The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion

November 2010
13 black and white, 35 line illustrations
222 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Anglo-Saxon Studies
ISBN: 9781843835950
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion

Richard Hoggett

The huge changes in the landscape as a result of the Christian conversion of East Anglia are examined in this multi-disciplinary study.
The conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia left huge marks on the area, both metaphorical and literal. Drawing on both the surviving documentary sources, and on the eastern region's rich archaeological record, this book presents the first multi-disciplinary synthesis of the process. It begins with an analysis of the historical framework, followed by an examination of the archaeological evidence for the establishment of missionary stations within the region's ruinous Roman forts and earthwork enclosures. It argues that the effectiveness of the Christian mission is clearly visible in the region's burial record, which exhibits a number of significant changes, including the cessation of cremation. The conversion can also be seen in the dramatic upheavals which occurred in the East Anglian landscape, including changes in the relationship between settlements and cemeteries, and the foundation of a number of different types of Christian cemetery. Ultimately, it shows that far from being the preserve of kings, the East Anglian conversion was widespread at a grassroots level, changing the nature of the Anglo-Saxon landscape forever.

Dr Richard Hoggett is currently Coastal Heritage Officer with Norfolk County Council.

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Table of Contents

The Archaeology of Religious Conversion
The Historical Framework
The Establishment of Missionary Stations
Burial and Belief
The Landscape of Conversion
Conclusions: The East Anglian Conversion


Well written and well structured, providing a detailed multi-disciplinary discussion. LANDSCAPES

An important exercise in telling the story of conversion directly from the material evidence, rather than using archaeology simply to illustrate the Bedan narrative. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

A useful and provocative study which is imaginative in its building and use of models. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

[A] fine book. [...] The conclusions, full of hope and inspiration, suggest several major lines of research, as well as emphasising the enormous body of work produced in the past few decades. There is a surprising maturity in this volume, which at times reads like an indispensable textbook. LANDSCAPE HISTORY

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