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BRITARCH  November 2015

BRITARCH November 2015

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Subject:

Re: Archaeology in the nursery

From:

Dave Tooke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dave Tooke <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 9 Nov 2015 14:10:02 +0000

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments

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Whilst not necessarily strongly disagreeing; I have to ask what archaeological (as in stuff from the soil) evidence for these theories is there? 

There has been work on things like land tenure, Helen Wicksteads work on bronze age Dartmoor for example. 

But Hawkes' Ladder is still very hard to climb. 

Dave Tooke

Sent from my iPhone

> On 9 Nov 2015, at 08:36, Michael <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> For fun, let me propose a hypothetical ancient British society based on various things I have read & a few guesses and see how much anyone agrees/disagrees with:
> 
> There are defined male and female roles and various ranks in society. Women are valued for their role in the home, men as warriors. Both work on various aspects of farming & fishing. Some groups treat women as mere property, however, in others there are not such strict roles and e.g. Women can become leaders and many men are not warriors. Marriages are normally monogamous, are often/usually arranged, and it is expected a dowry will be provided by parents for women. Sex before marriage is taboo with heavy sanctions. Both a lack of marriage and pre-marital sex can potentially make women unmarriageable. However, paradoxically, whilst far stricter on the act of sex, sex as a topic of conversation is much more open than our own. Homosexuality, is present, but whilst the social pressure is to be a heterosexual, in at least some societies homosexuals are seen to fulfil some useful roles and are tolerated (or better?).
> 
> There are laws regarding marriage, sex outside marriage, inheritance, property, war, treatment of guests. There are also slaves, which can be bought and sold, but even with slaves there are social norms (Laws?) regarding their treatment.
> 
> Some/many in society have something akin to formal education being taught rhetoric, the law, "accountancy/home-making", medicine, geography, the motion of the stars, planets, eclipses, etc,. However many/most have very little status and in some societies the general population is treated little better than slaves.
> 
> Fortunately, humour is commonplace as is drinking and social meetings, particularly at the yearly large social gatherings. Most groups have a "coming of age" type ceremony and for men this involves some form of test of manhood.
> 
> War is common, mostly or perhaps almost exclusively fought by men. However peace and formal agreements between groups are also common. There are various classes of warriors, but if need be all will fight (including women). Those who have fought most heroically are distinguished with honours.
> 
> Religion is present, but it is more interwoven with knowledge systems than being overt expressions of religion or proclamations of faith. Many turn to religion for important parts of their life including marriage, birth, death. However, it is by no means an all dominating influence and many people and/or groups have very little interest.
> 
> Commercial trade and travel takes place, so that whilst it would be very rare for the general population to see someone from outside Britain, the "elite" would certainly meet such people and possibly even have travelled outside Britain. So, there would be awareness of the vague geography & peoples of Britain and the nearer regions of Europe, with a scattering of odd knowledge further afield.
> 
> Mike
> 
>> On 09/11/2015 00:34, Eve Richardson wrote:
>> Makes me happy that my questions are considered interesting. :-)
>> 
>> I've no idea what has been done. There is, of course, a lot (wishful?) thinking about Iron-Age Britain, the role of women and who/what the Druids and spiritual beliefs were. But what is actually 'known' I don't know. And of course, we're talking about long periods of time over which one might expect changes to occur.
>> 
>> I've based my questions on reading I've done about cultures elsewhere because a lot of them have come up in anthropological studies - not to mention that the very different world views of "Western" vs Indigenous cultures is still very relevant today. The difference is a major reason why Indigenous communities in Canada, for example, are at the forefront of anti-pipeline struggles.
>> 
>> I imagine there were similar differences between the peoples occupying Britain at the time and the colonizing Romans.
>> 
>> Eve
>>> On 08-Nov-2015 7:12 PM, Michael wrote:
>>> Fascinating set of questions.
>>> 
>>> Has anyone seriously tried to answer them even for the Iron-age where we have more information and if so who?
>>> 
>>> Mike
>>> 
>>>> On 08/11/2015 19:47, Eve Richardson wrote:
>>>> All these questions would probably relate to:
>>>> What resources were valued.
>>>> Who extracted/worked/produced resources.
>>>> Who controlled land/resources.
>>>> How control was transferred.
>>>> What knowledge was valued.
>>>> How knowledge was transferred.
>>>> Who had an in with the gods/creator.
>>>> Were these matrilineal or patrilineal, or a combination?
>>>> What the kinship system was.
>>>> Did people "own" the land?
>>>> How did they perceive their relationship to the earth/nature/animals/plants etc?
>>>> 
>>>> More questions than I can think of because I don't know enough to ask the right ones. But looking at other cultures today can help us formulate some of those questions. (What questions would a member of an Amazon tribe ask about another people? I've no idea, but I bet it would be entirely different from the ones I'd ask.)
>>>> 
>>>> Eve
>> 
>> 
>> ---
>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
> 
> 
> -- 
> http://mons-graupius.co.uk

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