University of Leicester
2018LambAWPhD.pdf (12.38 MB)

Later Iron Age Mortuary Rites in Southern Britain: socio-political significance and insular and continental context

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posted on 2019-01-29, 15:21 authored by Andrew William Lamb
This thesis examines the parts played by human remains in communities during the Later Iron Age, and how these roles changed over time. Through careful consideration of the available evidence, and by employing a new, composite theoretical model, this thesis will reframe Iron Age burial practises, by relating changes in mortuary rites to developments in the social and political organisation of societies in Britain and on the continent. To achieve this, it examines mortuary data from communities living in Later Iron Age southern Britain (c.500BC-c.AD70): the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Sussex and Kent. Within this region, the dead were treated in a variety of ways in different locations and at different periods. Noted temporal changes to mortuary rites coinside with observable changes in the wider archaeological record, indicating that changes in such rites were part of wider sociopolitical developments. Besides marked developments over time and intra-regional heterogeneity, this data, at times, displays clear parallels to contemporary practices elsewhere in Britain and the near continent. This study considers the social and political role played by human remains during times of change. In doing so, it contextualises these rites within the broader British and near continental world. Taken together it suggests that mortuary practices were an integral part of Iron Age living, an important resource for structural cohesion, and one which was in part affected by changes elsewhere.



Haselgrove, Colin; James, Simon

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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