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Prof Christopher Scull 


A. Bayliss, J. Hines, K Høilund Nielsen, G. McCormac and C. Scull (2013) Anglo-Saxon graves and grave goods of the sixth and seventh centuries AD: a chronological framework. Leeds, Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 33

Abstract - Study of a national sample of burials establishes for the first time a statistically-robust material culture sequence with secure calendrical date-ranges for inhumation graves and grave-goods of the sixth and seventh centuries across England. This is based on a review and revision of artefact-typology, seriation of grave-assemblages using correspondence analysis to generate male and female sequences, high-precision radiocarbon dating of selected bone samples within these sequences, and the use of Bayesian mathematics to model date-ranges and key archaeological parameters. The results will allow archaeologists to assign grave-assemblages and a wide range of individual artefact-types to defined phases that are associated with calendrical date-ranges whose limits are expressed to a specific degree of probability. The results suggest the cessation of regular burial with grave goods in Anglo-Saxon England two decades or even more before the end of the seventh century. Issues identified as requiring further research are the precise adjustment for dietary effects on radiocarbon dates from human skeletal material and a limited but important discrepancy with the current numismatic chronology of early English sceattas. The wider implications of the results for key topics in Anglo-Saxon archaeology and social, economic and religious history are discussed to conclude the report.


C. Scull (2103) Ipswich: contexts of funerary evidence from an urban precursor of the seventh century AD. In D. Bates and R. Liddiard (eds), East Anglia and its North Sea world in the Middle Ages, 218-229. Woodbridge: Boydell

Abstract - The funerary evidence from the seventh-century settlement at Ipswich is interrogated for the light it can shed on the character of the community and cultural identities within the population. There is evidence both for individuals from the continent and for aspects of identity among the insular population that look towards the wider North Sea world as much as to contemporary East Anglia.


C. Scull (2011) Foreign identities in burials at the seventh-century English emporia. In S. Brookes, S. Harrington and A. Reynolds (eds), Studies in early Anglo-Saxon art and archaeology: papers in honour of Martin G. Welch, 82-87. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 52.

Abstract - A small number of graves from the seventh-century English emporia contain grave goods or grave assemblages that are unequivocally continental in character or origin. This paper discusses the contexts and meanings of the burials, and the role of the emporia as places of accelerated cultural interaction.


C. Scull (2011) Social transactions, gift exchange, and power in the archaeology of the fifth to seventh centuries. In H. Hamerow, D. Hinton and S. Crawford (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, 866-882. Oxford, Oxford University Press

Abstract -  The paper examines some social and economic dynamics that may have contributed to the development of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom structure of the seventh century. It proposes that the social drivers and constraints that governed the behaviour of paramount dynasties in regional or inter-regional political arenas of the late sixth and seventh centuries were founded in structures and relationships that also operated at the level of the household, kin and clan, and that these had promoted the development of social and political inequalities through the fifth and sixth centuries. It argues for the integration of generalising models with archaeological approaches that are sensitive to scale and diversity, and which recognise human action and agency


C. Scull (2009) Early Medieval (late 5th-early 8th centuries AD) Cemeteries at Boss Hall and Buttermarket, Ipswich, Suffolk. Leeds: Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 27

Abstract - This report deals with two burial-sites in use during the period from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD excavated by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service within the modern administrative boundaries of the town of Ipswich. Further burials found at Elm Street and Foundation Street are published in an appendix. A summary of the excavation and site-sequence, full grave-catalogues, scientific and technical analyses, and discussions of chronology, material culture, cultural practice, demography and immediate context are presented forn each site. The discussion on the dating of the St Stephen’s Lane/Buttermarket graves takes advantage of the latest developments in high-precision radiocarbon dating. The final section of the report is a synthetic discussion and overview which takes a comparative view and seeks to establish the local, regional and wider context of the sites.


C. Scull (2009) The Human Burials. In S. Lucy, J. Tipper and A. Dickens, The Anglo-Saxon Settlement and Cemetery at Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk, 385-426. Cambridge: East Anglian Archaeology report 131

Abstract - The seventh-century cemetery at Bloodmoor Hill is unusual in that it has been completely excavated and lies within the area of the settlement that it served. This report sets out the excavated evidence and considers how burial practice, material culture, dating evidence and cemetery structure bear on an understanding of individual and community identities.

C. Scull (2002) Ipswich: development and contexts of an urban precursor in the seventh century’. In B. Hård and L. Larsson (eds), Central Places in the Migration and Merovingian Periods, 303-315. Lund: Uppåkrastudier 6

Abstract - Recent research on Ipswich shows that the received model for the development of the settlement in the seventh – ninth centuries requires radical revision. Taken with recent discoveries at London and Southampton this suggests  that the physical development of the major emporia of England in the seventh century was more uniform and more nearly contemporaneous than has been recognised hitherto. This paper summarises the evidence and considers briefly some settlement and political contexts of the settlement at Ipswich in the seventh century.


C. Scull (2001) Burials at emporia in England. In D. Hill and R. Cowie (eds), Wics: the early medieval trading centres of northern Europe, 67-74. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press

Abstract - This paper reviews the evidence for burials of the period between the seventh and ninth centuries at Ipswich, London, Southampton and York, with a comparative discussion of data from Ipswich, London and Southampton. It considers the evidence for social and demographic structures, the topography of burial and its implications for settlement morphology and development,  changes in burial practice and location, and the extent to which any of these might be related to thresholds of urban development or changes in the character of the community.


C. Scull (2000) How the dead live: some current approaches to the mortuary archaeology of England in the fifth to eighth centuries AD’, Archaeological Journal 157, 399-406

Abstract - This paper reviews current and future approaches to the study of burial archaeology taking as its starting point a comparative review of three recent studies of the subject.


C. Scull & A. Bayliss (1999) Radiocarbon dating and Anglo-Saxon graves. In U. von Freeden, U. Koch and A. Wieczorek (eds), Völker an Nord- und Ostsee und die Franken. Akten des 48 Sachsensymposiums in Mannheim vom 7 bis 11 September 1997, 39-50. Bonn: Rudolph Habelt

Abstract - The paper presents some preliminary results from the Buttermarket  cemetery at Ipswich which establish the potential of high-precision radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modelling as a useful chronological tool for Anglo-Saxon burials of the seventh century.


C. Scull (1997)  Urban Centres in pre-Viking England? In J. Hines (ed.) The Anglo-Saxons from the Migration Period to the Eighth Century: an Ethnographic Perspective, 269-310. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press

Abstract - This a review of  archaeological evidence for the social and economic basis of the English emporia of the seventh to ninth centuries, concluding that any characterization needs to take account of their changing character during this time and that it is not useful to consider them as “proto-urban”.