Posted by: lukelavan | June 13, 2013

Iron Age Day

On the 22nd May the University hosted a seminar on the Iron Age in Kent to provide a select audience with an overview of research taking place at the University.  The day commenced with a guided tour around a large excavation currently taking place on the campus itself, Canterbury Archaeological Trust are undertaking the work, prior to student accommodation being built.  This excavation has revealed extensive Iron Age occupation, which appears to be an extension of the settlement uncovered two years ago at St Edmunds School.  To date the excavations have revealed Iron Age buildings, a number of pits and ditches, and a well.  In terms of the material culture recovered, this is said to bear striking similarities to material recovered on sites on the Near Continent (i.e. France and Belgium) as opposed to evidence from this period recovered in neighbouring counties as one may expect.  This is a particularly important excavation as it will greatly increase our knowledge and understanding of Iron Age Occupation at Canterbury.

Following the guided tour, a seminar was held during which three papers were presented, by staff and students of the university.  The first paper, presented by Dr Steven Willis, focused on Late Iron Age settlement developments, in particular the oppida at Canterbury, Colchester (Camulodunum), and Stanwick.  The second paper, presented by Emma Jackson, focused on the theoretical elements of oppida exploring what they are, how they are currently understood, and how studies of these sites can be developed. We enjoyed speculating about the site of Canterbury itself, which was almost certainly an oppidum in the late Iron Age. Finally, the third paper, presented by Andy Bates, focused on new fieldwork on the environs of a local hillfort, and on a landscape study which has revealed the potential fortifications of Iron Age Canterbury. We are grateful to Mr Paul Dyer for supporting Andy’s work, and to Dr Paul Bennett for taking us our group around the new excavations.

Emma Jackson, PhD student 14/06/2013

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