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Middle Bronze Age and Iron Age - Kent County Council · PDF file Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age periods (2011 with additions in 2018 and 2019) 5 on a late Bronze Age from 1150 to 750

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  • South East Research Framework Resource Assessment and Research Agenda for the Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age periods (2011 with additions in 2018 and 2019)

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    Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age

    Timothy Champion (with contributions by Polydora Baker and Ruth Pelling)

    Contents Resource Assessment ................................................................................................ 2

    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 2 Chronology and terminology ................................................................................... 4 Landscape and environment ................................................................................... 5 Settlement evidence ............................................................................................... 8

    Settlement distribution ......................................................................................... 8 Settlement sites ................................................................................................. 12 Hillforts .............................................................................................................. 13 Oppida and the late Iron Age ............................................................................. 14

    Architecture and buildings ..................................................................................... 15 Food production and the agricultural economy ..................................................... 18 Material culture: technology, production and consumption ................................... 23

    Copper and its alloys ......................................................................................... 23 Iron .................................................................................................................... 23 Gold ................................................................................................................... 24 Silver ................................................................................................................. 24 Flint.................................................................................................................... 25 Stone ................................................................................................................. 25 Shale ................................................................................................................. 25 Pottery ............................................................................................................... 25 Salt .................................................................................................................... 26 Glass ................................................................................................................. 27 Wood ................................................................................................................. 27 Textiles .............................................................................................................. 28 Antler and bone ................................................................................................. 28

    Coinage................................................................................................................. 28 Art, decoration and adornment .............................................................................. 29

    Decoration on artefacts ..................................................................................... 29 Personal ornament and the body ...................................................................... 30

    Ritual practices ..................................................................................................... 31 Deposition ......................................................................................................... 31 Temples ............................................................................................................. 32

    Funerary practice .................................................................................................. 33 Figure 3 Ritual and funerary sites considered in the text (west) ............................ 34 Figure 4 Ritual and funerary sites considered in the text (east) ............................ 35 Eating and drinking ............................................................................................... 38 Social structure and identities ............................................................................... 38

    Human population ............................................................................................. 38 Local and individual identities ............................................................................ 39 Social structures ................................................................................................ 39

  • South East Research Framework Resource Assessment and Research Agenda for the Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age periods (2011 with additions in 2018 and 2019)

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    Emergence of kingship ...................................................................................... 40 Regionality ............................................................................................................ 41 The South-East in its wider context ....................................................................... 42 The legacy of later prehistory ................................................................................ 43

    Research agenda ..................................................................................................... 44 Research infrastructure ......................................................................................... 44 Environment .......................................................................................................... 45 Settlements and settlement distribution ................................................................ 45 Architecture ........................................................................................................... 46 Agriculture ............................................................................................................. 46 Technology and material culture ........................................................................... 47 Coinage................................................................................................................. 48 Art and decoration ................................................................................................. 48 Deposition ............................................................................................................. 48 Funerary practices ................................................................................................ 49 Eating and drinking ............................................................................................... 49 Society, social identity and social change ............................................................. 49 Regionality and wider context ............................................................................... 50

    Bibliography .............................................................................................................. 50

    Resource Assessment

    Introduction

    The centuries in the middle of the second millennium BC mark a major change in the nature of the archaeological record. The monuments that had characterised the late Neolithic and the early Bronze Age went out of use; funerary practices, whatever they were, left little substantial evidence until the first century BC. Instead, the archaeological record is comprised mainly of the remains of domestic occupation and agriculture. The previous period had left a legacy of two thousand years of agriculture and a landscape at least partially cleared; the major earthwork monuments, especially the round barrows, would have been enduring landmarks. From about 1500 BC, however, changes in the nature of land use and of human settlement produced a very different archaeological record. By the end of the Iron Age the nature of the record had changed again. From about 150 BC, in many parts of the region, a series of developments introduced new forms of centralised settlement, a recognisable burial custom of cremation and deposition, new forms of material culture, and coinage. In 55 BC, with Julius Caesar’s first landing in Kent, south-eastern England also entered the historical record; his Gallic Wars (v, 12-4) contains a brief description of the area and a reference to kings in Kent. Thereafter other classical authors provide a few glimpses of the political history of the south-east and its relationship to the Roman Empire before the conquest starting in AD 43.

  • South East Research Framework Resource Assessment and Research Agenda for the Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age periods (2011 with additions in 2018 and 2019)

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    Our knowledge of the record of later prehistory has been influenced by many different factors, some of them varying considerably within the region. Post-Roman land use on the South Downs in Sussex allowed the survival of earthwork remains of later Bronze Age field systems and their associated settlements, which became a focus of research in the twentieth century (e.g. Curwen 1954), while on the North Downs and the chalk lands of East Kent very few such earthworks survived. From the middle of the nineteenth century the expansion of London led to the disturbance of much archaeological evidence, through construction works an

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