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An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms by C. J. Arnold

By C. J. Arnold

An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms is a quantity which deals an exceptional view of the archaeological continues to be of the interval. utilizing the improvement of the kingdoms as a framework, this learn heavily examines the wealth of fabric facts and analyzes its value to our realizing of the society that created it. From our knowing of the migrations of the Germanic peoples into the British Isles, the next styles of payment, land-use, exchange, via to social hierarchy and cultural identification in the kingdoms, this totally revised version illuminates probably the most imprecise and misunderstood sessions in eu heritage.

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While it was true that the literature of the 1970s and 1980s hardly reflected those changes, experimentation was taking place and traditional methodologies were being challenged. It is only in the 1990s that it has been possible to see the more widespread adoption of contemporary archaeological thinking on early AngloSaxon archaeology. The principal reasons for that state of affairs lay in the explanations given at the beginning of this chapter; scholars with museum backgrounds laid the 14 AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE EARLY ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOMS foundations for an artefact-based subject in the first half of the twentieth century, heavily influenced and directed by the written sources.

Samples of Roman and of mid-fifth century date contained hulled spelt wheat, suggesting a degree of continuity in production, while in a late seventh-century deposit it was absent (Murphy 1985:103). Of the crops found in urban environ-ments after AD 700, bread wheat is the most common, whereas the hulled spelt wheat occurred rarely, possibly merely as a contaminant to the crop. Naked wheats are free-threshing and, unlike the hulled varieties grown earlier, grow best on heavy soils. Further samples from settlements in a wide variety of locations will be required before a detailed picture of early Anglo-Saxon agriculture can be produced; generalising from a few samples may well blur regional differences.

The flexibility employed in making comparisons with Continental pottery has also been questioned, for instance the problem posed when the shape of two vessels is similar but whose decoration is totally different. The artefacts found within cremation vessels were generally ignored and appear at times to conflict with the given dates (Morris 1974; Kidd 1976; Dickinson 1978; Richards 1987). Most discussions of the chronology of specific artefacts, or artefact-types, of the period are couched in predictably vague terms.

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