Past event

Archaeologies of animality: how animals shaped Iron Age and Romano-British landscapes

Trackways were an important component of many Iron Age and Roman-period rural landscapes in Britain. They linked settlement enclosures and led to fields and areas of pasture. Such features not only indicate the economic significance of livestock and pastoralism but also the importance of routine herding journeys during periods when landscape inhabitation and tenure are usually assumed to be static and permanent, focused on specific tracts of land.
Routes of trackways were ingrained into the muscle memories of people and animals, and the social memories of communities, and animal herds and flocks. People would have been alert to the movements, moods, and motivations of their beastly charges, matching their pace and bodily dispositions to those of livestock. Animals too would have partly shaped the trackways, fields, funnels, enclosures and pens through their behaviour.
In this presentation, Dr Chadwick will explore how the interrelationships of people and animals, their shared experience of movement and memory, resulted in the creation of the agricultural landscapes of Iron Age and Roman-period Britain.