Interpreting Transformations of People and Landscapes in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Archaeological Approaches and Issues [Hardback]

Pilar Diarte-Blasco (Editor); Neil Christie (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789250343 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 236p, H280 x W216 (mm)

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Interpreting Transformations of People and Landscapes in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages


In this volume of papers, deriving from two conferences held in Rome and Leicester in 2016, nineteen leading European archaeologists discuss and interpret the complex evolution of landscapes – both urban and rural – across Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (c. AD 300–700). The geographical coverage extends from Italy to the Mediterranean West through to the Rhine frontier and onto Hadrian’s Wall. Core are questions of impacts due to the socio-political, religious, military and economic transformations affecting provinces, territories and kingdoms across these often turbulent centuries: how did townscapes change and at what rate? What were the fates of villas? When do post-classical landscapes emerge and in what form? To what degree did Europe become an insecure, defended landscape? In what ways did people – cityfolk, farmers, nobility, churchmen, merchants – adapt? Do the elite remain visible and how prominent is the Church? Where and how do we see culture change through the arrival of new groups or new ideas? Do burials form a clear guide to the changing world? And how did the environment change in this period of stress – was the classical period landscape much altered through the attested depopulation and economic deterioration? And underlying much of the discussion is a consideration of the nature and quality of our source material: how good is the archaeology of these periods and how good is our current reading of the materials available? Combined, these expert studies offer valuable new analyses of people and places in a complex, challenging and crucial period in European history.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Changing Data and Changing Interpretations in the Study of Transformations of Late Antique Space and Society
Neil Christie
1. Transformation in the Cities of Northern Italy between the Fifth and Seventh Centuries AD. Forms, Functions and Societies
Gian Pietro Brogiolo
2. Rome. An Analysis of Changes in Topography and Population between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Roberto Meneghini
3. The Transformation of Society in Late Antique Hispania (AD 300–700)
Javier Arce
4. Per omnium villas vicosque cunctos: Rural Landscapes in Late Antique Southern Italy
Roberto Goffredo and Giuliano Volpe
5. The Countryside of Southern Gaul from the Fourth to Seventh Centuries AD. Settlement, Landscape and Society
Claude Raynaud
6. Villas, Visigoths and Evangelisation: Rural Archaeology in Late Antique Novempopulana
Simon Esmonde Cleary
7. Rural Settlements in the Territory of Salamanca (Spain) between the Late Roman Period and the Early Middle Ages: Testing a Model
Enrique Ariño
8. Transformation in the Avon Valley from the Late Fourth to Seventh Centuries AD: A Case Study from the West Midlands, England
Abigail E. I. Tompkins
9. Changing Landscapes? Land, People and Environment in England, AD 350–600
Stephen Rippon
10. Diversity in Unity: Exploring Survival, Transition and Ethnogenesis in Late Antique Western Britain
Roger White
11. Landscape, Economy and Society in Late and Post-Roman Wales
Andy Seaman
12. Military Might for a Depopulated Region? Interpreting the Archaeology of the Lower Rhine Area in the Late Roman Period
Stijn Heeren
13. Landscapes of the Limitanei at the North-Western Edge of Empire
Rob Collins
14. People and Landscapes in Northern Italy: Interrogating the Burial Archaeology of the Early Middle Ages
Alexandra Chavarría Arnau
15. Rural and Urban Contexts in North-Eastern Spain: Examining and Interpreting Transformations across the Fifth–Seventh Centuries AD
Pilar Diarte-Blasco
16. Spatial Inequality and the Formation of an Early Medieval Landscape in the Centre of the Iberian Peninsula
Lauro Olmo-Enciso
17. Discontinuities, Threads of Continuity, Academic Inertia and All That: Debating the Late Antique and Early Medieval Archaeologies of Inner Iberia
Alfonso Vigil-Escalera Guirado

Reviews & Quotes

" is an essential publication for anyone working on the western Mediterranean and Europe from Late Antiquity into the Middle Ages."
Anna Leone
Medieval Archaeology

"It [this collection] highlights new and interesting aspects – from the north to the south of Europe – of the factors and the change agents that affected settlement processes and the formation/transformation of new post-Roman societies."
Roy Flechner
Early Medieval Europe

"…the volume succeeds admirably in both providing a series of status quaestionum and sketching roadmaps for future scholarship to follow."
Cam Grey
The Medieval Review (20/12/2019)

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