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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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‘Folk’ Cemeteries, Assembly and Territorial Geography in Early Anglo-Saxon England

‘Folk’ Cemeteries, Assembly and Territorial Geography in Early Anglo-Saxon England

Chapter:
(p.64) 3 ‘Folk’ Cemeteries, Assembly and Territorial Geography in Early Anglo-Saxon England
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

Stuart Brookes

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0003

This chapter examines the evidence for open-air assembly places existing at cemeteries of the 5th and 6th centuries in eastern and southern England. Contrasts are drawn between the types of cemetery (i.e. primarily inhumation or cremation), and types of legal assembly taking place at these sites. A small number of associated sites are identified and discussed, but it is argued that in general ‘folk’ cemeteries were not reused by later Anglo-Saxon communities as places of legal assembly. Examination of the available evidence identifies some of the features of palimpsest landscapes and attempts to provide an explanation for their continued significance through the early medieval period. Particular emphasis is given in this discussion to the role of elite power, and its appropriation of the symbolic landscape.

Keywords:   open-air assembly places, cemetery, legal assembly, Anglo-Saxon communities, elite power, symbolic landscape

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