Saturday 15th May 2021 – BAS Lecture: Late Iron Age oppida

(rescheduled from March)

Late Iron Age territorial oppida in Southern Britain: a reinterpretation using new data collected from aerial photographs and lidar 

by Krystyna Truscoe, Doctoral research student, University of Reading

Oppida appear between the late 2nd century BC and early 1st century AD in Britain, the late Iron Age. Territorial oppida are characterised as being large in size, associated with substantial linear earthworks or dykes, and with a range of social and economic functions which relate to their position as important political centres or focal places for communities. My research focusses on three such sites in southern Britain: Chichester, Colchester and Silchester. While some landscape-scale surveys have been undertaken, the features of territorial oppida Krystyna’s lecture will cover her doctoral research into the landscapes of three sites classified as `territorial oppida’ in southern Britain.  Oppida appear between the late 2nd century BC and early 1st century AD in Britain, the late Iron Age. ‘Territorial oppida’ are characterised as being large in size, associated with substantial linear earthworks or dykes, and with a range of social and economic functions which relate to their position as important political centres or focal places for communities. Krystyna’s research focusses on three such sites: Chichester, Colchester and Silchester.

While some landscape-scale surveys have been undertaken, the features of ‘territorial oppida’ have tended to be studied in isolation and, often, without using airborne remote sensing methods either to examine the sites themselves or their environs. Krystyna has used these techniques to contextualise these sites, to analyse how they might have developed and the relationships they may have had with settlements within their environs.  Considerable information can be added even to well-studied sites by making connections between them and their landscape settings using information derived from aerial photograph and lidar interpretation. Krystyna collected new data from aerial photographs and lidar and combined it with information from other sources for her three case study areas, in order to establish as consistent a baseline of archaeological knowledge as is possible with which to compare them.  She will reveal the outcome of her research.

Krystyna has recently completed her doctoral research, using aerial photographs and LiDAR to examine the landscapes of territorial oppida in southern Britain, focusing on Chichester, Silchester and Colchester.  She previously worked on large-scale aerial photograph and lidar survey projects for local councils, universities and Historic England, including the South Downs National Park and the Mendip Hills AONB, and as a Historic Environment Record Officer in Greater London.  She has also been part of the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project team (University of Oxford).  In January this year she began work as the Historic Environment Advisor for Forestry England East district. @KrysiaTruscoe

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the above will be conducted on Zoom.  Details of how to join the lectures, which will commence as usual at 2.30pm, will be communicated nearer the time

Non-members are welcome to attend the Society’s lectures which are currently taking place on Zoom.  There is no charge for this. Places can be requested by emailing lectures(at)berksarch.co.uk a minimum of 3 working days beforehand (i.e. the Wednesday before the lecture at the absolute latest)

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