Institute of Archaeology


The non-urban revolution: reflections on the idea of the town in early medieval Britain

01 October 2018, 4:00 pm

UCL Institute of Archaeology

Event Information

Open to



Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The first seminar in the UCL Institute of Archaeology Research Seminar series for Term I, 2018/19 will be given by Andrew Reynolds on 1 October.

Andrew's seminar is entitled 'The non-urban revolution: reflections on the idea of the town in early medieval Britain' and all are welcome to attend.


Medieval archaeology is a relative newcomer to the study of the past and one of its early achievements in the 1960s was its claim to have revealed a hitherto unsuspected level of urban culture in England before the Norman Conquest.

Prior to to this, historians had argued back and forth about the very existence of towns before the 11th century. Recent archaeological work, however, has shown just how rare urban places were in early England, prompting enquiry into exactly how society was structured and organised. This presentation reviews the topic in the light of new research into early medieval socio-political organisation that reveals a complex society that did not rely on centralisation as its principal mode of operation, but instead upon a multiplicity of places of varying function dispersed throughout the landscape. A case is made that site hierarchies as traditionally applied in archaeology require revision in the case of post-Roman societies in the Northern World.

UCL Institute of Archaeology Research Seminars Programme | Term I, 2018/19

Mondays, 4pm, Room 612 (some titles are still provisional)