Divergent Identities? The Middle and Upper Ouse Valley in the Late Iron Age and Romano-British Periods.
thesisposted on 02.02.2009, 14:36 by Judy M. Meade
This thesis is a study of social change in Britain in the Late Iron Age and Romano-British periods. Evidence from the Middle and Upper Ouse Valley is examined in order to discover how Late Iron Age communities constructed their identities, and how they were transformed with the coming of Rome. A regional and landscape-based approach is adopted, making full use of the wide range of information available. Two case study areas, Milton Keynes and Bedford, are compared, using excavated data, and the results are tested with reference to the less detailed data obtained from Sites and Monuments Records. The patterns revealed in the case studies are then viewed in the light of data from neighbouring comparative regions. Based on developmental trajectories seen in those regions, some interpretations are given for the diversity seen within the study area. This thesis reveals a pattern of different regional identities in both Late Iron Age and Romano-British periods. It thereby contributes to the breakdown of the monolithic image of Britain as a whole, as well as of the region itself. It demonstrates that, on a small and local scale, different communities and individuals may have received different treatment from the state, and reacted in different ways. Furthermore, by considering a wide variety of sites, material culture and behaviour, and not focussing on the elite, this research has also given a voice to those of lower status.