The Rise and Fall of the Late Iron Age Royal Centre at Stanwick ( Elgee Memorial Lecture)

On Saturday the 5th December 2015, the Teesside Archaeological Society hosts the annual Elgee Memorial lecture at the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough  between 1000 and 1200. A registration link is available at the bottom of this post.

“The Rise and Fall of the Late Iron Age Royal Centre at Stanwick, North Yorkshire with Professor Colin Haselgrove (University of Leicester).

The enormous earthwork complex at Stanwick, west of Darlington—enclosing nearly three square kilometres—is the largest continuous prehistoric fortification in Britain, comparable to some of the most important late Age settlements in continental Europe.

In this lecture Professor Haselgrove will present new interpretations based upon excavations by Durham University in the 1980’s and research that has taken place over the past 25 years. Radiocarbon dating shows that Stanwick was occupied from the early 1st century BC. The early settlement differed little from others in the Tees valley, but soon after 50 BC, the site was reorganised and fortified, and successive monumental timber structures were built. Imports from other parts of Britain and the continent imply that well before the Roman invasion, Stanwick had attained a similar level of importance to known royal centres elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.

Soon after in AD 43, Cartimandua, the ruler of the Brigantes, entered into a treaty with the invaders. Many unusual Roman goods dating to this period recovered in the excavations must have been gifts showered on the queen, whose residence Stanwick surely was, and the massive perimeter earthwork was constructed in a display of her prestige. However, her rule over the Brigantes did not last. In AD 69, after a rebellion led by Venutius, her estranged consort, Cartimandua sought the protection of the Romans. They quickly set about the permanent conquest of the region—and Stanwick was abandoned.

As well as illuminating the social and political dynamics of the period, the research has cast new light on the everyday lives of the Iron Age inhabitants of the Tees Valley and their ritual and mortuary practices, some of which were continued by the agricultural population of the area in the Roman period. ”

Dorman Museum – Linthorpe Road  Middlesbrough,”