The Fields of Britannia: Continuity and Change in the Late Roman and Early Medieval Landscape

Hardcover | October 10, 2015

byStephen Rippon, Chris Smart, Ben Pears

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It has long been recognized that the landscape of Britain is one of the 'richest historical records we possess', but just how old is it? The Fields of Britannia is the first book to explore how far the countryside of Roman Britain has survived in use through to the present day, shaping thecharacter of our modern countryside. Commencing with a discussion of the differing views of what happened to the landscape at the end of Roman Britain, the volume then brings together the results from hundreds of archaeological excavations and palaeoenvironmental investigations in order to mappatterns of land-use across Roman and early medieval Britain. In compiling such extensive data, the volume is able to reconstruct regional variations in Romano-British and early medieval land-use using pollen, animal bones, and charred cereal grains to demonstrate that agricultural regimes varied considerably and were heavily influenced by underlying geology.We are shown that, in the fifth and sixth centuries, there was a shift away from intensive farming but very few areas of the landscape were abandoned completely. What is revealed is a surprising degree of continuity: the Roman Empire may have collapsed, but British farmers carried on regardless, andthe result is that now, across large parts of Britain, many of these Roman field systems are still in use.

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It has long been recognized that the landscape of Britain is one of the 'richest historical records we possess', but just how old is it? The Fields of Britannia is the first book to explore how far the countryside of Roman Britain has survived in use through to the present day, shaping thecharacter of our modern countryside. Commencing...

Stephen Rippon is Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Exeter. Chris Smart is an Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter. Ben Pears is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Exeter.

other books by Stephen Rippon

Format:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.31 inPublished:October 10, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645825

ISBN - 13:9780199645824

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesList of AppendicesList of Abbreviations1. Fields of Britannia: A Roman Legacy in the British Countryside2. A Regional Approach to Studying Landscape3. A Landscape Approach to the Roman-medieval Transition4. The South East5. East Anglia6. The Central Zone7. The South West8. The Western Lowlands9. The North East Lowlands10. The Northern Uplands11. Upland and Lowland Wales12. Discussion and ConclusionsBibliographyIndex