Markets, <i>Emporia, WICS</i>, and ‘Productive’ Sites: Pre‐viking Trade Centres in Anglo‐Saxon England

Tim Pestell

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Markets, Emporia, WICS, and ‘Productive’ Sites: Pre‐viking Trade Centres in Anglo‐Saxon England

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This article outlines the workings of those places that acted as arenas for trade and exchange in mid Saxon England, by exploring the terms that have been applied to them, how modern scholars have interpreted them, and how recent discoveries may point to future research directions. The impact of Henri Pirenne's work on stimulating discussion about the nature of trade contacts and of Carolingian social structures has ensured an extensive historiography. Richard Hodges saw kings exerting a high degree of control over trade, long-distance contact being utilized politically for reciprocal exchanges of prestige goods. ‘Productive’ sites are ‘places, whether excavated or metal-detected, that produce large quantities of coin and metalwork finds’. The processes Dark Age Economics strove to disentangle have undoubtedly become more complex and nuanced.

Keywords: trade; exchange; mid Saxon England; Henri Pirenne; Richard Hodges; productive sites; Dark Age Economics

Article.  8773 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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