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The plant economy and agriculture of the Anglo-Saxons in southern Britain : with particular reference to the 'mart' settlements at Southampton and Winchester

The plant economy and agriculture of the Anglo-Saxons in southern Britain : with particular reference to the 'mart' settlements at Southampton and Winchester
The plant economy and agriculture of the Anglo-Saxons in southern Britain : with particular reference to the 'mart' settlements at Southampton and Winchester

This thesis has developed several themes but its main object has been two-fold: to present the palaeoethnobotanical evidence together with documentary information for the importance of plants in the agricultural economy of the Anglo-Saxons; and to examine the problems relating to sampling, recovery and interpretation of palaeoethnobotanical remains. It is concluded that not only is a more hypothetical deductive approach required in interpretation,.but large scale machine flotation and systematic methods of sampling should be pursued where possible. Most of the seeds and fruits recovered from anaerobic deposits in pits and wells were of the 'wild' flora and provided evidence of the ruderal and weed vegetations in the area, interpreted using the two modern plant ecological approaches of Tansley (1939) and Braun-Blanquet (1932). In addition the fruit stones and pips recovered provided verification of the documentary evidence for the beginnings of orchard husbandry and the carbonised cereals, particularly Hordeun vulgare and Triticum aestivo- compactum/T,duro-compactum, indicated cereal husbandry. The present palaeoethnobotanical evidence for the Saxon period as a whole indicates that naked wheats appear to increase in favour of the hulled species. One implication of this change is the related evolution of the heavy mouldboard plough and the expansion of arable onto heavier soils. In conclusion the importance of manure in a primitive agrarian society is discussed as the archaeology of several of the pits from Southampton would suggest the purposeful conservation of plant refuse to produce compost. The development of subsidiary sources of fertiliser would be important to the agricultural expansion necessary to support developing urban communities.

University of Southampton
Monk, Michael Allan
583fbe9b-a643-4a53-a7a5-997ee2bcad88
Monk, Michael Allan
583fbe9b-a643-4a53-a7a5-997ee2bcad88

Monk, Michael Allan (1977) The plant economy and agriculture of the Anglo-Saxons in southern Britain : with particular reference to the 'mart' settlements at Southampton and Winchester. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis has developed several themes but its main object has been two-fold: to present the palaeoethnobotanical evidence together with documentary information for the importance of plants in the agricultural economy of the Anglo-Saxons; and to examine the problems relating to sampling, recovery and interpretation of palaeoethnobotanical remains. It is concluded that not only is a more hypothetical deductive approach required in interpretation,.but large scale machine flotation and systematic methods of sampling should be pursued where possible. Most of the seeds and fruits recovered from anaerobic deposits in pits and wells were of the 'wild' flora and provided evidence of the ruderal and weed vegetations in the area, interpreted using the two modern plant ecological approaches of Tansley (1939) and Braun-Blanquet (1932). In addition the fruit stones and pips recovered provided verification of the documentary evidence for the beginnings of orchard husbandry and the carbonised cereals, particularly Hordeun vulgare and Triticum aestivo- compactum/T,duro-compactum, indicated cereal husbandry. The present palaeoethnobotanical evidence for the Saxon period as a whole indicates that naked wheats appear to increase in favour of the hulled species. One implication of this change is the related evolution of the heavy mouldboard plough and the expansion of arable onto heavier soils. In conclusion the importance of manure in a primitive agrarian society is discussed as the archaeology of several of the pits from Southampton would suggest the purposeful conservation of plant refuse to produce compost. The development of subsidiary sources of fertiliser would be important to the agricultural expansion necessary to support developing urban communities.

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Published date: 1977

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Local EPrints ID: 458491
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/458491
PURE UUID: f6abe875-aa1f-477a-875e-e88cc6597dc3

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 16:50
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 00:21

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Author: Michael Allan Monk

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