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Rural Life and Work in Northern Gaul During the Early Middle Ages

Abstract : The study of the Merovingian landscape allows us to distinguish two important steps in the transformation of the countryside that followed the end of the Roman Empire. The first, which extended from the end of the fifth to the mid-seventh century, attests to three different forms of land use in the countryside transformed by human occupation. It consisted of dispersed habitations that were sometimes located in the immediate proximity of an ancient settlement, a semi-grouped settlement in a loose organization, and finally a more densely organized grouped settlement. This first stage marked the return to construction largely in wood and earth, with characteristic architectural types such as sunken huts. Beyond agricultural activity, rural settlements provide evidence of artisanal activity such as metallurgy. Many changes characterized the second developmental stage (mid-seventh to late eighth century), which marked the end of antiquity. Land distribution was modified, and grouped habitation became the predominant form of settlement. