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The Anglo-Saxon settlement at Catholme, Staffordshire: a re-assessment of the chronological evidence and possible re-interpretation

Hines, John 2018. The Anglo-Saxon settlement at Catholme, Staffordshire: a re-assessment of the chronological evidence and possible re-interpretation. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 21 , pp. 47-59.

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Abstract

Catholme, on the northern side of the River Trent in Staffordshire, is the site of one of the best known large-scale Anglo-Saxon rural settlement excavations. In light of the prevalence of examples of settlement relocation in the course of the Anglo-Saxon Period, the longevity of this site, apparently having in continuous occupation for up to five centuries, was remarkable; the plan of buildings and enclosure features within the excavated area, moreover, does not reveal any particularly long stratigraphical sequences. A series of radiocarbon dates was obtained upon samples from Anglo-Saxon contexts at Catholme in the late 1970s and early 1980s, most of them with error-margins (1 σ) of ±70/80 years. These have been subjected to fresh chronological modelling using the OxCal programme. The distribution of the dates proves to support a new and quite revisionary model for the development of the site, postulating that it was more mobile in location within the excavated area than the stratigraphical relationships could show. Combined with immediately contextual evidence from the Early Anglo-Saxon burials at the cemetery of Wychnor at one end of the site-history to the Domesday records for this and neighbouring vills at the other, Catholme may in fact be a settlement that graphically illustrates the systemic decline in social status of the free ceorl class across the Anglo-Saxon Period.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Publisher: Oxford University School of Archaeology
ISSN: 0264-5254
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2018
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 09:43
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/116843

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