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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article concentrates on interpretations of material culture changes from ‘late Roman Britain’ to ‘Anglo-Saxon England’ and reviews how approaches to the archaeological material have changed over time. It then provides a few suggestions for further research. The enormous increase of archaeological finds, especially over the past thirty years, has confirmed patterns in the record that are now unlikely to change, such as the overall distribution of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, but has also demonstrated that generalizations based on a single cemetery or settlement site can be misleading and that landscape studies and metal-detector finds do not always correspond with what excavations suggest about a particular region. Once Pandora's Box is opened, aspects of migration and assimilation appear that make Thomas et al.'s calculations of ‘intermarriage rates’ between Anglo-Saxons and Britons in the ‘apartheid-like social structure’ look tame.

Keywords: material culture, late Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon England, Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, settlement, intermarriage rates, endogenous change

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