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Theorising Tenure: Land Division and Identity in Later Prehistoric Dartmoor, South-West Britain

Helen Wickstead


Tenure describes certain relations between people and material things. It has long been an important theme in archaeology, especially in the interpretation of ancient land division. How do archaeologists approach this subject, and which approaches have the most potential? This monograph explores tenure through analysis of Bronze Age land division on Dartmoor (south-west Britain) . The research has two aims: to develop existing approaches to tenure, and to interpret land division and tenure on Dartmoor during the second millennium BC. The research applies a series of different theories of, and approaches to tenure to data from Dartmoor. Methods used include spatial analysis of land division and settlement patterns, metrological analysis, experimental reconstruction and synthesis of palaeoenvironmental, excavation and artefactual data. The results are used to advance an interpretation of land division and tenure on Dartmoor and to reflect critically on approaches to tenure.