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H 297 x W 210 mm

205 pages

illustrated throughout in black and white

Published Jul 2014

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784910044

Digital: 9781784910051

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Towns in the Dark

Urban Transformations from Late Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England

By Gavin Speed

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The focus of this book is to draw together still scattered data to chart and interpret the changing nature of life in towns from the late Roman period through to the mid-Anglo-Saxon period. Did towns fail? Were these ruinous sites really neglected by early Anglo-Saxon settlers and leaders?



Preface ;
Chapter 1: Introduction and Methodology ;
Chapter 2: A Review of Debate on Romano-British Towns, AD 300 – 600 ;
Chapter 3: Urban Sequences in the South-East ;
Chapter 4: Urban Sequences in the South-West ;
Chapter 5: Urban Sequences in the Midlands ;
Chapter 6: Questioning Towns in Late Roman Britain: Forms, Functions, and Failings ;
Chapter 7: Towns as Settlements, or as Symbols of the Past? 5th- and 6th- Century England ;
Chapter 8: Stepping out from the Dark: Conclusions and Directions ;
Appendix 1: Case Studies Data ;
Appendix 2: Additional Data ;


'The author has brought his experience and skill as a field archaeologist and urban excavator to bear on an ambitious subject. He seeks to explore the evidence for occupation, function and role of urban places during the fourth to sixth centuries and attempts to understand how and why these roles and functions may have changed. The result is a generally impressive marshalling of evidence, some of which is obscurely published or unpublished. Speed deserves to be congratulated for bringing this information — the results of countless commercially-funded urban excavations — to the attention of a wider audience… The volume is handsomely produced and richly illustrated.' - James Gerrard (2015): Britannia