Object biography, re-use and recycling in the late to post-Roman transition period and beyond: rings made from Romano-British bracelets

Swift, E.V. (2012) Object biography, re-use and recycling in the late to post-Roman transition period and beyond: rings made from Romano-British bracelets. Britannia, 43 . pp. 167-215. ISSN 0068-113X. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068113X12000281

Abstract

Documenting a phenomenon that has previously been overlooked, this article examines the later stages of object biography in relation to Romano-British bracelets, namely, their modification and subsequent re-use as smaller rings. Re-use is shown to occur widely and is particularly associated with the late fourth to early fifth centuries a.d., with cut-down bracelets also found in early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. The making of smaller rings from late Roman bracelets is demonstrated to be part of a wider phenomenon of re-use, repair and recycling at the end of the Roman period in Britain, with attendant implications of cultural and economic change. It is proposed that the transformation of these artefacts was accompanied by changes in meaning which undermine the apparent continuity that is seen in the extended lifespan of the original object. This in turn illuminates the way that wider cultural norms were gradually eroded in the fifth century. Through the study of these artefacts a new perspective is provided on the transition to post-Roman Britain and the relationship between this and the early Anglo-Saxon period.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Forthcoming, at proof stage. The length of the article is c. 70 pages including 12 figures, 6 tables and 2 appendices
Uncontrolled keywords: artefact biography; re-use/recycling; Romano-British bracelets; Romano-British finger-rings; Anglo-Saxon cemeteries; material culture; grave-goods; votive offerings
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Steph Ham
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2012 15:03
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 08:08
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30977 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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