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英国精选论文代写范文:British society during the later Bronze Age

2017-05-02 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

本篇英国精选论文代写范文讲了长期的MBA / LBA改变了传统仪式场所的定居点和遗弃。在山丘的发展和文物的变化方面,社会似乎变得更加战争。本文将简要讨论LBA期间英国社会性质根本变化的证据,并将首先对景观,气候和农业,居住,埋葬和文物进行检验,最后再对社会的性质和组织进行评估。本篇英国精选范文由51due英国论文代写机构整理,供大家参考阅读。


What evidence is there for ‘radical change’ in the nature of British society during the later Bronze Age?

The Late Bronze Age (LBA) in Britain can be thought of as the long period from approximately 1140-700BC, following the Early (EBA) and Middle Bronze Age (MBA) beginning around 2200 and 1500BC respectively (Parker Pearson 2005, 122-23). The EBA is noted for tomb building and communal burials, and the creation of sacred landscapes and monuments as well as the Bell-Beaker phenomenon and the Wessex Culture (Parker Pearson 2005; Sherratt 1994, 250-56). The long MBA/LBA saw a change in settlement and the abandonment of traditional ritual sites. Society seems to become more warlike in terms of the development of hillforts and changes in artefacts. This essay shall discuss briefly the evidence for radical change in the nature of British society during the LBA and will begin by examining the landscape, climate and agriculture, habitation, burials and artefacts and finally the nature and organisation of society before offering some conclusions.

In the EBA, the landscape had already been transformed by clearance for agriculture, hedges, ditches and walls and had witnessed the development of uplands. The area of Dartmoor was intensively developed from around 1500BC, perhaps for livestock more than crops (Parker Pearson 2005, 89-90, 130-31; Pryor 2003, 317). After 1300BC, at least in southern England, long boundary ditches and banks, as at Bokerley Dyke, were driven through earlier arrangements, seeming to divide the landscape into ranches or estates (Harding 1994, 317-18). It has been suggested that LBA boundaries at sites such as Barleycroft and Flag Fen were not necessarily or solely for agricultural purposes or agriculturally rational (Pryor 2003, 305-09). Cattle were certainly important in many areas, such as Milfield (Waddington 1997).

In the LBA the climate of the British Isles seems to have changed, becoming colder and wetter, which, combined with long-term intensive cultivation, led to many uplands being transformed into blanket bogs and deserted by 1200BC (Laing & Laing 1980, 191, 224-25; Parker Pearson 2005, 91-92). New types of crop such as rye began to be cultivated (Harding 1994, 315). Other negative climatic events occurred in the mid-twelfth century BC as indicated by narrow growth rings from trees may have had serious effects on harvests. Agriculture seems to have become more intensive, owing to technological advances, and with a wider range of cereals and legumes and a shift to sheep raising rather than cattle (Parker Pearson 2003, 117).

A variety of habitation sites are known from the LBA, although until recently they were 'virtually unknown' (Parker Pearson 2005, 118). Ram's Hill (c1300BC) in Berkshire is one of several hilltop sites in central southern England with massive defences (Parker Pearson 2005, 100). These may have served several functions, agricultural and trading based on their location in boundary zones. Later sites like the defended farmstead at Fenton Hill (by c800BC), with a stockade, seem to show an increasing concern with defence (Waddington 1997, 25), although undefended lowland sites are known (Parker Pearson 2005, 117). The roundhouse continued through the LBA and into the IA, with notable examples from Cladh Hallan, Springfield Lyons and an IA example at Fison Way (Parker Pearson 2005, 105-111; Pryor 2003, 413). Sites like Potterne (c1200-600BC), with vast numbers of animal bones, metal objects and structures perhaps for animals have been suggested as regional centres for socialising, livestock trading and conspicuous feasting (Pryor 2003, 314-15).

There are relatively few burials from the LBA, contrasting with earlier times when monumental and significantly constructed burial areas had been widely used, such as the henge at Loanhead of Daviot in Aberdeenshire or cairns at Milfield, Northumberland (Waddington 1997, 25). During the EBA/LBA cremation burials became increasingly common but after 1000BC they tend to be buried without a container, formerly used were the Neolithic derived cinerary urns of the earlier BA, in shallow pits and by c800BC cremation burial rites seem to have almost disappeared altogether (Parker Pearson 2005, 113). Hutton emphasises the break in monumental site creation and use, effectively at 1500BC and in the urn cemeteries that start to vanish after 1200BC (1991, 132). Had the developing hierarchies perhaps represented by the differentiated burial styles broken down to a more egalitarian society, had differentiation in life become more important or had the overall style of society changed?

The LBA also saw developments in goods, with increased sword and axe production at sites such as Cladh Hallan and Springfield Lyons where moulds have been found (Parker Pearson 2005, 111-12). Much bronze weaponry, including swords has been found at Milfield, in particular Ewart and Coupland from the early first millennium (Waddington 1997, 25). It has been suggested that some of the items produced, such as axes or thin bronze shields would have been unusable for anything other than display or exchange, although a focus on weaponry may indicate a more militaristic mindset. Pryor suggests that only small scale skirmishing, raiding and boundary disputes took place rather than larger pitched battles (2003, 287).

In conclusion, Mike Parker Pearson justifiably suggests that the period from 1700BC is one in which British society changes into an 'Age of Land Division and Water Cults' from an 'Age of Astronomy an Sacred Landscapes' (2005, 130-2). Hutton sees profound discontinuity in religious practices and presumably beliefs (1991, 136-37). The abandonment and sometimes partial destruction of ancient sites, the marking out of new boundaries that ignore previous ones and increasingly invisible disposal of the dead was accompanied by the adoption in some areas of innovative metal forms with new axes and larger swords and the use of more defended sites. Increased regional characteristics in pottery and axes that foreshadow those of the tribal IA become visible although whether they were relatively egalitarian in organisation (as Pryor believes (2003, 313)) or hierarchical is difficult to determine (Parker Pearson 2005, 132). With some justification the LBA may be termed proto-Celtic, although perhaps it would be better simply to admit that there is much evidence for continuity between the LBA and IA.

Bibliography:

Harding, A. 1994. Reformation in Barbarian Europe, 1300-600BC. In Cunliffe, B. (ed.). The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 304-35.

Hutton, R. 1991. The Pagan Religions of the British Isles. Oxford: Blackwell.

Laing, L. & Laing, J. 1980. The Origins of Britain. London: Paladin.

Parker Pearson, M. 2005. Bronze Age Britain. London: Batsford.

Pryor, F. 2003. Britain BC. London: Harper Perennial.

Sherratt, A. 1994. The Emergence of Elites: Earlier Bronze Age Europe, 2500-1300BC. In Cunliffe, B. (ed.). The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 244-76.

Waddington, C. 1997. Land of Legend: Discovering the Heart of Ancient Northumbria. Wooler: The Country Store.


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