The FeedSax team assembles

Today saw the team assemble for the first time, at the School of Archaeology in Oxford, for the inaugural FeedSax meeting. Sunshine, coffee and doughnuts set the scene for a really productive and stimulating afternoon, reviewing our plans and objectives for the first year, and looking ahead to more distant goals.

A central task for Year 1 will be the locating and gathering of data and resources, including excavation reports, pollen sequences, animal bones, and plant remains. These will, for the most part, represent sites from around England, but we’ll also be working on material kindly shared by our project partners at the University of Cologne. Anglo-Saxon England is our main focus, but the farming phenomena that we’re investigating occurred more widely across early medieval Europe, so it will be fascinating to see how England and the Rhineland compare.

Follow this blog to keep up to date with what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and why we’re so excited about it.

(Most of) the FeedSax team – from left to right: Emily Forster, Mark McKerracher, Helena Hamerow, Mike Charles, Amy Bogaard, Matty Holmes and Richard Thomas.


4 thoughts on “The FeedSax team assembles

  1. dearieme

    What’s the plan? A careful comparison of the parts of England with open field and the parts that didn’t use it? At what date, roughly, does one know which part is which?


  2. feedsax1

    In essence, yes, but therein lies one of the problems! The sort of broad distinction described by Rackham’s ancient/planned dichotomy, or Roberts and Wrathmell’s provinces, should most likely be evident by the 13th century. But it could have started to emerge up to 600 years earlier, and there could well be subtle, forgotten regional variations along the way. So we’ll be comparing data from different parts of England at different time intervals – at least every couple of centuries – between the Mid Saxon (8th-9th c.) and High Medieval (12th-13th c.) periods.


  3. feedsax1

    Yes indeed, pollen analysis is one key strand in the project design. Identification of different types of land-use through the pollen record will need fine and subtle work, of course, and integration with other strands of evidence. It’s complicated by the fact that pollen is more readily preserved in heavy, damp, peaty deposits which are generally less likely to have been cultivated. More detail to follow in future blog posts – thanks for your interest in the project!


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