Institute of Archaeology


Scott Chaussee

Social Landscapes of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex


Email: scott.chaussee.14@ucl.ac.uk
Section: World Archaeology


Social Landscapes of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex

This research investigates the development of the poorly-understood Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex and how various factors caused continuity and change in the insular material culture, sites and settlements, and ultimately in social identity between the Roman and early medieval periods. These cycles of change, brought about by influences both within and outside the region, appear to reoccur throughout the study period, and are evidenced through inter-regional (macro-scale) regional (meso-scale), and site-specific (micro-scale) assessments of evidence. A sense of long-term continuity is perceived in the ability of these insular identities to apprehend the relict landscape and utilise former traditions to develop peculiar regional power structures in the early medieval period, despite political domination by multiple, more powerful neighbouring kingdoms. Conversion of the South Saxon aristocracy to Christianity in the seventh century had an impact on the territorial dynamics in the study area as motors of kingdom development, apparently far more than did the absence of centralised Roman authority in the fifth though aspects of the Roman and, it is posited, the Late Pre-Roman Iron Age perceptions of landscape. This thesis also develops a landscape model of development of early medieval communities and society in Sussex to provide a basis upon which to discuss the ephemerality of kingship at a macro-scale. This method of exploring community experience rooted in archaeologies of landscape will provide a transferable research toolkit with which one can explore the constitution of polities elsewhere in northern Europe and beyond.


  • BA, Anthropology, University of Kansas 2007
  • MA, Social Archaeology, University of Southampton, 2011
    • Report on the Topographic and Geophysical Surveys at Hosn Al Sirra, Medinet Zayed, Western Region, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    • Report on the Geophysical Survey at Old Sarum, Wiltshire April 2014
    • Report on the Geophysical Survey of the Burh at Burpham, West Sussex
    Conference papers
    • Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium 2016
    • Wessex Series on Comparative Medieval Cultures 2016
    • Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium 2013
    • Sussex Archaeology Symposium 2011