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Food, technology and culture in the Late Bronze Age of southern England: Perforated clay plates of the Lower Thames valley

Food, technology and culture in the Late Bronze Age of southern England: Perforated clay plates of the Lower Thames valley
Food, technology and culture in the Late Bronze Age of southern England: Perforated clay plates of the Lower Thames valley

Perforated plates of fired clay have long been recognised as a component of Late Bronze Age material culture in south-eastern England, but recent developer-funded excavations have produced a wealth of new evidence. These artefacts, showing a considerable degree of standardisation, are now known from more than 70 sites, which show a markedly riverine and estuarine distribution along the lower Thames. Their function is still uncertain, but it is suggested that they were parts of ovens for baking bread, a new technology for food preparation in the later Bronze Age. Some of the largest assemblages of such plates are found at strongly defended sites, and it is further suggested that the baking and consumption of bread was particularly associated with such sites of social authority. The estuarine distribution is discussed in this paper, and it presents further evidence for the regionally distinctive nature of food consumption in later prehistory.
279-298
Champion, Timothy
42a175cf-70ac-40fd-9a84-f544296f15df
Champion, Timothy
42a175cf-70ac-40fd-9a84-f544296f15df

Champion, Timothy (2014) Food, technology and culture in the Late Bronze Age of southern England: Perforated clay plates of the Lower Thames valley. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 80, 279-298. (doi:10.1017/ppr.2014.11).

Record type: Article

Abstract


Perforated plates of fired clay have long been recognised as a component of Late Bronze Age material culture in south-eastern England, but recent developer-funded excavations have produced a wealth of new evidence. These artefacts, showing a considerable degree of standardisation, are now known from more than 70 sites, which show a markedly riverine and estuarine distribution along the lower Thames. Their function is still uncertain, but it is suggested that they were parts of ovens for baking bread, a new technology for food preparation in the later Bronze Age. Some of the largest assemblages of such plates are found at strongly defended sites, and it is further suggested that the baking and consumption of bread was particularly associated with such sites of social authority. The estuarine distribution is discussed in this paper, and it presents further evidence for the regionally distinctive nature of food consumption in later prehistory.

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Published date: 7 November 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Humanities

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Local EPrints ID: 409376
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/409376
PURE UUID: 4e019b1c-1016-4db9-8a0d-b44a94d22bdf

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Date deposited: 28 May 2017 04:08
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 23:48

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