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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Crossing the Divide: Dialogues in the First Millennium BC of Western Europe

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


There has been a danger in recent years of an increasing disparity between the theoretical and methodological approaches taken to the archaeology of the First Millennium BC in different European countries. Whilst topics such as ethnicity, identity and agency have been popular foci for discussion in Britain, very different approaches have been taken in France, Iberia and elsewhere. At the same time awareness and engagement with developments in the archaeology of the First millennium BC at a European scale has often been restricted to relatively few individuals and national traditions. In order to address these issues Dr Tom Moore and Dr Xosé-Lois Armada (CISC, Spain) and I organised a major conference at the Department of Archaeology, Durham in 2007. This brought together scholars of the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age (and over 100 delegates) from the UK, Ireland, Low Countries, France, Spain, Portugal and the USA to explore these issues.


Following the success of the meeting this theme was developed in to an edited volume to which Tom Moore and Xosé -Lois Armada contributed a critical discussion of some of the problems and reasons behind the current divide in approaches to the First millennium BC in western Europe. This volume hopes to build on the success of that conference by increasing the awareness of developments and approaches across what we defined as the Atlantic region of Europe, it includes papers which expounded on different approaches to key themes in the discipline, including landscape and settlements, social organization, chronologies, rhythms of life and death, material culture studies and the history of research. Initial chapters from leading European specialists provide overviews on these themes and personal perspectives whilst subsequent chapters provide case studies or in-depth discussions of particular issues.
In order to ensure that the true diversity and range of approaches can be appreciated the volume includes younger contributors, alongside more well established scholars, as well as authors from a diverse set of countries, including the USA. Throughout, these chapters provide a plurality of theoretical approaches, techniques and methodologies. The volume is, we hope, just one step along a path to increased dialogue and engagement within and between European first millennium BC studies.

Published Results

Edited book

  • Moore, T. & Armada, X-L. (2011). Atlantic Europe in the first millennium BC: Crossing the divide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


From the Department of Archaeology

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China