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English medieval bone flutes c.450 to c.1550 AD

Leaf, Helen; (2008) English medieval bone flutes c.450 to c.1550 AD. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis focuses on the bone flutes of medieval Britain c.450 - 1550 AD, and seeks to establish and assess their physical nature, archaeological context and cultural setting. In its broadest sense the project aims to provide the first detailed analysis of flutes, expanding a previously limited body of data and addressing the social context of the flute in medieval society. The evidence is mainly derived from the archaeological record, with 118 flutes found to date, both complete and fragmentary. Many flutes take pride of place in museum displays, and as artefacts they capture the imagination of visitors. There is, however, little or no evidence of their existence in the written or pictorial record, thus necessitating an archaeological approach. This aspect contrasts with the better known lyres, such as that found at Sutton Hoo, which are much depicted in iconography, yet there are relatively few archaeological examples. Given the wealth of potential information that a detailed study of the flutes can yield, an assessment and appraisal is clearly called for. This thesis aims to achieve just that, by a comparative approach evaluating the objects from a range of perspectives. The flutes are presented in the form of a gazetteer in Part 2, that standardizes the information for each flute and which makes the available data suitable for comparative analysis. The gazetteer provides an invaluable tool for cross-referencing information. Included as an appendix to this gazetteer are the 'non-flutes', artefacts erroneously published previously as flutes.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: English medieval bone flutes c.450 to c.1550 AD
Identifier: PQ ETD:591611
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444309
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