Introducing a Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales

 

 

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EARLY MEDIEVAL WALES (410 – 1100)

The early medieval period, from the end of Roman rule to the coming of the Normans, saw fundamental social, political and economic changes that formed the roots of the distinctiveness of Wales in language, landscapes, culture and belief. Documentary sources are scant and there has been archaeological investigation of only a handful of settlement and cemetery sites. Many of the most basic questions remain to be answered.

The following are extracts/summaries of the key priorities identified for the period. For the full text, click on the All Wales Final Document link below.

  • Settlement and society – Fundamental work is needed to establish the hierarchy of secular settlement types and analyse regional and chronological differences.
  • Economy – Greater understanding is needed of the exploitation of land and resources, climate change, crafts and mechanisms of exchange.
  • The early medieval church – More needs to be known of the process of Christian conversion, the evolution of religious sites and the broader impact of the church.
  • External contacts - Understanding should be increased of the survival of Romano-British culture, the Viking impact and changing relationships of different parts of Wales with England, the Irish Sea zone and places further away.


 

Excavating an early medieval human burial at Brownslade Farm, Pembrokeshire in August 2006. ©Dyfed Archaeological Trust

Excavating an early medieval human burial at Brownslade Farm, Pembrokeshire in August 2006.
©Dyfed Archaeological Trust

 

 

 

This early medieval inscribed stone from Penbryn, Ceredigion, commemorates CORBALENGI IACIT ORDOVS (of Corbalengus, he lies, an Ordovician). Crown Copyright ©RCAHMW (NPRN304135, D12005_1198)

This early medieval inscribed stone from Penbryn, Ceredigion, commemorates CORBALENGI IACIT ORDOVS (of Corbalengus, he lies, an Ordovician).
Crown Copyright ©RCAHMW (NPRN304135, D12005_1198)

 

 

 

 

Silver penannnular brooch decorated with blue glass beads, gold foil and gold filigree; eighth or ninth century AD. Found at Newton Moor, Vale of Glamorgan. ©National Museum of Wales

Silver penannnular brooch decorated with blue glass beads, gold foil and gold filigree; eighth or ninth century AD. Found at Newton Moor, Vale of Glamorgan.
©National Museum of Wales