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Title: Households, settlements, and landscapes in Iron Age, Roman, and early medieval Northumbria : a spatial analysis of North-East England, c. 100 BC-AD 800
Author: Buchanan, Brian Gregory
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 5202
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis argues that the spatial organisation of the built environment in north-eastern England between c. 100 BC-AD 800 reflects the complexities of culture contact, the transmission of ideas, and social change. It is suggested here that the examination of space and place in Britain between the late Iron Age (c. 100 BC-AD 43), Roman (c. AD 43-410) and Early Medieval (c. AD 410 to 800) periods can be used to analyse the changes and/or continuities in socio-cultural ideas and traditions. Two study regions to the north and south of Hadrian’s Wall within the boundaries of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria are analysed using established and innovative computational techniques to understand what affect, if any, the inhabitants of Iron Age and Roman Britain had on the shape of the Early Medieval built environment. Settlement data was compiled into a Geographical Information System and established spatial analysis techniques that focus on site placement were combined with an innovative use of Visibility Graph Analysis to quantitatively analyse the spatial organisation of households and communities between c. 100 BC and AD 800. Visibility Graph Analysis is used to statistically measure the visual arrangement of built space in order to examine continuities or disruptions to the organisation of structures and settlements. The results alter our understanding of this period by revealing broad continuities in the spatial organisation of the built environment across the analysed time periods. This suggests that regional identity was influential in the formation and use of the built environment in the two study regions between c. 100 BC and AD 800. This has significant implications for understanding how Britain was transformed over the longue durée between the Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. These findings suggest that continuities in the spatial arrangement and organisation of the built environment are indicative of gradual change rather than abrupt disruption, and adds to current debates on how regions of Britain were transformed between late prehistory and the early historic era.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available