Time Periods

The chronological framework that is employed here follows broadly the period divisions of the 2006 Regional overview[1]. Minor revisions to this scheme have been made to take account of more recent prehistoric research, notably the chronology of early hominin colonisation[2] and reassessment of the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition[3]. For simplicity, the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ period of the earlier study[4] has been subsumed into an ‘Early Medieval’ period embracing the imposition of the Danelaw from AD 793-1042 and the re-establishment of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy prior to the Norman Conquest of AD 1066. To permit closer correlation with commonly used and widely understood historical chronologies, we have linked the inception of the Post-Medieval period to the establishment by Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty after the defeat of Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485 – one of several pivotal battles which have left enduring traces in the archaeological record of the East Midlands[5], and one which has attracted significant renewed interest following the recent discovery at Leicester of the remains of the last Plantagenet monarch.[6] Details of the nine periods that form the framework of this study are provided in the table below.

Table of time periods and date ranges for the East Midlands region


  • [#1] Cooper, N and Clay, P 2006 ‘The national and regional context of the research framework’ in The Archaeology of the East Midlands, 3
  • [#2] Parfitt, S A et al 2010 ‘Early Pleistocene human occupation at the edge of the boreal zone in northwest Europe’. Nature 466, 229-33; see also Parfitt, S, Ashton, N and Lewis, S 2010 ‘Happisburgh’. British Archaeology 114, 15-23
  • [#3] Needham, S 2007 ‘800 BC, The Great Divide’, in Haselgrove, C and Pope, R (eds) The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 64
  • [#4] Vince, A G 2006 ‘The Anglo-Saxon period’ in The Archaeology of the East Midlands, 161-84
  • [#5] See Strategic Objective 7H
  • [#6] Kennedy, M and Foxall, L (eds) 2015 The Bones of a King. Wiley-Blackwell
  • [#7] As employed by McNabb, J 2006 ‘The Palaeolithic’ in The Archaeology of the East Midlands, 13
  • [#8] For radiocarbon dating, see eg Buteux, S, Chambers, J and Silva, B (eds) 2009 Digging Up the Ice Age. Oxford: Archaeopress, 107-8; also Renfrew, C and Bahn, P 2004 Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. London: Thames and Hudson, 141-149
  • [#9] McNabb, J 2006, 13-15.
  • [#10] McNabb, J 2006, 12-17; see also Buteux, S (ed) 2009, 9-11, Fig 11
  • [#11]Parfitt, S A et al 2010
  • [#12] Myers, A M 2006 ‘The Mesolithic’ in The Archaeology of the East Midlands, 53
  • [#13] See Needham, S 2007 for current dating of Late Bronze Age-Iron Age transition
  • [#14] See e.g. Moorhead, S 2010 ‘410-2010: Rome and Britain’. British Archaeology 111, 17-21

2 thoughts on "Time Periods"

  1. John Walford says:

    The heading to the date range column explains kya and calBC but doesn’t explain that MIS is Marine Isotope Stage or say anything about what these stages are. Perhaps a brief comment about this would help non-specialist readers?

  2. James Fairclough says:

    Could link period names to region overviewsReference

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