IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 618: Material Culture as a Means of Integrating and Excluding Others

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Harriet Mahood, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading
Paper 618-aThe Scandinavian Influence upon Western Latvia in the Pre-Viking and Viking Age: The Case Study of Grobiņa Archaeological Complex
(Language: English)
Santa Jansone, Faculty of History & Philosophy, University of Latvia, Riga
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Economics - Trade, Geography and Settlement Studies, Local History
Paper 618-bWhat Are We Missing?: The Problem with Identifying Coffin Use and Its Implications for Characterising 'Others' in Later Anglo-Saxon Funerary Rites
(Language: English)
Emma Catherine Green, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
Index terms: Anthropology, Archaeology - General
Paper 618-cThe Medieval Anglo-Jew as an Outsider and the Construction of Otherness in Jewish Historiography: A Proposed New Methodological Approach for Examining the Integration of the Community in the Medieval Urban Space
(Language: English)
Esther Robinson Wild, Independent Scholar, Whitchurch-on-Thames
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Geography and Settlement Studies, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Abstract

Paper -a:
Increasing attention has been drawn to the Scandinavian expansions in the Viking Age, while leaving aside earlier period, which laid the foundations of future character of the Viking Age. The main aim of the paper is to identify the role and meaning of Grobiņa Archaeological Complex, including its vicinity, in the late prehistoric Western Latvia and also entire Eastern Baltic region, analysing character of the Scandinavian colony and the mutual relations between Scandinavian colonists and the locals. The study uses both written and archaeological sources, applying contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches of the archaeological and historical research.

Paper -b:
Recent funerary studies of the later Anglo-Saxon period in England (c. 650-1100) have established that a variety of different containers for the body were widely used, but have concluded so-called ‘plain earth graves’ were the norm. However, many containers will have been constructed entirely from wood, decomposing completely, rendering them invisible and confounding our attempts to explore their prevalence or provision. This paper will present research utilising the positioning of human skeletal remains (archaeothanatology) to identify the presence of coffins in the absence of direct archaeological evidence with the aim of differentiating coffined burials from plain earth graves more reliably, and thus assisting in the interpretation of funerary practices.

Paper -c:
The historiography of medieval Anglo-Jewry is generally consistent with regard to opinion on the level of interaction of Jews with their Christian neighbours in the urban space. This typically references marked differences in religion and customs and secular aspects of medieval English society that precluded Jews from integrating fully and upon which the construction of ‘otherness’ is based. Recourse to the European model of community, specifically the requirements for communal buildings, when interrogating the English documentary and archaeological record is a dominant strand within the historiography and contributes to the construction of ‘otherness’. This paper discusses how a buildings archaeology and urban morphological approach can bring about a reconsideration of the evidence for the Anglo-Jewish community and the level of social inclusion and integration.