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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the role and significance of sound in medieval social relations. In the Middle Ages as in other periods sound was a vital medium through which people experienced their environment and a vehicle for the expression of meaning and assertion of power. It is argued that archaeologists are well placed to make a major contribution to the study of sound in medieval Britain, both through qualitative analysis of ‘soundscapes’ and through more quantitative fieldwork research on ‘soundmarks’. Special attention is paid to the use and significance of church bells in rural settlements, and findings are presented from experimental fieldwork conducted in Ewelme hundred in south Oxfordshire.

Keywords: bells, churches, music, sound, soundmark, soundscape

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