What were they Thinking? Intellectual Territories in Anglo‐Saxon England

Martin Carver

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

 What were they Thinking? Intellectual Territories in Anglo‐Saxon England

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The cemetery at Wasperton is a precise expression of complex ideological identities not yet in the history books. The Sutton Hoo burial ground has been reconciled with the exiguous written records to tell a story of kingship and conversion — and it may be so. The contemporary ideology of Portmahomack was referencing imported Christian ideas moderated by local prehistoric thinking, resulting in minimal monumentality. Stafford may be seen as essentially a fort, protecting the delivery of tribute, with a vicus on the east side where pottery was manufactured and cattle were processed. The presentation of these four case studies shows that early medieval sites in Britain can be assigned a number of intellectual properties. The Anglo-Saxons deserve more from their archaeologists than superficial explanations based on race, social structure, and Christianity.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; Wasperton; Sutton Hoo; Portmahomack; Stafford; intellectual territories; cemetery

Article.  10902 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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