The Social Implications of Diet in Anglo-Saxon England AD 650-850: A multi-isotope approach.
My research seeks to investigate the scale and extent of human mobility as related to trade in Middle Saxon East Anglia. The Middle Saxon period (c.650-850AD) saw dramatic change across Britain and Northwest Europe, with expansion in the scale of international trade networks and a reorganisation of settlement and social landscapes. Such changes were pivotal to the early development of the market trade system in place today. Archaeologically, this developing economy is reflected in the establishment of hitherto unseen settlement types such as coastal and estuarine trading ports (emporia), rural estate centres and monasteries, serving as foci for consumption and production; and in the increased appearance of imported ‘prestige’ goods. Focus shifted from rural subsistence to surplus production for trade and provisioning of the proto-urban emporia. This took place alongside increasing social and political stratification, the consolidation of kingdoms and the advancing influence of Christianity in all aspects of society. To examine movement of people as related to economic role this project will utilise six isotope systems in combination to examine three burial populations from East Anglia. The research represents the first attempt to combine isotope analysis of six elements, and the first isotope-based examination of mobility in Middle Saxon East Anglia.