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Title: Cultural behaviour or natural processes? A review of southern Britain iron age skeletal remains
Author: Tracey, Justine
ISNI:       0000 0004 0202 3249
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis focuses on the British Iron Age and challenging the current hypotheses of exposing the dead on five Iron Age sites in Hampshire and one from Dorset, England. Current theories are based on anthropological analogies and classical texts to understand and interpret the burial record. However, this research focused on understanding the formation of the burial record employing a new science-based methodology. This new approach is both integrated and multidisciplinary, combining the osteological and context taphonomic physical or material evidence to discern cultural behaviour from natural processes. The approach utilises a wide range of forensic anthropology and taphonomy, including I 'anthropologie de terrain or archaeothanatology, to identify archaeological signatures from three key and interrelated areas: the remains, the deposition context, and the relationship between the corpse and its deposition circumstance. A new system of categorising Iron Age remains was developed to differentiate funerary and depositional behaviour between sites. The results show that during the Iron Age , several depositional practices can be observed: intentional exposure, propitiatory deposits and intentional practices where the body was kept whole in death which ran in parallel with each another. The research also identified the need to integrate burial data from the outset, including associated finds and stratigraphic evidence in order provide a comprehensive account of funerary and depositional practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available