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On the edge of empire: A new narrative of society in the south-west of England during the first century BC to fifth century AD

Thomas, Sian 2018. On the edge of empire: A new narrative of society in the south-west of England during the first century BC to fifth century AD. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the relationship between people and material culture in the south-west of England from the first century BC to the fifth century AD. This area has often been ignored in the narratives of Britannia and the application of traditional theoretical models to the archaeology of the region, such as the Romanisation paradigm, has perpetuated the idea that the south-west peninsula was largely ‘un-Romanised’. The lack of developed urban centres, villa estates, temple sites and the low level of engagement with imported ceramics and other materials from the Roman world has been interpreted through the Romanisation model to suggest that was never fully integrated into the province of Britannia. In recent years the Romanisation paradigm has been heavily critiqued. New theoretical concepts such as discrepant identity theory have been developed which recognise that interactions in the provinces were far more complex than the simplistic dichotomy of Roman v Native. In line with this more emphasis is being placed on artefacts and their use in the creation of identity. Building on this shift in theoretical frameworks this thesis explores the relationship between material culture and the creation of identity. This is achieved through the analysis of the ceramics, personal adornment items and coins found in the region, both through excavation and from data recorded through the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The analysis has shed new light on the role these objects played in the renegotiation of identity that resulted from the Roman conquest. The result of this analysis has shown that far from being one politically cohesive society the region was inhabited by a number of smaller social and political groupings, who reacted differently to the conquest. This has allowed the conclusion to be drawn that modern Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly lay beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 July 2018
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 14:21

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