Abandonment Issues. Exploring house abandonment in the Bronze Age of North-western Europe

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Abandonment Issues. Exploring house abandonment in the Bronze Age of North-western Europe

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Abandonment Issues. Exploring house abandonment in the Bronze Age of North-western Europe
Author: Steffens, Bastiaan
Issue Date: 2016-08-31
Keywords: Bronze Age
Westfrisia
House Abandonment
The past in the past
Abstract: The concept of abandonment is often framed within a biographical perspective where the house has the possibility to be understood in different ways throughout its use-life. Previous studies of abandonment mostly problematized how abandonment depositions were indicative of how abandonment itself was conducted, but hardly engaged with how the house-site was re-used afterwards. This results in a view of settlements where the abandonment of almost all houses is something that cannot be commented upon. Consequently, continuity and change in the use of settled landscapes cannot be viewed in relation to how people dealt with their own pasts. In contrast with this approach, the central problem discussed here revolves around how the structured analysis of abandonment practices can help to define the house during and past its abandonment in order to add temporality to our interpretations of the settled landscape. This means that the ability of past places to be of influence on future actions is investigated, particularly pertaining to the prehistoric house-site. The resulting study dealt with abandonment from a practice-theory perspective, and attempted to highlight changes in use of the house-site between the house’s use-phase, abandonment phase and post-abandonment phase. Specific attention is awarded to how the house itself was treated through the detailed study of soil features. The case-study employed to demonstrate this approach is focussed at the Westfrisian Bronze Age.
Supervisor: Fokkens, Harry
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Research master)
Specialisation: Prehistoric Farming Communities in North-Western Europe
ECTS Credits: 35
Evaluation: Recommended
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/41880
 

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