Early medieval farming communities in northern Francia. Rural settlement, domestic space and material culture from Clovis to the Counts of Flanders.

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Medieval archaeology
Economy Archaeology Identity Early Middle Ages Material Culture
Project description

The central objective of the research is to study the daily life, culture and socio-economy of the farming communities living in northern Francia during the Early Middle Ages (ca. AD 450 – ca. AD 1000). This will be tackled using a varied set of archaeological, historical and ecological sources, set in a wider comparative framework. The research will focus on settlement forms, house-building traditions, local domestic ceramics and the man-landscape interaction. It does so to discern tradition and change in the way early medieval rural communities constructed aspects of identity, acted in the landscape, and how they provided in basic needs such as shelter, food and cooking utensils.
Not only is the study region a blind spot within early medieval scholarly debate in western Europe, it was moreover a frontier region between the Germanic north and the Romano-Frankish south. To study identity and socio-economic development in this region will contribute to international debates concerning identity-building, early medieval migration, the implementation of a surplus-economy, the feudalisation of society and the emergence of the County of Flanders.