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Lyminge Excavations, Anglo-Saxon Conversion – Kent

April 4, 2009

Kent, the kingdom which received St Augustine’s mission to convert the heathen Anglo-Saxons in A.D. 597, is justly celebrated as the crucible of Christianity in England. In the two centuries following St Augustine’s landing, the Kentish kings invested heavily in a group of monastic centres – led by St Augustine’s, Canterbury, but with regional outposts at Reculver, Lyminge, Dover, Folkestone, and Minster-in-Thanet. These regional hubs initiated the grass-roots conversion of the Kentish populace, serving as a model for Christian conversion in neighbouring southern kingdoms.

From local information incorporated in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and Anglo-Saxon charters issued in Kent, we have a skeleton outline of the location, chronology and workings of these institutions, but our understanding of their physical appearance and wider archaeological context remains lamentably poor. Why are these broader archaeological perspectives important? Historical sources hint at the significant economic role of monastic institutions as consumers of imported luxuries and as centres of large, royally-endowed estates, where agricultural surpluses and raw materials were processed and redistributed.

The current project brings together archaeologists from the University and volunteer sectors and integrates previously unpublished work with new targeted excavation and fieldwork. It aims to establish a firmer archaeological knowledge of this group of sites so that their impact and significance as socially transforming institutions can be scrutinized by modern scholarship.

The fee for residential students is £65 per week.  This covers camping facilities and all meals Monday-Saturday.
The fee for non-residential volunteers is £25 per week.

Dates: 6 July – 15 August 2009

Application form on website.
Email Dr. Gabor Thomas: gabor.thomas@reading.ac.uk

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One Comment leave one →
  1. anglosaxoncsi permalink
    December 5, 2009 2:22 am

    please have a look at anglosaxoncsi.wordpress.com – this is a blog set up to record a unique project set up in kent to conserve the finds from an anglo-saxon cemetery site found in the area, thanks. This is an exciting and unique community project and although there is not many gold finds as in the stafforshire hoard we do have exciting mineral preserved organics!

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