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Title: Characterising urban space : a case study from Insula IX, Silchester, Hants, UK
Author: Banerjea, Rowena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 8954
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis seeks to develop our current understanding and knowledge gaps concerning the use of urban space and life-histories of buildings in Romano-British towns with specific reference to Roman Silchester. A micromorphological approach examines the use of space within a series of early (c. 70-80 AD - c. 125-150 AD) and mid (c. 125-50 AD - 200 AD) Roman earthen and timber-framed buildings from Insula IX, Silchester, Hants, UK. Anthropogenic sediments have complex formation processes and in order to further understand those, comparative data is used from occupation deposits within structures from experimental sites at Butser Ancient Farm, Hants, UK and Lejre Historical and Archaeological Research Centre, Denmark. Complementary micromorphological examination at both experimental and archaeological sites has produced key observations for the furthering identifications of formation processes in the archaeological record. At these temperate sites micromorphological characteristics attributed to trampling both as a formation process and as post-depositional alteration have been identified in experimental deposits after the removal of the roof in the Longbridge Deverill roundhouse, Butser, and in archaeological occupation deposits from Silchester. The occurrence of compacted trample deposits in buildings may be used to identify wet areas such as doorways or semi-open spaces in the archaeological record. Through the micromorphological classification of deposit types, 'clean' and 'dirty', multi-functional spaces have been identified at Silchester. Buildings at Silchester also have dynamic life-histories. They are frequently modified and rebuilt on the same location. The use of urban space is dynamic; locations can transform from a prestigious space to an animal pen within a generation. In addition, post-depositional alterations play an important role in the formation of the archaeological record on settlements. Experimental research has shown that localised redox processes can occur within occupation deposits in buildings which are influenced by geology. Leaking roofs can radically transform occupation deposits within buildings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available