This dissertation examines the role and fate of the Roman infrastructure in sub-Roman and Early Anglo-Saxon England. Buildings, roads, entire towns left by the Roman power are not only mute remnants of the Empire but can also play an important role as governance resources for emerging polities of Early Medieval Britain.
Investigating the complex relationship of Britons and Anglo-Saxons with those remnants and the way in which they engaged with them culturally and symbolically can also teach us more about their relationship with the past and the way they build their polities.
The project is divided into three main zones of interest: the Umnutzung (or re-purposing) of transport infrastructure (like roads or bridges) and urban spaces, the role of the Church and its relationship with the Roman infrastructure and the cultural and political engagement of Early Medieval polities in Britain with Roman infrastructural remains.
The methodological aspects of “continuity” and usefulness (or lack of thereof) of such term in the given period are also addressed, as they are vital for the discussion about the Roman past in Britain.
Through careful examination of available historical and archaeological sources the project tries to create a synthesis of the use of Roman infrastructural remains as governance resources. The project tries also to employ modern techniques of data analysis to discover and highlight new, previously not seen connections and relationships.
The included case studies will try to show what fate awaited the Roman remains in Britain and what role they played in Early Medieval context. The results of the research will be made available not only through hard-copy publications but also through on-line maps and datasets and popular publications.
This Ph.D. thesis is being written within the program Ancient Languages and Texts (ALT) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).