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Durham e-Theses
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An experiential and comparative analysis of the landscapes of movement and visibility at five Late Iron Age earthwork complexes in Britain

BITHELL, SAMUEL,THOMAS (2020) An experiential and comparative analysis of the landscapes of movement and visibility at five Late Iron Age earthwork complexes in Britain. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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In recent decades, the territorial oppida of Late Iron Age Britain have begun to be assessed more as landscape constructs than individual sites. In addition, studies of other contemporary complexes frequently excluded from the classification of oppida have revealed remarkable similarities with the traditionally defined territorial oppida. Terminological debates about classification of oppida have often led to these landscapes evading study and comparison. This thesis therefore looks to compare the landscapes of both traditionally defined oppida (Bagendon, Stanwick and Silchester) and two complexes identified by Corney (1989) as Multiple Ditch Systems (Gussage Cow-Down and the Nadder-Wylye Ridge) without a focus on terminological issues. The focus on studying both oppida and similar earthwork complexes as landscapes has also led to ideas about the way in which such monuments divided up the landscape and may have controlled the experience of movement. To this end, the least cost and viewshed analysis presented in this thesis characterises the landscapes of movement and visibility at each of the five complexes. The results are compared through an experiential lens and through the use of phenomenology and the concept of affordances. In this way the terminological debates about characterisation of oppida are bypassed and the sites compared purely on their similarities, rather than previous classifications. The results of the analysis show that each of the complexes make intimate use of their topographical settings, and the arrangement of earthworks and foci in order to control the experience of movement. Additionally, the location of each complex is shown to be, at least partially, a by-product of regional scale routeways which in turn have affected the local scale layout of the complexes.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Iron Age; GIS; Viewsheds; Least Cost Paths; Oppida;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Sep 2020 09:22

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