Institute of Archaeology


Ploughs, pollen and plants: Investigating changes in medieval agricultural practice

10 December 2019, 6:15 pm–7:15 pm

UCL & The British Museum in collaboration

The third seminar in the 2019-20 UCL Institute of Archaeology/British Museum Medieval Seminar Series will be given by Matilda Holmes (UCL) on 10 December.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Prof Andrew Reynolds


Room 612
Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square
United Kingdom


A dramatic increase in the population of England between the Saxon and medieval periods brought with it economic growth, an increase in urban living and widening social hierarchies. This transition required an expansion of cereal cultivation that culminated in the widespread application of open field farming to facilitate the production of enough food to sustain the increasing population. The Feeding Anglo-Saxon England project combines analysis from animal bones, seeds, pollen and isotopes to inform the nature of this transition. Did it come about as a wholesale ‘package’ of social and agricultural change, or was it a case of piecemeal technological uptake as the local conditions necessitated? As the final year of the project approaches, preliminary results are emerging, as well as a better idea of how the various strands of research will come together. This presentation aims to provide some early data regarding animal husbandry, cereal cultivation, geographical variation in settlement archaeology, agriculture and land use.

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

All meetings start at 6.15pm at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Attendees are invited to bring news items for announcement before the start of each seminar.

Seminar Series Convenors: