Early Medieval Stone Monuments

Early Medieval Stone Monuments

Materiality, Biography, Landscape

Edited by Howard Williams, Joanne Kirton, Meggen Gondek


Boydell Press



New insights into inscribed and stone monuments from across Europe in the early middle ages.
Often fragmented and without context, early medieval inscribed and sculpted stone monuments of the fifth to eleventh centuries AD have been mainly studied via their shape, their decoration and the texts a fraction of them bear. This book, investigating stone monuments from Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia (including the important memorials at Iniscealtra, County Clare), advocates three relatively new, distinctive and interconnected approaches to the lithic heritage of the early Middle Ages. Building on recent theoretical trends in archaeology and material culture studies in particular, it uses the themes of materiality, biography and landscape to reveal how carved stones created senses of identity and history for early medieval communities and kingdom. An extensive introduction and eight chapters span the disciplines of history, art-history and archaeology, exploring how shaping stone in turn shaped and re-shaped early medieval societies.

Howard Williams is Professor of Archaeology, University of Chester; Joanne Kirton is Project Manager, Big Heritage, Chester; Meggen Gondek is Reader in Archaeology, University of Chester.

Contributors: Ing-Marie Back Danielsson, Iris Crouwers, Meggen Gondek, Mark A. Hall, Joanne Kirton, Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh, Clíodhna O'Leary, Howard Williams.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782045823), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


September 2015
67 black and white, 22 line illustrations
293 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture
ISBN: 9781783270743
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BIC ACG, 1D, 2AB, 3F
BISAC ART015030, SOC003000, HIS037010
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Stones in Substance, Space and Time - Howard Williams and Joanne Kirton and Meggen Gondek
Locating the Cleulow Cross: Materiality, Place and Landscape - Joanne Kirton
Walking Down Memory Lane: Rune-Stones as Mnemonic Agents in the Landscapes of Late Viking-Age Scandinavia - Ing-Marie Back Danielsson
Building Blocks: Structural Contexts and Carved Stones in Early Medieval Northern Britain - Meggen Gondek
Memory, Belief and Identity: Remembering the Dead on Iniscealtra, Co. Clare - Clíodhna O'Leary
The Biographies and Audiences of Late Viking-Age and Medieval Stone Crosses and Cross-Decorated Stones in Western Norway - Iris Crouwers
Lifeways in Stone: Memories and Matter-Reality in Early Medieval Sculpture from Scotland - Mark A. Hall
A Stone in Time: Saving Lost Medieval Memories of Irish Stone Monuments - Jenifer Ni Ghradaigh
Hogbacks: the Materiality of Solid Spaces - Howard Williams


This collection of essays, which belongs to the excellent series Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture, directed by Julian Luxford and Asa Simon Mittman, brings contemporary ideas to bear on early medieval sculpture in a way that opens a dialogue about the monuments' agency and postmedieval afterlives. SPECULUM

As we have come to expect from Boydell, the general quality of the volume is high, with many black and white illustrations.[For] for those interested in new interpretations and theoretical perspectives this will be a worthwhile read. TIME & MIND: THE JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, CONSCIOUSNESS AND CULTURE

A stimulating read. CHURCH MONUMENTS

This high-quality volume is well supported by its numerous illustrations....By approaching stone monuments in a thematic way, this volume provides fresh understanding of their multiple uses, functions and impacts on the societies which interacted - and still interact - with them. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

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