Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Archaeological dig to examine one of England’s first monasteries

An archaeological project has just begun that aims broaden our understanding of how Christianity impacted daily life in Anglo-Saxon England. The project, which started this month, is led by Dr Gabor Thomas of the University of Reading and is excavating in the village green of Lyminge in Kent.

Readers can follow progress and see images of the archaeological dig on the blog of the Lyminge Archaeological Project.

Previous excavations have shown that extensive remains of an Anglo-Saxon monastery and an earlier royal complex lie preserved literally inches beneath the green and other open areas of the village. The aim of the forthcoming campaign is to uncover more secrets dating to the period when Christianity was first established amongst the pagan Anglo-Saxons of Kent.

Dr Thomas commented, “This is potentially the most important Anglo-Saxon excavation in a generation since Lyminge provides a unique opportunity to examine an Anglo-Saxon monastery on a large scale, and in relation to an earlier Anglo Saxon royal complex. This will be the first time such a complex will be uncovered in Kent, an area where the church was first established in Anglo-Saxon England.

“These complexes were settlements temporarily occupied by a king and his royal retinue where renders of food and other produce were consumed and redistributed to loyal followers. These seasonal gatherings provided opportunities for public assembly, the promulgation of laws and cult displays.”

Via http://www.medievalists.net/2012/07/30/archaeological-dig-to-examine-one-of-englands-first-monasteries/