Cultural change on the north-western frontiers of the Roman Empire : case studies in Britannia and Germania Inferior
This thesis examines the processes of cultural change during the early Roman (before c. AD 250) period in selected areas of Britain and Germany, namely western England and south-west Wales in Britain, and along the Lower Rhine in Germany. The distribution patterns of sites and specific categories of artefacts have been calculated using the extrapolative contour method of Kriging, as well as statistical methods in particular instances. In an attempt to move away from textually-driven descriptions of the Roman past, the resulting distribution patterns of rural sites, military disposition, ceramics, stamped brick and tile, and coinage were examined in terms of the concepts of structure and agency. The patterns of each study region were examined separately, before comparing the sites of Cirencester, Kenchester, and Frocester Court with the regional British patterns to investigate agency and structure at increasingly smaller scales, and to scrutinise the relationship between material culture, structure, and agency in greater detail. Although not always conclusive, the results suggest that such broad patterns can be used to form, at least, general deductions about the social, political, and economic structures of the Roman period. The results also emphasise the importance of comparing archaeological patterns from different provinces of the Empire.