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Title: The first brooches in Britain : from manufacture to deposition in the Early and Middle Iron Age
Author: Adams, Sophia Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 8817
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the evidence for the earliest brooches in Britain. The first brooches were used and made in Britain in the Early Iron Age from c.450 BC. During this period, and into the Middle Iron Age, methods were devised for constructing brooches with mock springs and hinges. In tandem with these changes a greater variety of types came into use. Some are relatively widespread across Wales, England and into Scotland. Others are concentrated in central or western and eastern regions of England. Brooches were manufactured from both bronze and iron. Bronze brooches dominate in the earlier period but iron brooches are as common as bronze in the Middle Iron Age. Some bronze brooches are constructed with small elements of iron and vice versa. Other materials are also employed as decoration on the body of the brooch including coral and glass. A revised chronology and typology are proposed, drawing on both intrinsic attributes and external archaeological evidence. The evidence from burials shows brooches were used to clasp fabric. The fabric was probably a woollen cloak wrapped around the body as a shroud. The brooch was positioned so it was visible during the funerary process. Some brooches fastened bags and other small brooches were better suited as ornaments or badges. These have distinctive designs that would have made them recognisable, perhaps as objects belonging to a particular person and/or associating that person with a specific group. Brooches are also found at settlements, at hillforts and in rivers, as well as at sites with or deposits of a ritualised character. Aside from cemeteries these latter sites contain the highest numbers of brooches. The deposition of personal objects at these types of site may have asserted the individual’s connection to the community in a manner comparable to the burial of a person in a cemetery.
Supervisor: Haselgrove, Colin; Joy, Jody Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available