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Title: Changing times :the emergence of a Bronze Age on the Isle of Man
Authors: Crellin, Rachel Joanne
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In this thesis I consider the study of change. I present a critique of existing approaches to the study of change and time in a prehistoric context. I develop an approach that moves beyond explanations of change where change is the result of singular causation located in a single moment of time. I critically consider how change is understood in the work of key relational thinkers such as Latour, Bennett, Ingold and DeLanda, developing an understanding of change which stresses the interplay between continuously fluxing assemblages and episodes of dramatic change (phase transitions). The theoretical position established is applied to interpreting change during the Ronaldsway Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age on the Isle of Man in an evidence-led analysis of material culture, mortuary practices and transformation of place. I focus on axes of stone and bronze and use them as a means to explore the effects of changing technology. New use-wear analysis on the Early Bronze Age corpus of metalwork from the Isle of Man is presented as a means of exploring the impact of bronze as a new material. I consider burial practices from 3000-1500 cal BC supported by twelve new radiocarbon dates. I also address changing relations with earth, drawing together diverse evidence including Earthfast Jar practices, the construction of burial monuments and the settlement evidence from the period. A new narrative for the period emerges highlighting the strength of an approach that draws on relational thinking. This approach emphasises the role of non-human actants in producing both continuity and change. It establishes the role of specific actants in the changing assemblages of the Manx Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, illustrating how change emerges from the constant flux that is endemic within actants at every scale. Change is presented as complex, relational and multiple. It is traceable through careful consideration of gradual changes at multiple scales by considering the quivering hives of activity within every assemblage.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Historical Studies

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