Modern archaeology, with its huge methodological repertoire, its interdisciplinary orientation and its rapidly expanding basis in excavations, is beginning to rewrite history, and to reshape our views of the development of Europe prior to the present millennium. Archaeological evidence draws attention to processes on which the written record is silent, or which were not fully appreciated by contemporaries in the literate centres. This book deals with the rise of medieval western Europe as the Roman Empire crumbled, and the integration of hitherto barbarian societies into the new mainstream of European society. Archaeological material is the main focus, but information derived from written sources, especially those illuminating the economic and the associated social circumstances, is also taken into account.
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