Abstract and Keywords
This article outlines the workings of those places that acted as arenas for trade and exchange in mid Saxon England, by exploring the terms that have been applied to them, how modern scholars have interpreted them, and how recent discoveries may point to future research directions. The impact of Henri Pirenne's work on stimulating discussion about the nature of trade contacts and of Carolingian social structures has ensured an extensive historiography. Richard Hodges saw kings exerting a high degree of control over trade, long-distance contact being utilized politically for reciprocal exchanges of prestige goods. ‘Productive’ sites are ‘places, whether excavated or metal-detected, that produce large quantities of coin and metalwork finds’. The processes Dark Age Economics strove to disentangle have undoubtedly become more complex and nuanced.
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