The growth and development of towns and urbanism in the pre-modern world has been of interest to archaeologists since the nineteenth century. Much of the early archaeological research on urban origins focused on regions such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Mesoamerica. Intensive archaeological research that has been conducted since the 1960s, much of it as a result of urban redevelopment, has shed new light on the development of towns in Anglo-Saxon England. In this book, Pamela Crabtree uses up-to-date archaeological data to explore urban origins in early medieval Britain. She argues that many Roman towns remained important places on the landscape, despite losing most of their urban character by the fifth century. Beginning with the decline of towns in the fourth and fifth centuries, Crabtree then details the origins and development of towns in Britain from the 7th century through the Norman Conquest in the mid-eleventh century CE. She also sets the development of early medieval urbanism in Britain within a broader, comparative framework.
About the Author
Pam J. Crabtree is a Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She received her B.A. from Barnard College, New York, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Crabtree has been actively involved in medieval archaeology since 1971, and her research has been funded by Fulbright grants, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment of the Humanities. She is co-editor (with Peter Bogucki) of European Archaeology as Anthropology (2017). In addition to her work on Anglo-Saxon England, Crabtree has taken part in archaeological projects in Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Egypt, India, and historic sites in the US.
Table of ContentsIntroduction; 1. The end of urbanism in Roman Britain; 2. Early Anglo-Saxon England: settlement, society and culture; 3. Middle Saxon settlement and the rise of the emporia: the archaeology of the 'wics' and contemporary sites; 4. Towns in late Anglo-Saxon England; Conclusions.