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Title: Sculpture from Roman Britain : aspects of origin, use, disuse and deposition
Author: Croxford, Benjamin Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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Sculpture from Roman Britain is well studied and often considered well understood. Past considerations, however, predominantly follow an art historical interest and have concentrated on matters of style, symbolism and artistic cultural significance. Approaches that treat sculptures as physical objects and social things are less frequently adopted. In this study a quantitative approach enables investigation of different patterns within the data: the origins of the sculptures, their locations, date and deposition. This thesis examines sculpture from Roman Britain in a broad perspective, dealing with the complete life course. The ultimate focus is upon the fate of sculpture but this cannot be understood in isolation from the origins and life leading up to this moment. The examination of sites of use, dating, patterns of fragmentation and of body part survival, along with detectable circumstances of breaking and deposition (including reuse), allows for a comprehensive picture of the life and death of sculpture to be gained. The intention is to demonstrate the complexity and significance of these objects, at all stages of use and disuse. Sculpture from Roman Britain became damaged, fragmented, and disused for a number of reasons and was not simply victim to a Christian iconoclastic purge. What has been assumed as negatively motivated treatment may be dispassionate recycling, abandonment or a new form of interaction. There was not one fate of sculpture or one origin; there were a multitude of potential life courses, many involving interactions and modifications difficult to interpret with unchallenged modern assumptions concerning the act of breaking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral