Social Landscapes of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex

Anglo Saxon cross

Thursday 15 November


Medecroft 15, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR

Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology seminar talk by Scott Chaussée, University College London.

A common thread throughout this talk is how local communities apprehended and organised the landscape and, by extension, themselves within it. The author asks the question: is a kingdom of Sussex archaeologically visible at all? This research therefore analyses how territories developed and how characteristics of hierarchy were expressed. Kingship and the territoriality of kingdoms has been somewhat the preserve of historians, though vital recent work has pushed archaeology back in to the mainstream of conversation in this regard. Frequently taken for granted is the fact that kingdoms as top-level, monolithic polities existed at all, and were not a complex weave of social obligations amongst individuals at various levels in society. Additionally, these tenurial patterns prior to the creation of the hundredal and later parochial system in the Late Saxon period has never been fully understood. Still less is understood about the Norman 'rapes' to earlier putative sub-shire systems of territorial organisation. This talk examines the archaeological, historical, and toponymic evidence for insight into community experiences of the landscape and how these are reflected in the territorial organisation of the kingdom and later shire of Sussex.

Unless otherwise noted, admission to all seminars is free. For further details of the Wessex centre, see our website (to receive notifications of our programme with email newsletter contact with subject header WESSEX MAILING LIST).

Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research

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