Keynote Lectures

Dr. Melanie Giles, University of Manchester

Bog Bodies: The Case of Worsley Man

Wednesday 3rd June, 10:30 – 12:00

As one of the most iconic sets of well-preserved prehistoric human remains, bog bodies fire the imagination of poets and artists as much as archaeologists. Yet they have been received in very different ways over the centuries in which they have re-emerged into our present. It is only by exploring our relationship with the bog from the Iron Age onwards, that we can understand why they were deposited in these precious and precarious environments, and how the use of the bog shaped the significance of the people and objects which were ‘turfed up’ into new worlds of meaning. This lecture presents the latest analysis of Worsley man – Manchester Museum’s own ‘bog head’ – and re-situates him within the world of late Iron Age and early Roman northern Britain, in order to better understand why this decapitated head was interred on Astley Moss, near Worsley, in the first-second century A.D.

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Dr. Matthew Knight, National Museum of Scotland

Accumulations Over Time: Recognising Time-Depth in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Metalwork Hoards in Britain

Thursday 4th June, 10:30 – 11:00

We increasingly recognise that Bronze Age and Iron Age metalwork hoards are the result of accumulation processes. But less attention has been paid to the time over which these hoards were gathered and how we might identify this process of finding, gathering and selecting objects for deposition. This paper highlights a series of tools for recognising time-depth within Late Bronze Age and Iron Age hoards in Britain, supported by case studies. Accumulating objects for a hoard over time was a widespread practice, with some objects rediscovered and incorporated into later hoards, whilst others were retained and curated. This has implications for how we might approach and interpret hoards. Rather than static events representing a single moment in time, we can view some hoards as the result of a long-term process of accumulation.

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Dr. Helen Chittock, AOC Archaeology Group

Breaking and Making Early Celtic Art: New Investigations into Fragmentation

Thursday 4th June, 11:00 – 11:30

The year 2020 marks two decades since the publication of John Chapman’s Fragmentation in Archaeology, providing an excellent opportunity to review its impact in different branches of archaeological study. In this paper, I’ll suggest that, while Chapman’s work has been very useful to Iron Age archaeologists, there is still much to be gained from deeper insights into fragmentation, particularly in light of recent developments in archaeological theory.

This paper presents an examination of the different types of fragmentation encountered in Iron Age archaeology to argue that the term covers a range of practices. It will focus on fragmentation identified within the assemblage of decorated metal objects often known as Early Celtic Art to consider the creative processes it entailed.