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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The household is often seen as the basic unit of European Iron Age societies, but the role of the domestic sphere as a social arena has received relatively little attention. This chapter compares the nature and internal organization of household groups in selected Iron Age societies, examining not just the architectural layouts of houses and farmsteads, but also the residues of everyday practice. The dynamic nature of the relationship between household groups and the built spaces they inhabited is emphasized. Relations between households, and how they were integrated into wider communities, are also considered. In some societies, individual households were dispersed across the landscape, whereas in others they were clustered in large, nucleated ‘villages’. In many Iron Age societies, the local community—rather than larger ‘tribal’ groupings—was the primary level at which meaningful authority was articulated and negotiated.

Keywords: house, household, domestic architecture, community, nucleation, social differentiation, ritual

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