Northwest Christendom from the Carolingians to the Crusades, AD 600-1200
Project Principal Investigator: Chris Loveluck
Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council 2007
This project examines the key question of how the social foundations of northwest Europe and western Christendom were laid, between AD 600 and 1200, using the evidence provided by archaeological and standing building remains. It covers the era of the first post-Roman, ‘western European union’ under the Carolingian Frankish Kings, to the Feudal Age. Specifically, it confronts ‘top-down’ models of social, economic and political evolution with results of new research at regional and local levels, and from specific topographic (e.g. coastal environments) and social situations (e.g. those of artisans/merchants). Hence, past emphasis on the role of elites in promoting change through the development of towns, trade and re-organisation of the rural world is placed in the context of stimuli coming from other actors and dynamic groups within and beyond the territories they ruled.
The AHRC-funded project (research leave) represents the end result of four years of research funded predominantly by the British Academy, and from a period as a CNRS research Fellow at Tours, France. It evaluates directly the scale of recent archaeological research on the period between the 7th and 13th centuries in Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany to the Rhine. The results of this review of data never discussed in English, combined with new survey and excavation evidence, forces very significant re-evaluation of long-standing explanations of socio-political change derived mainly from the ‘Anglo-American’ world. The book resulting from this project, therefore, provides a first analysis of the current early medieval archaeological remains from both Britain and the Continent.
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Loveluck, C.P., in prep: Northwest Christendom from the Carolingians to the Crusades, AD 600-1200. A comparative archaeology, Cambridge: CUP. (draft text submitted, September 2010)
Recent publications on constituent themes
Loveluck, C.P., in press/2011: ‘Problems of the definition and conceptualisation of early medieval elites, AD 450-900: the dynamics of the archaeological evidence’, in F. Bougard, R. Le Jan and H.-W. Goetz, eds., Théories et Pratiques des Élites au haut Moyen Âge. Conception, Perception et Réalisation Sociale, Haut Moyen Age 10/11, Turnhout: Brepols.
Loveluck, C.P., 2009: ‘The dynamics of elite lifestyles in the rural world, AD 600-1150: archaeological perspectives from northwest Europe’, in F. Bougard, R. Le Jan and R. McKitterick, eds., La Culture du haut Moyen Âge, Une Question d’Élites?, Haut Moyen Âge 7, pp. 139-170, Turnhout: Brepols.
Loveluck, C.P. and Tys, D., 2006: ‘Coastal societies, exchange and identity along the Channel and southern North Sea shores of Europe, AD 600-1000’, in Journal of Maritime Archaeology 1, 140-169.
Loveluck, C.P., 2005. ‘Rural Settlement Hierarchy in the Age of Charlemagne’, in J. Story, ed., Charlemagne: Empire and Society, 230-258, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Loveluck, C.P., 2004. ‘Terres Noires and early medieval rural settlement sequences: conceptual problems, descriptive limitations and deposit diversity’, in L. Verslype and R. Brulet, eds., Terres Noires du haut Moyen Âge, Collection d Archéologie Joseph Mertens XIV, 86- 96, Lovain-la-Neuve: Centre de Recherches d’Archéologie Nationale, Université Catholique de Louvain.