Colonizing Yourself: The British colonization of Britain

Author(s): Eric Harkleroad

Year: 2016


Often discussing Colonialism means discussing the colonized and the impact of the colonizers on them highlighting indigenous responses to the situation as well as looking at methods of resistance and signs of the agency of the colonized. All too often we overlook the impact of this process on the colonizer. I argue that during the rise of the British Empire the role of colonizer became such a part of national identity that it colored interpretations of British prehistory. This is most evident when looking at the conquest of Britain by Rome. The coming of Rome is often seen as unproblematic, an all too familiar encounter of an indigenous population with a colonizing power, the British identifying as the colonizer rather than as the indigenous population. I highlight how our understanding of this period is still largely based on Britain’s experience of those it encountered during its role as a colonizer. I examine the extent to which Roman involvement in Britain can be looked at as an example of colonialism. Evidence from the end of the Iron Age and the beginning of the Romano-British period will be analyzed in light of this discussion showing more evidence of continuity than change.

Cite this Record

Colonizing Yourself: The British colonization of Britain. Eric Harkleroad. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404062)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;