The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion
The conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia left huge marks on the area, both metaphorical and literal. Drawing on both the surviving documentary sources, and on the eastern region's rich archaeological record, this book presents the first multi-disciplinary synthesis of the process. It begins with an analysis of the historical framework, followed by an examination of the archaeological evidence for the establishment of missionary stations within the region's ruinous Roman forts and earthwork enclosures. It argues that the effectiveness of the Christian mission is clearly visible in the region's burial record, which exhibits a number of significant changes, including the cessation of cremation. The conversion can also be seen in the dramatic upheavals which occurred in the East Anglian landscape, including changes in the relationship between settlements and cemeteries, and the foundation of a number of different types of Christian cemetery. Ultimately, it shows that far from being the preserve of kings, the East Anglian conversion was widespread at a grassroots level, changing the nature of the Anglo-Saxon landscape forever. Dr Richard Hoggett is currently Coastal Heritage Officer with Norfolk County Council.
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Anglo Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Anglo-Saxon England archaeological evidence archaeological record Bede Bede’s Bishop Botolph Burgh Castle burial practice burial rites Caister-on-Sea Caistor St Edmund Carlton Colville Cemetery at Spong chapter churchyards Cnobheresburg Cognitive Archaeology cremation Deben Valley demonstrated discussed Dommoc Early Anglo-Saxon Early Medieval Early Saxon cemeteries Early Saxon period Early Saxon settlements earthwork enclosure East Anglian East Anglian Archaeology East Anglian conversion ecclesiastical excavated Final Phase funerary Fursa Geake Grave grave-goods Harford Farm historical Ibid identified Iken indicate inhumation inhumation cemetery Ipswich ware king Late Saxon period metal-detecting Middle and Late Middle Saxon Middle Saxon period Middle Saxon settlement Minster monastery Norfolk North Elmham parish church Pestell pottery pyre Rędwald recognised region religion religious remains Renfrew reuse Rigold Rogerson scatters settlements and cemeteries seventh century Sigeberht significant Suffolk suggests Sutton Hoo Thetford-type ware unfurnished Venta Icenorum Wade-Martins Walton Castle West Stow west–east Whitelock