Late Antiquity or Early Medieval? Investigating Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon Identity and Migration in Southern England (Katherine Miller, University of Bristol)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Monday 2nd March 2020 / Venue: Seminar Room 5, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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The transition from the end of Roman Britain, and the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in southern England is an unsolved dichotomy in England’s history. Scholars constantly debated the extent and impact of these two populations interacting within this time period. Here we use an osteological and biomolecular approaches to explore this demographic shift. Cemeteries, the human remains within them, and artefactual goods provide us with evidence for understanding this population and reveal new insight into this period. This presentation examines radiocarbon dates from three Anglo-Saxon cemeteries; Apple Down (Compton, Sussex), Droxford (Droxford, Hampshire), and Pilgrim’s Way (Wrotham, Kent). By synthesizing osteological and radiocarbon dates, we gain a more complex view of this transitional period and how populations changed between the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. We hypothesize that the dichotomy between the two periods is could be false and that there are much earlier interactions between the two populations than has previously been suggested. Skeletal demographics along with radiocarbon dating on smaller, mixed practice cemeteries, show fluctuations and intermixture of people and cultures within a site. This research challenges the dichotomy of previous debates and how implementing biomolecular and osteoarchaeological methods help to understand the increasingly complex during this period in early southern Britain.

This event is part of the Work in Progress Seminar Series.