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Monasteries and places of power in pre-Viking England: trajectories, relationships and interactions

Thomas, G. (2017) Monasteries and places of power in pre-Viking England: trajectories, relationships and interactions. In: Thomas, G. and Knox, A. (eds.) Early medieval monasticism in the North Sea Zone: proceedings of a conference held to celebrate the conclusion of the Lyminge excavations 2008-15. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 20. Oxford University School of Archaeology, Oxford, pp. 97-116. ISBN 9781905905393

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Abstract/Summary

Recent archaeological studies conducted at different scales, from the level of site through to landscapes and regions, have focused critical attention on the connections and interactions existing between secular and religious realms of life in Anglo-Saxon England. Settlement archaeology has made an important contribution to this re-evaluation by drawing attention to a series of high-status residences of the seventh-ninth centuries AD whose trajectories and lifestyle blur the boundaries between monastic and secular aristocratic culture in pre-Viking England. Recent excavations in the Kentish village of Lyminge extend an appreciation of this theme into a region which has hitherto suffered from a deficit of Anglo-Saxon settlement archaeology. Originally conceived to improve archaeological understanding of a documented pre-Viking monastery, the Lyminge Project has subsequently gone on to uncover the remains of a separate and spatially distinct royal focus – a rare example of a seventh-century ‘great hall complex’ ─ grafted onto an earlier fifth-sixth-century settlement. A provisional interpretation of these results was published in 2013, but is now possible to offer a more nuanced and richly-textured account in the light of more recent findings and radiocarbon dating. This paper draws upon these new insights to reassess the settlement sequence and to revaluate Lyminge’s wider contribution to relevant debates in early medieval studies.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Social Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:70249
Publisher:Oxford University School of Archaeology

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