Assessing Iron Age marsh-forts

Norton, Shelagh Margaret (2019). Assessing Iron Age marsh-forts. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (22MB) | Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (11MB) | Preview


Iron Age marsh-forts are large, monumental structures located in low-lying waterscapes. Although they share chronological and architectural similarities with their hillfort counterparts, their locations suggest that they may have played a specific and alternative role in Iron Age society. Despite the availability of a rich palaeoenvironmental archive at many sites, little is known about these enigmatic structures and until recently, the only acknowledged candidate was the unusual, dual-enclosure monument at Sutton Common, near Doncaster.
This thesis assesses marsh-forts as a separate phenomenon within Iron Age society through an understanding of their landscape context and palaeoenvironmental development. At national level, a range of Iron Age wetland monuments are compared to Sutton Common to generate a gazetteer of potential marsh-forts. At local level, a case-study is presented of the Berth marsh-fort in North Shropshire, applying a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates GIS-based landscape modelling, multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental analysis (plant macrofossils, beetles and pollen) and excavation.
The results of both the gazetteer and the Berth case-study challenge the view that marsh-forts are simply a topographical phenomenon. These substantial Iron Age monuments appear to have been deliberately constructed to control areas of marginal wetland, and may have played an important role in the ritual landscape.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year