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Title: Out of the ordinary : the materiality of the south-east Scottish Iron Age
Author: Maxwell, Mhairi Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9189
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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A materiality approach is developed in this thesis in order to understand social-material relationships during the south-east Scottish Iron Age. The focus is on everyday objects, traditionally lesser studied in terms of cosmological value, made of bone and antler, stone, clay/pottery and metal (copper alloy and iron) from the Broxmouth Hillfort assemblage and other excavated Iron Age sites in East Lothian. This study sets out to move away from typology to examine the connections between these materials through their sourcing, affordances (signative and pragmatic), design, manufacture, use and deposition. In addition to the archaeological evidence, a range of analytical methods are employed; including laser scanning confocal microscopy, raman spectroscopy, and residue and isotopic analysis. It becomes evident that the materials studied, despite their predominantly local availability, were invested with meaning in appropriation, making, and were deliberately curated and maintained in use, assembling rich personal biographies. Identities were tied up with making, using and depositing of materials in turn embodying beliefs of fertility, renewal and productivity which were central to Iron Age cosmology, continuing into the Roman Iron Age. These results contribute to our understanding of the construction and practice of society in the Iron Age of Britain, with implications for how we may design our own 21st Century material worlds. It is proposed that social relations in the Iron Age of south-east Scotland were heterarchical.
Supervisor: Armit, Ian; McKenzie, Jo; Fojut, Noel Sponsor: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Artefacts ; Iron Age ; Materiality ; Biography ; Cosmology ; Everyday ; Identity ; Analytical science ; Sustainability ; Scotland ; Bone and antler ; Pottery ; Stone ; Iron ; Copper ; Broxmouth Hillfort assemblage ; East Lothian