Building Anglo-Saxon England

Princeton University Press
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 9. Juli 2018
  • |
  • 488 Seiten
E-Book | PDF mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-4008-8990-7 (ISBN)

A radical rethinking of the Anglo-Saxon world that draws on the latest archaeological discoveries

This beautifully illustrated book draws on the latest archaeological discoveries to present a radical reappraisal of the Anglo-Saxon built environment and its inhabitants. John Blair, one of the world's leading experts on this transformative era in England's early history, explains the origins of towns, manor houses, and castles in a completely new way, and sheds new light on the important functions of buildings and settlements in shaping people's lives during the age of the Venerable Bede and King Alfred.

Building Anglo-Saxon England demonstrates how hundreds of recent excavations enable us to grasp for the first time how regionally diverse the built environment of the Anglo-Saxons truly was. Blair identifies a zone of eastern England with access to the North Sea whose economy, prosperity, and timber buildings had more in common with the Low Countries and Scandinavia than the rest of England. The origins of villages and their field systems emerge with a new clarity, as does the royal administrative organization of the kingdom of Mercia, which dominated central England for two centuries.

Featuring a wealth of color illustrations throughout, Building Anglo-Saxon England explores how the natural landscape was modified to accommodate human activity, and how many settlements--secular and religious-were laid out with geometrical precision by specialist surveyors. The book also shows how the Anglo-Saxon love of elegant and intricate decoration is reflected in the construction of the living environment, which in some ways was more sophisticated than it would become after the Norman Conquest.

  • Englisch
  • Princeton
  • |
  • USA
  • Fixed format
  • 109 color + 43 b/w illus.
  • |
  • 109 color + 43 b/w illus.
  • 52,23 MB
978-1-4008-8990-7 (9781400889907)
1400889901 (1400889901)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
John Blair

