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Title: The elites in the village : study of the social distinction through archaeological indicators, on both sides of the Channel Sea, from the 11th to the 15th century
Author: Rego, Diane Eliane Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 3764
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This PhD aims both at demonstrating that archaeological remains could and should be socially interpreted and at revising our - sometimes simplified - perspective on the socio-economic stratification of medieval villages. This project is based on the example of the excavations situated at Trainecourt (Grentheville - Calvados) where an “aristocratic” house had been established in the centre of the hamlet. Thus, a method has been developed to grasp village elites, of whom we know some details thanks to medieval written sources but who had hardly been studied in medieval archaeology. By using a comparative approach that draws a parallel between both French and English archaeological data and scientific perspectives; by adopting the theoretical frame offered by the Social Archaeology; by studying the social processes (the distinction, coming closer to, the performance) that are expressed by patterns of consumption in the settlement; by examining aristocratic sites (manor houses, moated sites, castles, etc.), we managed to establish a list of thirty-four archaeological indicators revealing an outstanding social identity. They are grouped in three categories: the use of space, the morphology of the settlement and a specific lifestyle. This repertoire was then compared to rural sites (villages, hamlets, etc.) situated on both sides of the Channel Sea, to emphasize some details of social stratification. As a whole, elite units have been spotted out in seven villages or hamlets and socio-economic hierarchies established for a dozen more.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available