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From Civilisation To Barbarism? Western Britain in the Early Middle Ages Tutor: Dr Kirsten Jarrett University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education.

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Presentation on theme: "From Civilisation To Barbarism? Western Britain in the Early Middle Ages Tutor: Dr Kirsten Jarrett University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Civilisation To Barbarism? Western Britain in the Early Middle Ages Tutor: Dr Kirsten Jarrett University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education

2 Lydney, Glos. Classical and Romano-Celtic Temples Caerwent

3 Prehistoric monument re-use Uley, Glos. – re-use of Neolithic barrow for late Roman burial Votive activity at prehistoric barrows

4 C4 Christianisation of the State Conversion of Constantine c. AD 312, Edict of Milan 313 Ban of pagan State religious sacrifices AD 341 Order of closure for urban State temples AD 356 Julian ‘the Apostate’: AD 362 religious tolerance (restoration of paganism) Theodosius: end to toleration of paganism AD 380 Patrick: ‘...father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement of Bannavem Taburniae...’

5 C5 Phillack, Corn. Cemetery C5-6 Inscribed stone: C6 Penmachno, Conwy Chi-Rho Symbols Identifying Christian beliefs: Chi-rho symbols & early crosses Ceramic sherd, Tintagel, c. AD Lamp: Dinas Emrys, late 5 th – mid 6 th century Cross-inscribed stones: Irish / Welsh missionaries?

6 Henley Wood Temple Apostacy and Christianisation? Final temple construction phase: Demolition and metalworking: AD 367 – before c.600

7 Bath: temple of ‘Sulis Minerva’ C14: demolition c. AD Aquae Sulis

8 Maiden Castle, Dorset: Temple to Shrine Temple built after 367, Floor replaced: use into C5?

9 Villa Churches? Hinton-St-Mary, Dorset Frampton, Dorset

10 Llandough: (N of St Dochdwy’s church) No indication of continued villa occupation into C5 Burials possibly begin late C4 Religious community: established by Dochdwy, c. 600? (C9+) Annals of Ulster (re. 473): ‘Quies Docci episcopi sancti Britonum abbatis’ Book of Llandaff (C12, re. C7): Clergy of (Sanctus) Docguinnus / Docunnus Villa site

11 Romano-Celtic temple demolished c. AD 400 Timber basilica NE-SW with polygonal baptistery, > c. 402? Dismantled late 6-7 C & Small stone structure built late C5 - C6 earthwork with towers: Vallum monasterium? Grass-tempered pottery from site West Hill, Uley: 5 th century church?

12 DEB Constantine... in the habit of a holy abbot amid the sacred altars [Maglocune] ‘... thou didst ruminate on the Lord's ritual and the ordinances of the monks, and then publish to the world and vow thyself before God a monk with no intention to be unfaithful...’

13 DEB: Burials, Graves, and Cemeteries [commentary on the 5 th century] ‘There was no burial to be had except in the ruins of houses or the bellies of beasts and birds’ (ch. 24.4) [Like Baasha & Jeroboam] ‘…Descendants who die in the city shall be eaten by dogs, and their dead bodies shall be eaten on the plains by the birds of the sky’ (ch. 40.1)

14 Late Roman Burial Ri tes Traditional ‘Pagan’ Practices Inhumation and some cremation NS alignment, or alignment upon features or boundaries ‘Aberrant’ rites: prone & decapitation Crouched and flexed Grave goods & costume: ceramics & animal bones, hob-nail boots, coins, jewellery Extra-mural and domestic cemeteries Clustered & inter-cutting graves Few small children

15 ‘Romano-Christian’ practices? Gradual ‘Standardisation’ late C4+: Inhumation Managed cemeteries: rows of non-intercutting graves EW alignment Grave linings: cists and stone slabs Supine, extended Burial in shrouds, with few or no grave goods (some possible finds within grave fills) Burial of babies & small children Sectors of ‘Christian’ burials within cemeteries: Christian communities?

16 Harlyn Bay, Nr. Padstow Far West: some continuity of cemeteries from pre- to post-Roman period

17 Bath Gate, Cirencester Extra-mural Cemetery > 400 Graves, Most late C4 – early C5

18 ‘Pagan’ rites Presumed C4 Bishop of Cirencester – But burials provide no certain evidence for Christian Communities

19 Poundbury

20 Cannington, N. Som. C2-C burials (523 excavated) C14: AD C14: AD

21 Exeter Basilica: demolished mid C5 2 graves C14: AD 420+/-70 AD 490+/-80 British monastery Precedes c. AD 670 Anglo-Saxon Minster? Changing Function Of towns

22 Caerwent Extra-mural burials: 136+, including C6-7 > 100 intra-mural burials: C5-11 C14: some C5-7

23 Wroxeter 12 burials, including crouched elderly man, in hypocaust – possibly next to a church within frigidarium (building EW) Cut through building platform Adult male c years No grave goods ? AD – after abandonment of town?

24 Villa burials Kingsweston

25 Winthill, Banwell, Som.

26 Frocester Court Grave 1: male aged 50-55, head aligned NE, wearing hobnail boots Grave 10: flexed inhumation male aged , died from cut leg Grave 11: prone female, aged over 45 years Grave 12: dug into the villa garden path; female aged c. 48, head aligned SE

27 Llandough Graves contained Roman coins Late Roman pottery C14 dates Burials to Before mid C7 - Includes burial dating AD

28 Late 4 th century+ rural burials

29 Henley Wood Temple precinct burials: AD C14: AD , , and Temple reuse

30 Lamyatt Beacon, Som.

31 Brean Down, N. Som. Oratory or Shrine? Temple demolished c. 390

32 Glastonbury Tor Early monastic or secular elite site? 2 disturbed graves: C6? Fragmentary remains - young person, or 2 young people, NS aligned Abbey: monastery probably C7 (Anglo-Saxon), though possibly earlier monastic site

33 C5 Cremation burials Tregony, Corn. ?C5 Cremation: elderly woman; pits containing burnt grain Tintagel Island: C14 AD

34 Tintagel Cemetery St Materiana Graveside fires (‘cena’) – C14: c. AD 403 ( ) = use of timber c.500

35 Phase 1 N Un-inscribed granite stone Probably C Socket

36 Carnsew Boslow Barrow burials and inscribed stones

37 Kenn, Devon Stoneage Barton, Somerset

38 Beacon Hill, Lundy, Devon St Nechtan’s, Hartland, Devon Hut: C3-early C5 Enclosure: late C6? Inscribed stones: C5- 6 & C7


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