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Title: Inhabiting Broxmouth : biographies of a Scottish Iron Age settlement
Author: Büster, Lindsey Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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Roundhouses are ubiquitous in prehistoric Britain, yet previous studies of these iconic features have tended to overlook their human occupants, focusing instead on their external morphology and structural engineering. Those studies which have attempted to move beyond functionalist frameworks, have often applied overarching and broad-scale cosmological models which, though re-orientating study towards social considerations, have likewise failed to shed light on the interaction between roundhouse and their inhabitants, particularly at a household level. This research reanalyses the Late Iron Age settlement at Broxmouth, East Lothian, using new theoretical approaches and advances in AMS dating to ask new questions of a 30 year old data-set. Biographical and materiality approaches, which draw heavily on relational analogy with the ethnographic record, have allowed for detailed reconstruction of the life-history of each structure, and important moments within these histories. Roundhouse replacement appears to have taken place on a roughly generational basis, as a means by which households renegotiated their social identities within the community. Structured deposition, and the materiality of the roundhouse fabric itself, appears to have played an important role in the communication of identity, where the retention of previous structural fabric, the deposition of curated items, and the referencing of former internal features, created physical and symbolic links with the past, and with the ancestors. As such, this study demonstrates that roundhouses were far more than mere dwellings, and were integral to the ways in which past societies rationalised the world around them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Iron Age ; Roundhouse ; Settlement ; Hillfort ; Biography ; Scotland