Regionality in the late Roman west through the study of crossbow brooches, bracelets, beads and belt sets
A close examination of spatial variability in the specified objects in an area between the Rhine/Danube and the Loire, stretching as far as Britannia in the west and Pannonia in the East. Initially a theoretical framework is set out in the context of the archaeological background. Each object type is then analysed in terms of form and decorative style and the occurrence of specific features is shown on distribution maps. Possible production areas can be suggested for different decorative styles. The distribution maps and studies of the range of variability in each category also provide information concerning the scale of manufacture and mechanisms of dispersal; in turn these relate to the level of demand and the changing function of the object. Patterns occurring are then compared to one another and interpreted in terms of their gender and status associations and their overall economic, social, political and cultural significance for the late Roman Western Empire. Links are established between different regions and it is possible to trace the movements of those travelling with the army. Many sites can be shown to have a significant foreign element, with clusters of associated objects which can be sourced to another area. Concentrations of finds along the frontier and in linear distributions in other areas give an indication of contemporary activity at adjacent sites, and shifts in the spatial patterning of objects during the fourth to fifth century transition period provides a fresh insight into the late Roman west and beyond.