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By Nick Higham

The variety of local Britons, and their function, in Anglo-Saxon England has been hotly debated for generations; the English have been visible as Germanic within the 19th century, however the 20th observed a reinvention of the German 'past'. at the present time, the scholarly neighborhood is as deeply divided as ever at the factor: place-name experts have regularly most well-liked minimalist interpretations, privileging migration from Germany, whereas different disciplinary teams were much less united of their perspectives, with many archaeologists and historians viewing the British presence, in all probability at the very least, as numerically major or perhaps dominant. The papers amassed right here search to shed new gentle in this advanced factor, through bringing jointly contributions from diversified disciplinary experts and exploring the interfaces among a number of different types of information in regards to the previous. They gather either a considerable physique of proof about the presence of Britons and provide numerous methods to the important problems with the size of that presence and its importance around the seven centuries of Anglo-Saxon England. members: RICHARD COATES, MARTIN GRIMMER, HEINRICH HARKE, NICK HIGHAM, CATHERINE HILLS, LLOYD LAING, C. P. LEWIS, GALE R. OWEN-CROCKER, O. J. PADEL, DUNCAN PROBERT, PETER SCHRIJVER, DAVID THORNTON, HILDEGARD L. C. TRISTRAM, DAMIAN TYLER, HOWARD WILLIAMS, ALEX WOOLF

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Rolleston, ‘Researches and Excavations’, at pp. 462–5. 36 Monuments emphasised racial distinctions in another way. 39 Therefore, although the archaeological technique of stratigraphy was still in its infancy, prehistoric and Roman burial mounds re-used by Saxon graves offered to the nineteenth-century archaeologists a clear chronology of British history in microcosm. Each phase of the burial-mound’s use offered a separate and successive phase of settlement by different races. Although this author is aware of few explicit, nineteenth-century interpretations of this monument re-use, it provided implicit support, at least, for the view that the British were ‘pre-Roman’ and had no place in the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries.

N. L. Myres, and all the rest saw them differently. But the debate is given force by the fact that it relates to the identities of people living today in Britain. Are the English quite different from the Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish because they are descended from Germanic invaders, whereas the others are ‘native’ inhabitants? Or does most of the population, including the ‘English’ have British ancestry, the very real regional differences coming from long-term, geographical, economic and political structures?

The ‘Anglian’, ‘Saxon’ or ‘Jutish’ objects in graves showed how far those people had spread, and how densely they had settled, by dates calculated from artefact typology. The works of J. N. 24 23 24 Anglo-Saxon Settlement and Landscape in the Vale of Pickering’, paper given at the 55th Sachsensymposium (given Cambridge, September 2004, publication pending). Schama, History of Britain, p. 46. J. N. L. Myres, Anglo-Saxon Pottery and the Settlement of England (Oxford, 1969); J. N. L. Myres, The English Settlements (Oxford, 1986); John Morris, The Age of Arthur (London, 1973).

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