Article

Social Transactions, Gift Exchange, and Power in the Archaeology of the Fifth to Seventh Centuries

Christopher Scull

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199212149.013.0044

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Social Transactions, Gift Exchange, and Power in the Archaeology of the Fifth to Seventh Centuries

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article explores some structures and dynamics which may have contributed to the development of social and political hierarchies in England in the fifth to seventh centuries, and some of the problems associated with this field of research. In particular, it investigates how some social dynamics and institutions, and the relationships between economic and social dynamics, may be seen to have promoted structures of power in ways that conditioned the development of dynasties wielding local, regional, and eventually supra-regional power by the beginning of the seventh century. Assemblages from furnished burials constitute the main archaeological source for considerations of gift exchange. Burial was an arena of social and political competition. Inheritance, as a mode of exchange between generations, is in many ways the antithesis of gifting items to the dead through furnished burial.

Keywords: social transactions; gift exchange; power; archaeology; England; social dynamics; burial; inheritance; gifting items

Article.  7550 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.