February 5, 2021

3.2 Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe: Monumental Landscapes, Visibility and Control.

Support future seasons of the show: https://patron.podbean.com/ForeignCountries


Buy Foreign Countries a coffee:




Dr. Andy Seaman, Canterbury Christ Church University.



Leo Sucharyna Thomas, University of Ediburgh.




ANDY SEAMAN AND LEO SUCHARYNA THOMAS. 'Hillforts and Power in the British Post-Roman West: A GIS Analysis of Dinas Powys', European Journal of Archaeology 23 (4) 2020, 547–566,  

The (re)occupation of hillforts was a distinctive feature of post-Roman Europe in the fifth to seventh
centuries AD. In western and northern Britain, hillforts are interpreted as power centres associated with
militarized elites, but research has paid less attention to their landscape context, hence we know little
about the factors that influenced their siting and how this facilitated elite power. Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) provide opportunities for landscape research, but are constrained by limitations
of source data and the difficulty of defining appropriate parameters for analysis. This article presents
a new methodology that combines data processing and analytical functions in GIS with techniques
and principles drawn from ‘traditional’ landscape archaeology. A case study, focused on Dinas Powys,
suggests that the strategic siting of this hillfort facilitated control over the landscape and has wider
implications for our understanding of patterns of power in post-Roman Britain.
Keywords: hillforts, power, post-Roman Britain, GIS, viewsheds, least-cost paths


Dr. Michelle Comber, University of Ireland Galway.




Michelle Comber (2019) Square Ringforts? A Contribution to the Identification of ‘Ringfort’ Types, Medieval Archaeology 63:1, 128-153,  

ONGOING DISCUSSIONS of the monuments commonly referred to as ‘ ringforts’ in Ireland include
the definition and investigation of specific types of these enclosures. Rectilinear, or subsquare, enclosures
comprise one such type, with examples identifiable in the well-preserved archaeological landscape of the
Burren (Co Clare) in western Ireland. It is also possible to extend such identification into the counties of
the western seaboard, from Co Cork in the south to Co Donegal in the north. Questions of chronology,
function, status, and cultural identity are addressed. Although a measure of variation may exist within
the category of rectilinear enclosures, there is some uniformity of morphology and chronology and, perhaps, function.


This is a podcast about new and innovative research in archaeology.

Each episode I talk with pioneering and influential archaeologists about their journal papers, books and research projects.

Season 1 is all about the latest research into the Archaeology of the Roman West.

Season 2 is on Innovative Research in Australia.

Season 3 is on Early Medieval Europe.

Future Seasons:  Well, I'm open to suggestions!  

Medieval Europe, Osteoarchaeology, Mesoamerica, Pacific Archaeology, Prehistoric Burials, Post-Medieval, Scientific Techniques, South-east Asia, Bronze Age Monuments. You tell me!

So, if you would like to hear seasons 4, 5 and more, then you might like to become a Patron of the show. Just click the Patron button:



More episodes

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App