Sarah Semple's Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England: PDF

By Sarah Semple

Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England represents an remarkable exploration of where of prehistoric monuments within the Anglo-Saxon psyche, and examines how Anglo-Saxon groups perceived and used those monuments through the interval advert 400-1100. Sarah Semple employs archaeological, ancient, artwork old, and literary assets to review the range of how within which the early medieval inhabitants of britain used the prehistoric legacy within the panorama, exploring it from temporal and geographic views. Key to the arguments and ideas provided is the basis that populations used those continues to be, deliberately and knowingly, within the articulation and manipulation in their identities: neighborhood, nearby, political, and spiritual. They famous them as historical positive aspects, as human creations from a far off previous. They used them as landmarks, conflict websites, and property markers, giving them new outdated English names. prior to, or even in the course of, the conversion to Christianity, groups buried their lifeless in and round those monuments. After the conversion, numerous church buildings have been in-built and on those monuments, nice assemblies and conferences have been held at them, and felons carried out and buried inside of their surrounds.

This quantity covers the early to overdue Anglo-Saxon global, pertaining to funerary ritual, household and payment proof, ecclesiastical websites, place-names, written resources, and administrative and judicial geographies. via a thematic and chronologically-structured exam of Anglo-Saxon makes use of and perceptions of the prehistoric, Semple demonstrates that populations weren't basically focused on Romanitas (or Roman-ness), yet comparable interest and unsleeping connection with and use of the prehistoric existed inside all strata of society.

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Additional resources for Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England: Religion, Ritual, and Rulership in the Landscape

Example text

1 The location of the study regions investigated in Chapters 2 and 5. # Crown Copyright/database right 2012. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service. 18 Burial, community, and identity and the prehistoric past (see Semple 2008 for full discussion). The South Saxon kingdom is referred to in the early written sources as a territory defined by bloodshed and slaughter (ASC (A) 477 and 491), with fierce inhabitants and a persistent ‘pagan’ culture (Vita Wilfridi 13; Colgrave 1927: 28; HE II, 5). Although its presence and power had diminished by the seventh century, written records imply that the South Saxon kingdom held some prominence in the sixth century through the authority of an individual named as Aelle, described as a king by Bede (HE II, 5).

The region is, of course, notable for its concentration of surviving prehistoric monuments. The henge and stone circle and standing stone avenues at Avebury are surrounded by round barrows, and linked to the great monument of Silbury Hill and its lesser companion, the chamber barrow at West Kennet. The causewayed enclosure at Windmill Hill lies to the east, and the downs are overshadowed by the ramparts of the Iron Age hill fort, Oldbury Castle.

These burials and cemeteries reflect a hybrid mixture of traditional practice, retrospective innovations, and new fashions, and could be considered symptomatic of a group seeking both to curate their past power and to establish themselves firmly within the new political geography for the future. In simple summary, the record offers strong contrasts in the ways in which the populations of East Yorkshire disposed of the dead compared to the populations of Sussex and North Wiltshire (see pp. 38–44).

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