078e-4cad-844d-7351a76b2436
Sturt, Fraser
442e14e1-136f-4159-bd8e-b002bf6b95f6
Whitewright, Richard
80f5f9b9-3d0d-46bb-a759-7b59f5993bb2
Champion, Timothy
42a175cf-70ac-40fd-9a84-f544296f15df

Pacheco Ruiz, Rodrigo (2015) Maritime lives in Iron Age Britain. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 411pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Iron Age coastal communities in England have been poorly understood since the beginning of our discipline. This is mainly as result of the lack of evidence for everyday maritime activities and also the focus of research on explaining an agro-pastoral way of living. Evidence of fishing, boats, harbour structures and ports are very rare archaeologically, and thinking about people living by the sea in this period has been widely overlooked as most of the interest has been the nature of the connections and trade-networks (mainly by Cunliffe 2008). In contrast, evidence for non maritime activities, such as farming and cattle rearing is so rich that looking to the coast only happens in special situations.

Using the Isles of Scilly as a case study, this research challenges the established views that societies on the coasts of south-west of England were mainly cattle herders and farmers. Through palaeolandscape reconstruction, site analysis and material culture study, this research argues that settlement on the coastline is as important as that found inland. It shows that Iron Age maritime aspects of culture were deeply embedded within cultural traditions and that the maritime way of living had little to do with extraordinary or unusual situations.

This research shows that preconceived ideas of what a maritime site should look like, as is the case of harbour structures and important ports, divert the attention from the subtleties of recognising maritime culture’s signature. It is through the study of archaeological context and environmental evidence that these are likely to become more obvious. Therefore, throughout this document the analysis of maritime landscape, settlement pattern and material culture generates new perspectives on how to approach the study of maritime societies in archaeology.

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More information

Published date: 20 July 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381454
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381454
PURE UUID: 90aa2a6a-0814-429b-b495-388df6abe850

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Oct 2015 14:35
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:27

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Contributors

Author: Rodrigo Pacheco Ruiz
Thesis advisor: Fraser Sturt
Thesis advisor: Richard Whitewright
Thesis advisor: Timothy Champion

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