Women of the conversion period: A biomolecular investigation of mobility in early Medieval England

Helena Hamerow*, Sam Leggett, Christel Tinguely, Petrus Le Roux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Exogamous marriage alliances involving royal women played a prominent role in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to Christianity in the seventh century AD. Yet the large number of well-furnished female burials from this period suggests a broader change in the role of women. The authors present the results of isotopic analysis of seventh-century burials, comparing male and female mobility and the mobility of females from well-furnished versus poorly/unfurnished burials. Results suggest increased mobility during the Conversion Period that is, paradoxically, most noticeable among women buried in poorly furnished graves; their well-furnished contemporaries were more likely to have grown up near to their place of burial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-501
JournalAntiquity
Volume98
Issue number398
Early online date5 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Anglo-Saxon
  • burials
  • conversion period
  • stable isotope analysis
  • gender
  • mobility
  • exogamy
  • England

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