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Title: Archaeological visibility of cultural continuity, contact and change in southern Shetland from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries AD : a multi-discipline analysis of the evidence for inter-action between different cultural identities in a North Atlantic island community
Author: Melton, Nigel Duncan
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2001
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A multidisciplinary approach, using archaeological and documentary evidence, is used to examine the evidence for cultural contacts, continuity and change in southern Shetland between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Contacts with both the foreign merchants and traders who were operating in the area and those arising from the immigration into the area of large numbers of Scots and Orcadians are considered. Selected artefact types from case studies of a high status site, a crofting township and a trading place are used in this research, along with archaeological economic evidence and documentary evidence. The documentary evidence is used to construct a predictive model of the archaeological record on the site types selected as case studies. The latter use data from the past excavations at Jarlshof, the current excavations at Old Scatness and from targeted sampling of seventeenth century middens at Grutness. The archaeological evidence is shown to reveal a pattern of trading contacts that corresponds to that described in the documentary record. A growing insularity is indicated by a decline in the numbers of items of imported material culture in the course of the seventeenth century. It is suggested that this could in part be linked to climatic deterioration. Archaeological and documentary evidence is presented that may relate to possible climate induced strain in the local whitefish fishery that dominated the trade of the area. Evidence for the historically attested 'Scottification' of the area and its effects on the economy is also demonstrated in both the architectural and material culture records.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available