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|Coastal societies, exchange and identity along the Channel and southern North Sea shores of Europe, AD 600-1000|Loveluck, C.; Tys, D. (2006). Coastal societies, exchange and identity along the Channel and southern North Sea shores of Europe, AD 600-1000. J. Marit. Archaeol. 1(2): 140-169. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11457-006-9007-x
In: Journal of Maritime Archaeology. Springer: New York, NY. ISSN 1557-2285; e-ISSN 1557-2293
Europe; Southern North Sea; English Channel; Emporia; Coastal identities
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This paper explores the functioning of coastal societies against the background of the changing role of coastal 'contact zones' on both sides of the Channel and southern North Sea region, between AD 600 and 1100. In so doing, it reassesses aspects of the generalising frameworks of interpretation applied over the past quarter of a century in favour of a more contextual approach, enabled by long known (although sometimes forgotten) and recent archaeological discoveries, together with new geological research. Regional and local complexity is a recurrent feature. A revolutionary increase in our awareness of the extent to which marginal coastal landscapes were occupied and exploited is matched by a commensurate increase in our knowledge of the number and complexity of settlements and seasonally used sites, involved in maritime exchange networks. Ultimately, this contribution confronts the dynamism of regional coastal societies with the wider socio-political structures in which they were incorporated.