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Monumentality and Landscape: 

Linear Earthworks in Britain 

A research project of the Department of Archeology

Project contacts: Professor Tom Moore and Dr Nicky Garland

Funded by

Leverhulme Trust


This project seeks to understand how and why human societies chose to delineate landscape in monumental form. Combining specialists from Durham and UCL, this project will compare—for the first time—the two periods when tangible large-scale territoriality emerged in the British landscape: The Iron Age and the early middle ages. 

Focusing on linear earthworks, this project will assess social complexity through the lens of organizational capacity and the light these shed on a fundamentally important shift in human behaviour and political identity. It will provide the first national characterization of this exceptional but neglected body of evidence, applying scientific dating within a cultural setting. The project will includall known examples to produce the first definitive atlas of linear earthworks across Britain. It will quantify the construction of these monuments by applying newly methods of labour estimation and produce new theoretical models of social organization and complexity based on empirical data.