Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Thanet Theory

Before diving straight into Isle Archaeology, it’s important to be aware of the ever growing theories…this may seem dull, but I promise it’s important.  There cannot be research without a hypothesis and there cannot be a hypothesis without consideration being given to existing theories.  During preliminary research into Iron Age Thanet I considered six: Ex Oriente Lux, Diffusion, Kula Gift Exchange, Core Periphery Theory, Central Place Theory and notions of Gateway Communities.  Brief interpretations of each can be found on the individual pages, just follow the in text link or click the tab! This leaves this section for me to share my hypothesis…then the next entry will be the more exciting stuff!

My hypothesis is largely a revision of some and amalgamation of other theories that have already been discussed.  The biggest change is probably my ideas relating to Core and Periphery...the principal has remained the same but the subjects have altered somewhat.

Starting with the 'Core' it is no longer to be seen as a settlement, or tribe or an individual location, instead it is water.  Be it sea, lake, river, stream or brook, the waterways of the world are central to accessing landmasses.  Through such waterways people, their produce, their belief, their ideas and their technologies travel, without them much of the Ancient World would have been isolated and society as we see it today would be consequently very different.  It is important to remember that all waterways act as this 'Core', if we were to just consider the sea much of the world would remain in isolation.  This makes the 'Periphery' land, not settlements, but actual land masses as shown in the image above.  The settlements themselves are a product of the 'Core' and the 'Periphery'.

This basis allows for further developments in relation to Gateway Communities.  Such an outlook of the world requires there to be numerous nodal points along the 'Core', acting similarly to the 'Inner Periphery' as described within the Central Place tab.  This research aims to test the idea of Thanet being a nodal point, consisting of Gateway Communities.  If this is to be the case, it is then to determine whose gateway it is, is it to Britain, the Near Continent or Both?

The next entry is to focus upon the archaeology of Margate...it will consider all phases of the Iron Age and pose questions and maybe answer a few!
Influential Reading
Birch et al. 1988 The Gateway Island: Archaeological Discoveries in the Isle of Thanet 1630-1987 Thanet District Council: Margate
Cunliffe, B. 2011 Europe Between the Oceans:9000BC-AD1000 Yale Press: New Haven and London
Fox, C. 1943 The Personality of Britain: Its Influence on Inhabitant and Invader in Prehistoric and Early Historic Times Fourth Edition. National Museum of Wales: Cardiff

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