Gender, jewellery and the making of early medieval Europe

Start: Nov 14, 2017 06:00 PM

Location: Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology


The third seminar in the 2017-18 Institute of Archaeology/British Museum Medieval Seminar Series will be given by Toby Martin (Oxford) on 14 November.


Early medieval Europe is well known for its regionally distinctive and elaborate jewellery, and during the 5th to 7th centuries AD an enormous quantity of it was put into women’s graves throughout much of present-day Europe. As such, it was not only an everyday aspect of the manner in which many women dressed, but it also possessed significance in terms of how gendered and regional identities were understood for an extended period. The origins of this phenomenon lie in the transition between late Roman and early medieval Europe, and during these few decades what had once been the paraphernalia of the late Roman military became an overwhelmingly feminine mode of attire. Using the largest yet assembled corpus of this material, this paper focuses on the origins of these jewelleries in an attempt to answer why this became such a prevalent and fundamentally gendered behaviour, and what the consequences of this were for the ensuing centuries.

The Medieval Seminar Series is sponsored by the World Archaeology Section at the Institute of Archaeology and the British Museum.

All meetings start at 6pm at the Institute of Archaeology with the exception of the Sir David Wilson Lecture. Attendees are invited to bring news items for announcement before the start of each seminar.

The programme for the 2017-18 Institute of Archaeology/British Museum Medieval Seminar Series is available to download here»

Seminar Series Convenors: