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Mead-halls of the Oiscingas: a new Kentish perspective on the Anglo-Saxon great hall complex phenomenon

Thomas, G. (2018) Mead-halls of the Oiscingas: a new Kentish perspective on the Anglo-Saxon great hall complex phenomenon. Medieval Archaeology, 62 (2). pp. 262-303. ISSN 0076-6097

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00766097.2018.1535386

Abstract/Summary

Widely cited as a metaphor for the emergence of kingship in early medieval England, the great hall complex represents one of the most distinctive and evocative expressions of the Anglo-Saxon settlement record, yet interpretation of these sites remains underdeveloped and heavily weighted towards Yeavering. Inspired by the results of recent excavations at Lyminge, this paper undertakes a detailed comparative interrogation of three great hall complexes in Kent and exploits this new regional perspective to advance understanding of the agency and embodied meanings of these settlements as ‘theatres of power’. Explored through the thematic prisms of place, social memory and monumental hybridity, this examination leads to a new appreciation of the involvement of great hall sites in the genealogical strategies of 7th-century royal dynasties and a fresh perspective on how this remarkable yet short-lived monumental idiom was adapted to harness the symbolic capital of Romanitas.

Item Type:Article
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:76215
Publisher:Maney Publishing

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