With Reference to the Stratigraphy and Palaeoenvironment Surrounding The Berth, North Shropshire by Shelagh Norton. Paperback; 205x290mm; 234 pages; 113 figures, 20 tables (colour throughout). 758 2021. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789698633. Epublication ISBN 9781789698640. |
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.
Assessing Iron Age Marsh-Forts considers marsh-forts as a separate phenomenon within Iron Age society through an understanding of their landscape context and palaeoenvironmental development. At the national level, a range of Iron Age wetland monuments has been compared to Sutton Common to generate a gazetteer of potential marsh-forts. At the local level, a multi-disciplinary case-study is presented of the Berth marsh-fort in North Shropshire, incorporating GIS-based landscape modelling and multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental analysis (plant macrofossils, beetles and pollen).
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.
About the Author
Shelagh Norton (BA, MPhil, PhD) specialises in the reconstruction of macro-and micro-palaeolandscapes, and in particular, the interpretation of plant macrofossil and coleopteran remains from wetland contexts. Her research is based on the practical application of archaeological principles in a real-world context both in the UK and New Zealand, where she worked as a Regional Archaeologist for Heritage New Zealand. Her publications include The Archaeological and Palaeoenvironmental Potential of the Weald Moors, Shropshire (Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society, 2016). She is an active member of the Hillfort Studies Group (University of Oxford), Worcestershire Archaeological Society and Worcestershire Archive Services.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Assessing Iron Age marsh-forts - an introduction ;
Chapter 2: The British Iron Age, hillforts and marsh-forts - Literature Review ;
Chapter 3: Methodology and Resources ;
Chapter 4: Marsh-forts in a landscape context ;
Chapter 5: North Shropshire’s marsh-forts ;
Chapter 6: The Berth – a marsh-fort in its landscape context ;
Chapter 7: The Berth – stratigraphic sequencing and radiocarbon dating ;
Chapter 8: The Berth – Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction ;
Chapter 9: Assessing Iron Age marsh-forts – Discussion and Conclusions ;
Appendix 1 – Radiocarbon dates ;
Appendix 2 – Samples weights and volumes ;
Appendix 3 – Full species lists
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