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Title: Modelling an island landscape in the North Atlantic Iron Age : the interpretation of monuments and resources in order to understand local factors influencing settlement and social organisation
Author: Lamb, Deborah Elizabeth Stewart
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 401X
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2010
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An area of Shetland is examined in order to identify how Iron Age settlements might have related to each other. The study area contains two brochs. An inter-disciplinary approach is used to identify evidence for other Iron Age settlements and the information is presented as a model illustrating the pattern of settlement at different points during the Iron Age. A distinction is drawn between locations containing field archaeology and locations where occupation is predicted on the basis of evidence such as soil quality or place name. The whole model is then examined in order to identify patterns which may suggest changing relationships between settlements and groups of settlements, and the trends and influences behind these. Next an appraisal is made of the settlements' relative status and authority during Shetland's Early, Middle and Late Iron Age. By looking at the whole landscape through time - before, during and after the Iron Age - the brochs are set in a wider chronological context which takes into account the changing role that these highly visible monuments may have played as socio-economic focal points in a developing landscape. The outcome reveals complexity. Initially the brochs appear to be a focus of settlement patterns but by the end of the Late Iron Age they are rivalled by a non-broch area which shows signs of heightened Pictish influence. Elsewhere in Shetland at this period there is retrenchment to broch-settlements, raising the question of how far developments in the study area are unique to that location.
Supervisor: Dockrill, Stephen J. ; Bond, Julie M. ; McDonnell, Gerry. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology ; Iron Age ; Islands ; Landscape ; Local factors ; Model ; Primary engines ; Resources ; Shetland ; Social development ; Settlements