Place‐Names and Archaeology

Margaret Gelling

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

Place‐Names and Archaeology

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  • Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology



Place-names are one of the three main sources of information which can be drawn upon in attempts to chart the course of events in post-Roman Britain. They differ from other sources of information by being both abundant and ubiquitous; and while they do not provide firm answers to the problems they must be taken into account in all discussions about the period from ad 400 to ad 600. Any assessment of the historical significance of the survival of Brittonic place names depends on correct identification. Pre-English names adopted by Anglo-Saxons can be placed in an historical context. The observations about feld and land only apply to their use as generics in settlement-names: their use in district-names is a different matter. The reference books addressed include The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names and The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names.

Keywords: Brittonic place names; Britain; Anglo-Saxons; settlement-names; identification; feld; archaeology

Article.  7516 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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