Photo overlooking the totem pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum


During the Final Honour School, students delve more deeply into the subject areas which have been introduced to them in the first year. They will also decide on which three options they would like to take from the following list of 30 subjects. One option is studied in the second year, two are studied in the third year.

The Emergence of Medieval Europe, AD 400-900

This course considers the cultural development of Europe from the demise of the Western Roman Empire to the Viking Age.  It offers an overview of material culture change over a wide geographical region during some 500 years, although the emphasis is on western and northern Europe, including Britain.

The more specific objectives of the course are to explore the changing nature of early medieval identity and communities; the various forces behind the economic developments seen in this period; and the relationship between material culture and state formation.  What was the influence of the late Roman Empire, the early Church, and the ‘barbarian’ Iron Age peoples of northern Europe on the culture, especially the material culture, of the early Middle Ages?

Themes include: Social Structure in Early Medieval Europe; Graves and Ritual Deposits; High-status Settlements and Burials; Rural Settlement and Economy; Towns and Trade; Technology; The Archaeology of the Conversion.

Tutorials include a handling session in the Ashmolean Museum.

Last update on 09/12/16 by Robyn Mason.

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