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Title: Long-term landscape development in south-east Northumberland using orientation analysis
Authors: Astbury, David
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The following thesis will explore the extent to which antecedent rural landscape features endured into later periods in south-east Northumberland using bespoke models built in GIS, and statistical analysis to calculate and compare the orientation of linear human-made features including boundaries, settlements and agricultural traces, and assess their relationship with underlying terrain. The extent to which antecedent systems of land use may have influenced those which came after has preoccupied archaeologists and historians for many years in other parts of England; but has never been discussed in the current study area, which lay beyond the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. Chronological gaps in settlement and land-use have been identified, between the second and sixth-century AD; and between the ninth and twelfth-century AD. It is the purpose of the current research to produce evidence which may help to shed light on how people lived and worked in the landscape at these times. Numerous large-scale, developer-funded excavations during the last twenty years have transformed our knowledge of the region. The rich grey literature resource resulting from these projects are here placed into a research context which reaches beyond the chronological constraints of the sites and features themselves. The results of these analyses, in light of recent research in the region and beyond, has led to a proposition that if boundary features present on 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps share orientation with nearby ancient boundaries and settlement enclosures, they could represent long-standing land-divisions from at least the late Iron Age to the nineteenth-century and in some cases into the present. In general, however, many boundaries present on 1st edition ordnance survey mapping conform to underlying slope direction, which makes the above claim more ambiguous.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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