By asking who was wearing brooches, how and in what context, this thesis questions long held assumptions about “Celtic” modes of dress and adornment. Beyond dress and decoration however, Late Iron Age and Early Roman brooches provide insight into ritualised practices — such as deposition.
Examining over 2,000 archaeologically contexted Late Iron Age and Early Roman brooches from northern France, I observed that they were rarely stand-alone finds. Instead, brooches were most often recorded in stratified contexts, with weaponry, human bone and almost consistently in association with burnt material.
Mixed brooch deposits were recovered at all settlement types (farms, sanctuaries, enclosures) throughout the Late Iron Age and Early Roman periods, demonstrating this item’s central importance within a range of complex and on going ritualized practices.
This thesis reexamines brooch typologies used to study Late Iron Age and Early Roman Brooches and introduces a new brooch typology for use in Northern France and a consistent glossary of descriptive terms. Beyond typology however, my work sought to query brooches as small personal items in order to ask deeper questions about society and identity in the periods leading up to, and immediately following, the Roman conquest of Gaul.
To find out more, read my thesis- available online.