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Title: Portable Antiquities, Palimpsests and Persistent Places in Lincolnshire, with particular reference to three Middle Saxon case studies
Author: Daubney, Adam Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 6471
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2015
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This study explores the significance of Portable Antiquities Scheme data (PAS) for Lincolnshire, and in doing so makes a distinct and original contribution to the interpretation of plough-zone palimpsests and persistent places. PAS holds information on around 52,000 finds from Lincolnshire alone, but these had yet to be characterised and explored in a systematic way. Moreover, few studies of PAS data in general have explored how such finds come together to form palimpsests, and how these palimpsests in turn can be used to infer persistence of place. The present study addresses these shortcomings. A bespoke methodology is developed that allows PAS data to be analysed at different scales of time and place. This brings into focus different sources of bias and different interpretative possibilities. PAS data are demonstrated to consistently enhance Historic Environment Record data, most notably for the Early Medieval period, where the number of 'activity areas' is increased by 64%. Taking the longer-term view reveals that 93% of PAS data form multi-period assemblages, referred to here as ‘plough-zone palimpsests’. Analysis of these palimpsests shows the majority conform to Bailey's cumulative or spatial palimpsest types, depending on the scale of analysis used (Bailey 2007). They are, however, temporally chaotic, with various chronological combinations reflecting both the repeated use of particular places, but also a range of depositional and post-depositional factors. A series of case studies explore plough-zone palimpsests on smaller scales of time and place. These demonstrate how portable antiquities are important biographical components of ‘persistent places’, which have the potential to reveal structuring within the landscape over long-periods of time. Combined with other evidence engrained within the landscape, PAS data help to explain how the antecedent landscape influenced the subsequent use of places, and how the aftershocks of human activity resonate in the landscape today.
Supervisor: Haselgrove, Colin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available