List of Illustrations xi
Preface and Acknowledgements xvii
Source Citation Conventions xxi
Abbreviations xxiii
Part I: Contexts
Chapter 1: Exploring Anglo-Saxon Landscapes 3
History, Geography, and Place Names 3
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Settlements before the 1990s 12
Gathering Knowledge: Academic Research, Contract Archaeology, and the Present Project 14
Archaeology, History, Ethnography, and Reality 18
The Scope and Themes of the Present Study 20
Chapter 2: Defining Anglo-Saxon Landscapes 22
Geography, Environment, and Older Human Landscapes 22
Regional Diversity in Settlement and Material Culture 24
Looking Westward: British, Irish, and Pictish Contexts for English Building Culture 35
Looking Eastward: Scandinavian, Frisian, and Frankish Contexts for English Building Culture 40
Self-Shaping 46
Visible and Invisible Building Cultures: What Did Houses Really Look Like? 51
In the Glare of the Headlamps: Pottery, Wooden Vessels, and the Distortions of Survival 67
Order in the Built Environment: Monuments, Planning, and Linear Modules 70
A Regional Framework for This Book 71
A Chronological Framework for This Book 73
Chapter 3: Landscapes of the Mind: The Built Environment in the Anglo-Saxon Consciousness 74
Houses for Immortals: Unseen Residents in a Conceptual Landscape 75
Houses for the Living: Life Cycles in Timber and the Transience of Earthly Dwellings 84
Living with the Supernatural: Ritual Space in the Homestead 86
Houses for Eternity: Monumentalising the Sacred in the Landscape 91
A Mediterranean Religion in a Northern World: Two Cultures or One? 94
Earth Moving and Ideology 98
Part II: The First Transformation, circa 600-700
Chapter 4: Landscapes of Power and Wealth 103
Centres and Peripheries: Royal Residence and Recreation 104
The Mobile Environment of Royal Life 108
The Background and Context of Seventh-Century Elite Sites 111
The Great Hall Complexes: A Mode of Ostentatious Display 114
The Great Hall Complexes: Local Territorial Contexts 125
The Monasticisation of Royal Sites and the Era of Monastic Supremacy 131
Retrospect: Gain and Loss in an Age of Transformations 136
Chapter 5: The Construction of Settlement: Rural and Commercial Spaces 139
'Wandering Settlement' or 'Static Development'? Form and Regionality in English Settlements before 650 139
Circular Space: Concentrically Defined Zones and Radial Planning in the Insular Tradition 143
Rectilinear Space: Gromatic Surveying and Grid-Planning 148
The Seventh-Century Settlement Revolution: Organisation and Enclosure 149
Grid-Planning in East Midland Settlements: The Diffusion of a Monastic Mode? 154
Outside the Eastern Zone 156
Urbanism in a Nonurban World: Holy Cities and Commercial Cities 164
The Major Emporia before 700 165
Why Did So Much Change in the Seventh Century? 174
Part III: Consolidation, circa 700-920
Chapter 6: Landscape Organisation and Economy in the Mercian Age 179
Mercian Geopolitics 180
Royal Ambitions and Monastic Assets: Compromise, Reform, and Predation in the Age of King Æthelbald 182
Infrastructure: Linear Earthworks 187
Infrastructure: Bridges 189
Infrastructure: Forts 190
Functional Place Names in -t?n: A World of Central Clusters, Not Complex Centres 193
Mercian Centres and burh-t?nas: Eight Case Studies 201
Mercian Territorial Organisation: Routes, Frontiers, and the Control of Kent 220
Parallel Arrangements in Wessex 222
Parallel Arrangements in Northumbria 226
The Fruits of a Developed Infrastructure: Mercia's Golden Age, 780-820 228
Trauma and Legacy 230
Chapter 7: Defence, Industry, and Commerce: From Central Clusters to Complex Centres 232
The 'Burghal' Problem: The Tyranny of a Construct 232
Reoccupied Iron Age Forts and Roman Towns 236
Minsters as Strongholds 237
Minor Earthwork Enclosures 240
Major Formally Planned Defended Sites 243
Intensification at the Grass Roots: Production, Processing, and Manufacture in the Rural Landscape 246
Varieties of w?c: The Emporia and Beyond 254
Centres and w?c-type Peripheries in Polyfocal Clusters: Two Alternative Outcomes 256
Towards Urban Industries 266
A Precocious Urban Axis: London, Rochester, and Canterbury 269
Regrouping and Concentration, circa 850-920 275
Continuities: Trade, Production, and the Vikings 276
Chapter 8: Rural Settlement and the 'Making of the English Village' 282
Continuities and the Later Ninth Century: Rural Settlement Submerged? 283
The Components of Settlement: Buildings, Groups of Buildings, and the
Elusiveness of Great Halls 285
Rural Settlements, circa 700-920: The Evidence 288
Interpreting Semi-Nucleations: Settlement Structure in an 'Infield-Outfield' Economy 294
Evolution or Design? Lordly and Spiritual Power within the Village 301
Who Were the People? 302
Spanning the 'Viking Age' 305
Part IV: The Second Transformation, 920-1000
Chapter 9: Growth and Reconstruction: The Human Landscape Remodelled 311
Intensification at All Levels: The Mid-Tenth-Century Watershed 311
Gridded and Non-Gridded Settlements in the Eastern Zone and Beyond 317
Spreading Southwestward: The Expanding Zone of Visible Settlement 324
Arable Intensification, Open Fields, and the Shift to Heavier Soils 329
Countryside and Town: A New Dichotomy 337
Major Urban Places: The Formation of Townscapes and the Definition of House Plots 339
Minor Urban Places: The Enduring Substratum of Markets and Minsters 350
Chapter 10: Free Farmers and Emergent Lords: Towards the Manorial Landscape 354
Contexts 354
Differentiation and Complexity in Houses 355
Differentiation and Complexity in Domestic Compounds 362
Coexistent Halls: The Relatives Next Door? 365
Boundaries, Enclosures, and Gates: The 'Burhgeat' Problem Revisited 372
Churches 375
Who Was Then the Gentleman? 377
Part V: Beyond Anglo-Saxon Landscapes
Chapter 11: The Eleventh Century: A New Built Environment 383
Communications 384
Towns 385
Earthwork Castles 387
Stone Castles 397
Manors and Manor-Houses 400
Churches and the 'Romanesque Revolution' 402
Moving Business Indoors 405
Rural Communities and Settlements 408
Chapter 12: Conclusion 416
Bibliography 421
Illustration Sources and Credits 449
Index 455

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