Essay, 8 pages (2000 words)

Archeological models for social classifications

1. Introduction

The Cadbury Castle and the surrounding area was developed in the later Bronze and Early Iron age and has been developed around the first Millennium (Colebatch, 1977 , Gem, 1996 , Lane, 1995). The site is important as a fort, as it provided defensive arrangements for the community of the time, and led to the changes in social arrangements and conflict in the area at the time (Hummler, 2009). This essay uses Elmans Service fourfold classifications (Service, 1962) to examine and study the social organization of the South Cadbury hillfort and itsenvironment, with a focus on examining the ways in which the social classification and settlement patterning has influenced the developments in the hillfort. The essay uses chronologically studies in the social classification and settlement patterning of the Cadbury Hillfort site. This discussion is developed over time based on the available archeological evidence, and the relevant changes in the social structure.

2. Discussion

The Cadbury Castle is often seen in isolation, although the site has been an area of scientific interest for a long time. The efforts to excavate at the site of South Cadbury have been uneven for the last few decades (Lane, 1995 , Maddicott, 1997). In the recent years, the Arthurian pretext led to a number of excavations, which have shown the importance of the site. The hillfort is a central place of advertising for the Somersettourism industrydue to the cultural importance of the site (Tabor, 2008) and therefore has been excavated heavily. The history of the site is evident by the attempts to form a Camelot park in the 17th century, and therefore, the importance of the site has been a debatable topic for a number of years (Tabor, 2008). The Cadbury Hill has been attributed as a shifting place in the human landscape, and often associated with the shifts in the social structures of the society in different times (Tabor, 2008). For example, the Early and Late-Neolithic ritual pits have been associated with the changes in the summit, where the spine of the Milson’s Corner has m marked the special way in which the hill has changed over time.

Research suggests that by the second Millennium BC, the changes in the Cadbury Hill were significant. The open south east and the north was areas on Sigwells provided the human inhabitants with grazing rights through the use of long linear ditches, which are archeologically significant (Tabor, 2008). The social composition of the area shows that they had mundane and basic staplefood(Tabor, 2008), which indicates that the early people inhabiting the lands were not highly sophisticated, and therefore the social structure must have been basic and simple (Arnold, 1996). The archeological record also shows the presence of a polished axe, which shows that the by the middle of the second millennium BC, the territorial aspects had changed significantly, and the locals inhabiting the castle were using these to align themselves with other parts of the society.

The changes in the ridge of the castle also meant that the on the south ridge, the partially realigned arrangement was set up in the Early Iron Age, where the enclosures has been reserved for particular spaces, and indicated the use of social hierarchy by the inhabitants (Gem, 1996 , Hopetayl. B, 1974). The evidence also suggests that another burial may have been in a slated boat like coffin, which indicated that it was aligned on Glastonbury Tor, which is around 18 km to the North West. These alignments in the archeological studies show the society was aligning itself not only to its internal conditions, but also to the external parties and groups to which it must have been associated with. One of the ridges on the south of Cadbury is the partially realigned scheme, which has persisted from the early Iron Age. This ridge shows that the inhabitants had particular places, which were reserved for the various functions the ridges also show the presence of the different communities, who were operating in the different areas, and had a number of social functions. For example, the ridges show that the isolated ditches enclosures had been reserved in a particular areas (Gem, 1996 , Hopetayl. B, 1974). This shows that the social status at that time was based on the different higher places and the lowed places in the building of the site. This also illustrates that the site had a number of different people who were represented in the social circles at the site, leading to different social groups (Service, 1962).

The social standing in the society at the first period was based on Paleolithic time, in which the hunter gathers in the society were present at the site. The archeological evidence suggest that at that time, society was sparsely populated, and therefore the competition between humans was significantly low at the site (Tabor, 2008). The archeological evidence also suggests that rock art was found from the site, which indicates that socially, these people were not inclined to any particular field, but mostly focused on farming within the area. The defenses of the fort were also constructed through the early plough of the fields and the castle was actually built on a multilevel hillfort around 400 BC (Tabor, 2008). This castle was again reinforced in the late Bronze age and the Iron Age, where the excavations by Alcock shows that a number of temples and shrines were also present. During this time, the classification of the castle and its inhabitants can be classified as tribal, as suggested by Elmand Service (Service, 1962).

