Materiality in Early Bronze Age Wales

  • Rhiannon Pettitt

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis contributes an original approach to the understanding of human-object relations at funerary and ceremonial sites during the period c.2200 BC - 1400 BC within Wales. A primary review of archaeological work within this region contextualises this thesis and challenges the notion that this area is materially-poor during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Drawing on existing excavation reports and archived material, a database of archaeological sites detailing context and material culture was created. Additionally a calibrated set of dates, was mapped against architectural, depositional and material practice. These data sets provided the opportunity to compare different Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age archaeological features in terms of the character and variety of associated objects and materials. Analysis of this data has illustrated key contrasts and similarities in the treatment of material culture across architecturally distinct ceremonial and funerary site types. This interpretation is framed by a discussion of materiality, arguing for a model which is located in past perspectives rather than a deconstruction of Western material values. Materiality is explored as a contextual, often learned understanding of the world, which is not restricted to the physical qualities of materials. Potential concepts of materiality were considered with particular attention given to the treatment of human remains in funerary and ceremonial contexts. The result of this thesis is an enhanced understanding of depositional practices and their role in the construction, use and perception of funerary and ceremonial sites within the Early Bronze Age of Wales.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJulian Thomas (Supervisor) & Colin Richards (Supervisor)


  • Monuments
  • Materiality
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Wales

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