Iron-Age Societies: From Tribe to State in Northern Europe, 500 A.D.700

Iron-Age Societies: From Tribe to State in Northern Europe, 500 A.D.700

Hardback Social Archaeology

By (author) Lotte Hedeager, Translated by John Hines

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  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 28mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 3 June 1992
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0631171061
  • ISBN 13: 9780631171065
  • Illustrations note: 100 figures, maps and half-tones, bibliography, index

Product description

This book is a social, political and economic history of the 1200 years during which the tribal societies of Northern Europe evolved into the earliest Viking states. It offers an analysis and interpretation of the rich archaeological record and of the most recent results of environmental research. The book opens with a consideration of burials and hoards, and of the rituals that can be reconstructed from them. The author isolates successive periods of social transformation that were marked by changes in the use of ritual as a vehicle for both change and its consolidation. She describes the social and political geography of the region, and traces the gradual move from tribal-based military and tributary relations towards the central organization of warfare and tribute. Before the end of the period the North could wield a formidable military force within and beyond the region, which had acted to overshadow earlier village loyalties. Dr Hedeager concludes with an analysis of the ways in which social transformation is revealed and expressed by changes in settlements and in their economic relations with the world beyond. She shows that, by the end of the 7th century, the economic, political and military structures of the archaic states of northern Europe were already clearly evident.

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Table of contents

Part 1 Archaeological and theoretical frameworks; background to the research; chronology; representativity; theoretical context. Part 2 Ideology and ritual communication: power and ideology; the distinction of wealth - ritual hoarding and grave goods; an analysis of ritual consumption; the interpretation of hoarding; ritual, ideology and social change - a hypothesis. Part 3 Social and political systems: theories on the centralization of power; grave goods and social organization; burial ritual and social identity; social differentiation and centralization. Part 4 Settlement and economy: settlement structure; village organizations and farming; ecology and production. Part 5 Continuity and discontinuity between the earlier and later iron age - general conclusions: introduction; processes of change. Part 6 Social transformations - between tribe and state: introduction; historical processes of change; general processes of change; conclusion.