Site Selection and Case Study Sites

In order to increase my discipline regarding updates to this site, I will begin putting short passages illustrating the case studies I am intending to investigate for the original research portion of this thesis. For the next five Mondays I will introduce each case study with a brief topographical and archaeological background, followed by the rationale for choosing the site. For the first update, however, I will simply discuss the broad reasoning behind the case study selections.

The amount of detail varies site-by-site. Some, such as Bosham and Church Norton have been the subject of significant antiquarian attention. Others, such as Dell Quay and Sidlesham, were chosen due to their assumed importance, but lack much little practical work. Westhampnett, is the only site that has been extensively excavated and under a very different set of circumstances, as a mitigation project. The extent of the cemetery has been near-fully excavated. The goal for this is to survey the surrounds for a contemporary settlement so that material traces of social identities can be examined from a domestic, ‘living’ context as opposed to the ritual context of death. Each of the case-study sites were chosen for their ability to elucidate an aspect of early medieval social identities.

Detail map showing the intensive case-study site locations mentioned in the text. Romanroads after Aldsworth & Freke (1976) are shown radiating from Roman Chichester. © Crown Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey / EDINA supplied service.

Detail map showing the intensive case-study site locations mentioned in the text. Roman
roads after Aldsworth & Freke (1976) are shown radiating from Roman Chichester. © Crown
Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey / EDINA supplied service.

The sites were chosen amongst many, both temporally representative of the broad changes in social identities during the longue durée but also smaller changes reflected on the local level between the generally agreed sub-period divisions. but also representative of different activity areas, such as settlements and cemeteries, as well as differing macro-identities, such as secular and ecclesiastical agents or communities. As all these sites are coastal, they present a comparative set of data for examining the extent or limit of inter-regional exchange via maritime transport, with a particular focus on overseas (e.g. continental) contact.

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