The Iron Age Round-house: Later Prehistoric Building in Britain and Beyond

The Iron Age Round-house: Later Prehistoric Building in Britain and Beyond


By (author) D. W. Harding


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 360 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 236mm x 24mm | 780g
  • Publication date: 20 December 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199558574
  • ISBN 13: 9780199558575
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: Colour inserts-16pp colour plates, 50 in-text illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,519,908

Product description

In contrast to Continental Europe, where the Iron Age is abundantly represented by funerary remains as well as by hill-forts and major centres, the British Iron Age is mainly represented by its settlement sites, and especially by houses of circular ground-plan, apparently in marked contrast to the Central and Northern European tradition of rectangular houses. In lowland Britain the evidence for timber round-houses comprises the footprint of post-holes or foundation trenches; in the Atlantic north and west, the remains of monumental stone-built houses survive as upstanding ruins, testimony to the building skills of Iron Age engineers and masons. D. W. Harding's fully illustrated study explores not just the architectural aspects of round-houses, but more importantly their role in the social, economic and ritual structure of their communities, and their significance as symbols of Iron Age society in the face of Romanization.

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Author information

D. W. Harding is Abercromby Professor Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh.

Review quote

This book provides an excellent and comprehensive description of these structures... and contains a critical review of many significant problems of interpretation that make it an important contribution to any library. Niall Sharples, British Archaeology this meticulously researched and well-illustrated volume is a significant contribution to Iron Ages studies Lisa Westcott, Current Archaeology an invaluable introduction and summary for any newcomer to the subject, and a must-have reference volume for those already more Lindsey Buster, European Journal of Archaeology

Table of contents

1. Iron Age Britain in its European Context ; 2. Identifying Houses: Principles and Problems ; 3. Post-Hole and Pit: Interpreting Timber Structures ; 4. Galleries, Cells and Corbelling: Interpreting Stone Structures ; 5. Origins and Antecedents ; 6. Round and Rectangular in the Romano-British Iron Age ; 7. Later Iron Age Buildings in the Atlantic North and West ; 8. Experimental Reconstruction: A Case Study of Wessex Round-Houses ; 9. Houses Fit for Gods and Heroes ; 10. Houses, Homesteads, Villages, Towns ; 11. Round-Houses, Settlement and Society