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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the impact of natural hazards and their accompanying human disasters during the later medieval period. British medieval populations faced severe challenges as a result of sudden onset events including windstorms, tidal surges, floods, and lightning strikes. As well as the historical accounts of these disasters which litter the documentary record, the evidence for these catastrophic occurrences can often be traced in the surviving archaeology. Not only does this make it possible to visualize exactly what damage these events wrought to settlements, through excavation and landscape survey, and structures, through standing-building analysis, but study of the material culture also illuminates the religious reactions that disasters engendered. The combination of archaeological and documentary evidence allows a particularly detailed exploration of the impacts, responses, and adaptations driven by disasters during the medieval period.

Keywords: natural hazards, disaster, risk, religion, windstorms, floods, lightning, responses, adaptation

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