March 26, 2021

3.6 Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe: Cultivating, Populating and Feeding the Burhs in Anglo-Scandinavian England.

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Victoria Ziegler, Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

PhD Thesis: A study of urban trans-location in early medieval England: occupation identities in Saxon London 770-1020



Victoria Ziegler (2019) 'From wic to burh: a new approach to the question of the development of Early Medieval London', Archaeological Journal, 176:2, 336-368, DOI:
To link to this article:

During the ninth century the focus of occupation in Saxon London
shifted eastwards from the Covent Garden area back to the former
Roman city of Londinium. Combining detailed case studies with
the results of correspondence analysis, this paper critically compares
archaeological features and assemblages at sites dated c. AD
770 to c. AD 850 in Middle Saxon Lundenwic with sites dated c. AD
850 to c. AD 950 in Late Saxon Lundenburh. Differences in the
archaeology of the two settlements are discussed. These distinctions
reveal specific areas of discontinuity that strongly support
current models of a hiatus between the decline of Lundenwic and
renewed activity in Lundenburh.


Prof. Helena Hamerow, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford.



HAMEROW, H. BOGAARD, A. CHARLES, M. FORSTER, E. HOLMES, M,. MCKERRACHER, M. NEIL, S. BRONK RAMSEY, C. STROUD, E. & THOMAS, R. 2020. ‘An Integrated Bioarchaeological Approach to the Medieval ‘Agricultural Revolution’: A Case Study from Stafford, England, c. AD 800–1200’, European Journal of Archaeology 23 (4), 585–609.

In much of Europe, the advent of low-input cereal farming regimes between c. AD 800 and 1200 enabled
landowners—lords—to amass wealth by greatly expanding the amount of land under cultivation and
exploiting the labour of others. Scientific analysis of plant remains and animal bones from archaeological
contexts is generating the first direct evidence for the development of such low-input regimes. This article
outlines the methods used by the FeedSax project to resolve key questions regarding the ‘cerealization’ of
the medieval countryside and presents preliminary results using the town of Stafford as a worked example.
These indicate an increase in the scale of cultivation in the Mid-Saxon period, while the Late Saxon
period saw a shift to a low-input cultivation regime and probably an expansion onto heavier soils. Crop
rotation appears to have been practised from at least the mid-tenth century.


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