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Identity and Identification: Femininity on Hadrian's Wall

FLEMING, MATTHEW,KIERAN (2019) Identity and Identification: Femininity on Hadrian's Wall. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The archaeological record has failed to acknowledge the contribution of women in the male dominated spaces of Roman military sites. Recent studies have helped to uncover the most accurate socio-spatial account of the gendered nature of Roman forts in Britain. This thesis focuses on the presence of women in the region of Hadrian’s Wall, and in particular, at the forts of Housesteads and Vindolanda while they were occupied by the Roman military (c. AD 122/4-410 and c. AD 85-400 respectively).

Textual, skeletal, and artefactual evidence from both sites provide the basis qualitative and quantitative analyses drawing upon a total of 789 artefacts (150 from Housesteads and 639 from Vindolanda) within the artefact catalogue. This evidence is used to idenitfy the socio-spatial distribution of women at both sites as well as what can be said about the lives of the women present there. By collating different strands of evidence and creating a more holistic approach to the analysis of the presence of women, this thesis supplements the existing archaeological discourse of Housesteads and Vindolanda as well as the wider subject area of gender in Roman military sites.

The findings of this study include, first, the presence of women of different socio-economic status at these two sites within both the extramural settlements and the forts themselves. Second, through the 3rd into the 4th century AD there was an increase in the evidence associated with the presence of women within the forts of Housesteads and Vindolanda. Third, the possibility that the increase in evidence was not necessarily a result of an increase in the presence of women, but rather it reflects the lack of meticulous clear up immediately preceding abandonment of the sites. Fourth, this thesis has highlighted the need for further excavation at Housesteads.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Jun 2019 10:34

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