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Title: The archaeology and landscape history of the Oban region, Argyll, Scotland
Author: Robinson, Mark Roy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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The Oban area comprises a rich and varied archaeological resource, the depletion of which is currently being accelerated by the expansion of the town. This research has recorded a sizeable quantity of the extant archaeology prior to future destruction and has used ongoing development as an opportunity to investigate buried landscapes. Through a range of field survey techniques, coupled with concurrent environmental research, data was compiled and analysed to enable the reconstruction of a comprehensive landscape history of the region. Reviewing the development and practise of landscape studies the thesis recommends the refinement in execution of fieldwork methodologies to further database integrity in order to create a framework for tenable landscape reconstructions. Using eight months of fieldwork conducted in the Oban region, techniques are appraised with regard to their ability to explore specific chronological planes and diverse units of terrain. The concept "integral' is advanced to describe the assiduous approach necessitated by site prospection strategies to elucidate a fuller awareness of landscape evolution. The value of landscape-scale testpitting is illustrated and emphasised as a technique meriting higher profile in British field archaeology. The land-use tempo of the Oban area is comprehensively examined to reveal a steadily expanding and consolidated settlement pattern as populations adapted to control their environment. Climatic conditions appear to have caused a temporary retreat during the first millennium be whilst the land clearances of the eighteenth century had an equally dramatic affect upon the local system of farming and settlement. Practically applying landscape theory, themes explored during the course of the thesis include the status of the Obanian Mesolithic "culture', the Neolithic hiatus, Mesolithic-Bronze Age continuity, kerb cairns, settlement hierarchies during the Iron Age, Medieval grazing territories, General Roy's Military Survey, pre- Improvement townships, shielings and charcoal-burning platforms. It is concluded that landscape studies can provide an effective window for observing archaeological form and process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available