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THE (RE-)MAKING OF THE SOUTHERN NORTH SEA WORLD: Politics, trade and long-distance interactions between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Merovingian Gaul in the seventh century AD

CLARKE-NEISH, KELLY,MARIE (2021) THE (RE-)MAKING OF THE SOUTHERN NORTH SEA WORLD: Politics, trade and long-distance interactions between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Merovingian Gaul in the seventh century AD. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This study examines the evidence for interactions between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Merovingian Gaul during the seventh century. Following the discovery of a substantial amount of new archaeological and numismatic evidence in recent decades, our understanding of the nature of interaction between different polities and cultures has changed significantly. However, current scholarship has tended to examine individual regions rather than the
transnational networks into which they fitted. In addition, research on cultural interaction between these regions has largely overlooked the seventh century, focusing instead on earlier or later centuries, or has disproportionately centred on a few major sites (such as Sutton Hoo) or one form of evidence.

This thesis undertakes an interdisciplinary and transnational approach and provides a richer interpretation of regional relationships in the seventh century through a comparative analysis of textual sources, material culture, numismatic evidence, and other evidence from both regions. This thesis has three parts: Part I concentrates on the political and ecclesiastical connections. Part II focuses on coinage (gold coins and the early series in the sequence of silver sceattas/pennies), their distribution and the evidence for reuse. Part III examines places of trade (the seventh-century emporia) and long-distance networks of exchange. Part III also comprises of two case studies which attempt to draw together the archaeological evidence in a regional framework for long-distance interaction.

Far from developing separately, as this study demonstrates, both sides of the North Sea world are inextricably linked and interactions between both areas proved crucial in the development of culture, politics, and the economy of the early medieval period. Additionally, this study prompts a reconsideration of many ideas which have continued to persist within the scholarship including the existence of a Merovingian hegemony first outlined by Ian Wood (The Merovingian North Sea, 1983) and provides fresh perspectives to the broader issues of the period including the origins of the European economy, kingdom formation, and the impact of conversion on social structures and connections.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Anglo-Saxon, Merovingian, cross-Channel, trade, coins, culture, ecclesiastical/monasteries, politics, transnational, interdisciplinary
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Feb 2022 14:24

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