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Title: In search of 'the people of La Manche' : a comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (2500 BC-1500 BC)
Author: Hammond, John Malcolm
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 3032
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2010
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This research project sets out to discover whether archaeological evidence dating between 2500 BC – 1500 BC from supposed funerary contexts in Kent, Flanders and north-eastern Transmanche France is sufficient to make valid comparisons between social and cultural structures on either side of the short-sea Channel region. Evidence from the beginning of the period primarily comes in the form of the widespread Beaker phenomenon. Chapter 5 shows that this class of data is abundant in Kent but quite sparse in the Continental zones - most probably because it has not survived well. This problem also affects the human depositional evidence catalogued in Chapter 6, particularly in Flanders but also in north-eastern Transmanche France. This constricts comparative analysis, however the abundant data from Kent means that general trends are still discernible. The quality and volume of data relating to the distribution, location, morphology and use of circular monuments in all three zones is far better – as demonstrated in Chapter 7 - mostly due to extensive aerial surveying over several decades. When the datasets are taken as a whole, it becomes possible to successfully apply various forms of comparative analyses. Most remarkably, this has revealed that some monuments apparently have encoded within them a sophisticated and potentially symbolically charged geometric shape. This, along with other less contentious evidence, demonstrates a level of conformity that strongly suggests a stratum of cultural homogeneity existed throughout the Transmanche region during the period 2500 BC – 1500 BC. The fact that such changes as are apparent seem to have developed simultaneously in each of the zones adds additional weight to the theory that contact throughout the Transmanche region was endemic. Even so, it may not have been continuous; there may actually have been times of relative isolation – the data is simply too course to eliminate such a possibility.
Supervisor: Ward, Anthony ; Willis, Steven Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: CC Archaeology ; D History General and Old World ; D51 Ancient History