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Title: The Roman-medieval transition in the Essex landscape : a study in persistence, continuity and change
Author: Morris, Brynmor William.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 8765
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis undertakes a review and synthesis of the evidence arising from a study of Roman, Anglo- Saxon and medieval archaeology in Essex, in its historical, theoretical, regional and landscape context. It adopts a holistic, interdisciplinary approach that incorporates a wide range of different evidence, including archaeological, documentary, palaeoenvironmental, place-name and landscape-topographical material. Addressing the related themes of persistence, continuity and change in the historic landscape, it reviews the development of the physical landscape - the settlements, their fieldscape and the territorial units - from the third to the twelfth century AD, with an emphasis on the late Roman and early medieval period. The survival of Iron Age or Roman fieldscapes is addressed, and it can be shown with recourse to horizontal stratigraphy that at least one example - Dengie - probably predates the eighth century, and may well be Roman in date. The evidence also suggests woodland regeneration in the post-Roman period was not widespread, and that woodland resources were already unevenly distributed by at least the ninth century. The distribution of early Anglo-Saxon pottery and its appearance on Roman sites, when compared to the restricted and largely coastal distribution of cemeteries and Grubenhduser, would suggest that a post-Roman British population was selectively using aspects of Anglo-Saxon material culture, and there is little evidence to demonstrate migration on a massive scale. The Roman archaeology is marked by a series of demolition and levelling 'events' at villas, temples and public buildings, which is tentatively suggested to relate to an anti-Roman reaction in the very late fourth or early fifth century. The assessment of territorial development in Essex demonstrated that the medieval pattern of parishes can be shown to be based on secular estates of the later tenth or early eleventh century, arising from the fission of larger, valley-based secular and ecclesiastical territories
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available