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Click here to see strategies recommended for addressing agenda themes and topics for this period.
4.1 Dating
  1. How can we maximise the potential of scientific dating methods as tools for refining the regional chronological framework for the first millennium BC?
  2. How can we refine further the ceramic chronology for the first millennium BC?

4.2 Site visibility, prospection and landscape exploration

  1. What mechanisms may underlie intra-regional variations in site densities?
  2. May the density and/or spatial extent of settlements of particular types and periods and within particular landscape zones be underestimated?
  3. How can we expand our knowledge of first millennium BC activity in areas with a poor record of settlement (e.g. upland valleys of the Derbyshire Peak)?

4.3 Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age settlements (c.1000-450 BC)

  1. Why are sites of this period comparatively rare in the archaeological record?
  2. What can we deduce about the morphology, spatial extent and functions of settlements, and in particular the processes underlying the development in some areas of enclosed occupation or activity foci?
  3. How many hillforts might have developed during this period and what functions may they have performed?

4.4 Middle Iron Age settlements (c.450-100 BC)

  1. Why were settlements increasingly enclosed during this period and to what extent may the progress of enclosure have varied regionally?
  2. What were the functions of hillforts and analogous enclosed sites dating from this period, and how were these related to each other and to other settlements?
  3. How and why did 'village' or 'ladder' settlements develop?

4.5 Late Iron Age settlements (c.100 BC-AD 50)

  1. Why did large nucleated settlements emerge in areas such as Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and can we clarify further their character and functions?
  2. How are the nucleated settlements related to one another and to other settlements of the period? In particular, is there evidence for a developing settlement hierarchy?
  3. How may nucleated and other settlements have developed in the Roman period?

4.6 Field systems and major linear boundaries

  1. Can we shed further light upon the development of field and boundary systems?
  2. What were the economic, social or political roles of the pit alignments and linear ditch systems that characterised many areas of the East Midlands?
  3. What may we deduce from studies of linear boundaries with respect to changes in the agrarian landscape?

4.7 Ritual and structured deposition and religion

  1. What is the nature of structured deposits in this region and may sub-regional patterns or trends be discerned?
  2. What roles may wet and other natural locations have performed and how might these have changed over time?
  3. How may studies of boundaries within, around and between settlements contribute to analysis of structured deposits?

4.8 The agricultural economy and landscape

  1. Can we chart more closely the processes of woodland clearance and agricultural intensification, their impact upon alluviation and colluviation, and variations between different areas?
  2. How may diet and land-use have varied over time and between different ecological zones? Can we identify specialist pastoral zones and elucidate coastal resource exploitation strategies?
  3. How may agricultural changes have impacted upon settlement patterns? Can the relationship between sedentary and mobile economies be clarified, and how did this vary spatially and over time?
  4. What was the impact of climate change upon farming practices, especially in upland areas such as the Derbyshire Peak?

4.9 Finds, craft, industry and exchange

  1. How can we add to our existing knowledge of industries and crafts in this region, particularly the extraction and smelting of iron and lead, salt production and quern manufacture?
  2. How can we ensure adequate analysis and publication of artefacts, particularly those recorded under the Portable Antiquities Scheme?
  3. What can we determine from artefact studies about trade and exchange and the role of coinage?

4.10 Social relations and society

  1. What social and economic roles may open and enclosed sites have performed, and may the progression in some areas from open to enclosed settlements imply the development of less mobile societies?
  2. What may further analyses of burials and of settlement architecture and morphology contribute to studies of social and political organisation?
  3. How can we better understand the nature of the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age and the socio-political changes of the later Iron Age?

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Trent & Peak Archaeology
Site/Project Name
Prehistoric pottery production in Charnwood Forest
County/Unitary Authority
Derbys, Leics, Northants, Notts
To be assigned
Report and Web Link
Knight, D, Faber, E, Carney, J, Marsden, P and Henderson, J 2016 Prehistoric Pottery Production in Charnwood Forest. Report for Historic England. ADS web link to be finalised

Agenda Topic(s)

Research Objective(s)

How has this work addressed the Research Agenda and Strategy?

Petrographic and electron microprobe analyses of granoitoid-tempered prehistoric pottery from sites across the East Midlands have shown the igneous and metamorphic inclusions in these vessels to derive from a wide range of tightly defined sources, including Mountsorrel Complex granodiorite and South Leicestershire quartz diorites deriving from outcrops at Enderby Warren, Stoney Cove and Coal Pit Lane, Enderby. Analyses of the potting clays suggest that local clays, particularly from alluvial sources, were utilised during pottery manufacture, but sources cannot yet be located precisely.

This work has demonstrated convincingly the incorporation of temper derived from igneous or metamorphic rock outcrops in Charnwood Forest from the Early Neolithic to Late Iron Age (most likely from weathered screes) and has added significantly to our understanding of the development of exchange systems during prehistory. Significant differences may be discerned in the patterns of production and distribution over time, shedding significant light upon changes in the exchange networks that linked settlements during the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods.

The work has thereby addressed Research Objective 4G 'Study the production, distribution and use of artefacts' which specifically calls for the application of petrographic and other scientific analyses to 'elucidate the production and distribution of artefacts that may be tied to specific raw material sources'. It also addresses Research Agenda Topic 4.9.3 'What can we determine from artefact studies about trade and exchange and the role of coinage?', specifically in terms of the trade and exchange of the raw materials used in pottery production.

--Tina Roushannafas, 05-Feb-2018 11:17

Trent & Peak Archaeology
Site/Project Name
Woodborough, Fox Wood Camp
County/Unitary Authority
SK 613 483

Agenda Topic(s)

Research Objective(s)

How has this work addressed the Research Agenda and Strategy?

Recent work at the presumed hillfort/military camp site at Fox Wood, Woodborough has found evidence of both Late Iron Age and Romano-British domestic activity and has prompted a reconsideration of the interpretation of the Scheduled earthwork (List entry no.: 1006398). The evidence suggests the establishment of the enclosure in the late Iron Age with continued occupation into the Roman period, although this remains to be confirmed by scientific dating. Results will be reported in a forthcoming issue of the Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire

--Tina Roushannafas, 05-Feb-2018 15:19

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  This page (revision-145) was last changed on 05-Feb-2018 15:20 by Tina Roushannafas