The early medieval period represents a key period of transformation in European society, one in which new belief systems, strategies of rulership, social and economic structures laid the foundations for emerging national identities, state-level polities and the commercialisation that characterised late and post-medieval society. This module examines key and emerging themes in the archaeology of early medieval Europe. Focusing on Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia in particular, it examines how societies both within and beyond the late Roman Empire transformed in the 4th to 11th centuries. The module debates aspects of migration and ethnicity, cosmology, the rise of new belief systems, the development of kingship, emergence of kingdoms, warfare and violence, economic and governmental structures, the Viking Age, emergence of aristocracy and urbanism, all of which cover key debates and trends in current research.
You will gain knowledge of the sources used by early medieval archaeologists in Europe, an understanding of the methods used by medievalists for analysing data from a range of sources and an appreciation of key themes relating to the history and archaeology of early medieval Europe.