The castle also shows the presence of religious sites (Tabor, 2008). The presence of religious temples indicates that the social standing of different people in the village was dependent on their religious understanding. This also shows that the site was used by the different religious actors, who had a number of occupations. The society also shows that presence of metal work from the excavations which indicated that by the Roman Army Barracks were also installed at the location (Alcock, 1968 , Alcock, 1969). The early excavations indicate towards the roman activity area was significantly busy during the different areas, and led to social exclusion of certain people in the society (Alcock, 1968 , Alcock, 1969).

The segment society period of the Cadbury Castle archeology shows that a number of small groups were formulated in the areas, which were working to regulate their own affairs. This was during the bronze period, when the Cadbury Hill archeology shows that social systems were developing (Draper, 2009 , Maddicott, 1997). The changes in the social structure of the Cadbury Hill are also indicated through the presence of the ‘ shrine’ on the plateau, and the refurbishing of the defenses of the castle (Tabor, 2008). This was followed by refurbishment of the defenses and the south-west gate, which led to the Westward Corridor of the castle. However, the destruction of the remaining corridor and the gate of the castle shows human trail being visible along the route on the hill and the end of the traditional form of British power and rule in the area (Tabor, 2008) This time can be called a tribal time, in which the people in the time were able to undertake their affairs in the form of a tribe (Service, 1962)..

The period of the Romano-British from the later period of the first century AD is also illustrated in the east of the hill through the archeology of the area. This period saw the presence of the iron age scheme, and the conquest of the landscape in the methodologically planned system of the castle (Tabor, 2008). The social structure at that time related to the use of the forts shows that the societies living in the area were increasingly independent, and were able to develop their own ways of living,. The archeological data also suggest that the groupings in the communities were also clear, as the data shows that they were divided into different groups through the social classification in the castle (Tabor, 2008). The post conquest landscapes in the castle also show that the different constructions, such as Milsoms’s Corner, which was a ditch across the iron age to the Cadbury Hillfort emphasized the degree of the separateness of the different enclosures in the north west area (Tabor, 2008). This time can be called a Chiefdom time, in which the people in the time were able to undertake their affairs through a central chief, who was looking after the affairs of the people (Service, 1962).

There is some evidence to suggest that the continuity of the early medieval period was also witnessed in the Romano-British times. For example, the Milsoms’s Corner and the Sigwelss were remnants of the Romano-British field systems, which were a much less bounded landscape. However, during this time, new isolated enclosures were also created, which indicate the emphasis on the stock rearing rather than on arable agriculture (Tabor, 2008). During this time, it also appears that the social classes in the castle were also increased, which indicates a change in the social system of the area, and was part of the Roman influence on the British society (Alcock, 1971 , Draper, 2009 , Hummler, 2009) This time can be called a state era, in which the people in the time were able to undertake their affairs under the state, through proper governance arrangements (Service, 1962). Recent history suggests that the Mediterranean pottery was also present in the castle, This archeological find suggests that the trade and commerce was highly important for the inhabitants and therefore the inhabitants were able to use their trading skills to increase their partnerships with the different trading partners (Tabor, 2008). The landscape also suggests that the latter Saxon refurbishments of the castle led to its use during this time. The archeological finds from this time indicate that the social standing of the castle changed, and was based on the medieval system of class, which was the main structure of the castle at that time (Tabor, 2008).

3. Conclusions

A number of conclusions can be drawn from this research into the social organization of the South Cadbury Hillfort and its environ. One of the underlying features was that the castle has moved from a classless congregation of people living together to a more functional and structured castle, which is based on a class system, which was governed by the rulers in order to manifest their governance of the castle. The social structure of the castle has changed especially in the Roman period, when the castle appears to have been used as a barrack, and therefore was the center of military power. However, later, the castle has also seen to be used as a Camelot park, which completely changed the environment of the castle, and led to changes in the social structure. The changing social structure indicates that historic changes in the structure of society can be evaluated from the use of archeological techniques.


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