Session: #27

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Archaeological Perspectives on Reform and Revolution: Material Culture in the Long Eleventh Century
Across much of Europe, the eleventh century was a period of significant cultural, political and economic change. This period of transition is reflected in the historic landscape, material culture, architecture, and written evidence, as well as in the regulation and organization of society. While the implications of this period have sometimes been considered within the context of contemporary nation states, we have rarely taken the opportunity to examine this transition across Europe as a whole, highlighting the similarities, discontinuities, variabilities, and scales of change in different locales, countries, or regions.
This session will take a multidisciplinary approach to exploring material culture in its broadest sense and its social implications in the long eleventh century, covering the period AD 950-1150. Papers might consider, for example: how land use and settlement developed over the period, either in urban or rural settings; how political, social and religious variables impacted upon the material environment of people in multiple strata of society; how material culture and related practices changed (or did not); and how these processes of transformation unfolded in relation to other archaeological and written evidence in the period.
The aim of the session is to set the transformations of the eleventh century within a wider chronological and geographical context, in order that this might better inform more localised studies of the material culture of the period.
Material Culture, Historic Landscape, Eleventh Century, Transition
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Main organiser:
Michael Lewis (United Kingdom) 1
Pieterjan Deckers (Belgium) 2
Aleksandra McClain (United Kingdom) 3
1. British Museum
2. Vrije Universiteit Brussel
3. University of York