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Pattern and process in the material culture of Anglo-Saxon non-elite rural settlements

Lewis, Hana Yve; (2018) Pattern and process in the material culture of Anglo-Saxon non-elite rural settlements. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research progresses knowledge of Anglo-Saxon non-elite rural settlements through the study of material culture. Forty-five rural settlements occupied throughout the Anglo-Saxon period (c. 5th–11th centuries) and geographically representative of Anglo-Saxon settlement in England were selected for study. Comparative analyses of the material culture assemblages and settlement data from these sites was evaluated from four main research perspectives: the archaeological contexts and distributional patterns of material culture at the sites; range and character of material culture; patterns of material culture consumption; and material culture as evidence for the economic reach of rural settlements. Site distributional analysis of the material culture provides evidence of depositional practices and refuse methods undertaken at the settlements, demonstrating that artefacts are predominantly found in the fills of common features including buildings, pits and ditches. The cataloguing of the material culture determines the types and demand for artefacts at the settlements, showing that assemblages are dominated by domestic/household items and utilitarian/ manufacturing equipment. The examination of material culture as indicative of cultural and behavioural practices reveals that domestic undertakings, manufacturing, utilitarian and agricultural/cultivation activities are the most common patterns of consumption exhibited at the settlements. The study of economic trends at the settlements as evidenced by material culture highlights engagement in the exchange, trade and travel networks of Anglo-Saxon England with local through to international reach. The analysis of material culture from Anglo-Saxon rural sites illuminates myriad aspects of settlement life including social, cultural, economic and production activities undertaken, the use, supply and demand of resources, and hierarchical structures. The study has crucially highlighted the multifaceted character of many rural communities, demonstrating that these settlements were integral elements of the political, social and economic structures of Anglo-Saxon England.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Pattern and process in the material culture of Anglo-Saxon non-elite rural settlements
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from this e-thesis (appendix 1).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058940
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