The 6th and 7th centuries in England were defined by great social change. Along with the gradual conversion to Christianity in many areas, there is also evidence for increasing social stratification, most clearly seen through the emergence of prominent princely burials such as Sutton Hoo. It seems the rich were getting richer, and the poor poorer. A new study by Emma Hannah (Queen’s University Belfast) and Susanne Hakenbeck (University of Cambridge) has analysed how this upheaval may have affected diet during this period. Early Christian proscriptions involving meat suggest that, as more of the population converted, they may have become increasingly reliant on fi sh. At the same time, with the development of a clear social hierarchy, a distinct dietary difference between social classes may also be expected.
The reader needs to be aware of the author and his previous county-based gazetteers to know what this book covers. The subject matter is not broadly archaeological, as the ‘sites’ mentioned in the title are almost entirely churches with extant pre-Norman fabric, alongside carved stonework found in and around these structures. The only non-ecclesiastical/ monastic sites mentioned are the Cambridgeshire Dykes, the reserve collection of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, and a few objects from the Peterborough and St Neots museums.
Focusing not so much on marine environments (as the title might suggest) as on wetlands and inland waterways, this book is the latest addition to a series of multi-author volumes exploring the environment of the Anglo-Saxons. Rivers, marshes, landing places, and sacred springs were just some of the important watery places that existed in early medieval England. The nine chapters of this volume explore these features, focusing on some fairly well-researched topics, such as inland waterways, towns, and fishing, and some less familiar ones, like water in Anglo-Saxon poetry and fenland frontiers.
Excavation of Neolithic Kerb Cairns continues in 2019, with prehistoric cremation burials on a later multi settlement site up to the 13th & 14th centuries. All ages are welcome to participate in excavation but all expenses to be paid by student/visitor alike. No disabled access is available.
Ancient DNA analysis of an Anglo-Saxon woman from East Anglia, afflicted with leprosy, has indicated that there could be a link between the spread of the disease and squirrels. The discovery adds to the already comparatively high number of medieval leprosy cases from the region.
The official story as recorded in Bede is that the Pope sent Saint Augustine to England in 597 to convert the pagans. However I went to a very interesting lecture at the Hendon and District Archaeological Society when Chris Scull put forward a very subversive alternative scenario. Chris is leading the team who are writing […]
Susan Oosthuizen Windgather Press, £29.95 ISBN 978-1911188087 Review Paul Spoerry This is a comparatively slim book, but in any roll call of regional histories, also comparatively significant. Susan Oosthuizen has been well known for many years as an excellent tutor of Landscape Archaeology at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. She uses her many years of experience and […]
It is a startling thought that (thanks to a quirk of the publishing process) this is the last issue of CA with 2017 as the cover date. There is plenty to look forward to in the new year though (not least our annual conference, 23-24 February – save the date!), even as we continue to […]
Jill Bourne BAR Publishing, £44.00 ISBN 978-140731568 Review Duncan W Wright In 925, Æthelstan – often styled as first ruler of all England – was consecrated in a ceremony where, for the first time, the king wore a crown rather than a helmet. The unprecedented service took place at a site recorded as Cinges tun(e), […]
Review – Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon Settlement along the Empingham to Hannington Pipeline in Northamptonshire and Rutland
S Carlyle, J Clarke, and A Chapman Archaeopress, £26.00 ISBN 978-1784915346 Review Edward Biddulph A mixed blessing for archaeologists, pipelines slice through the countryside, offering the chance to investigate and compare the use through time of different landscapes, but, constrained by the width of the pipeline trench, the slice is invariably too narrow to gain […]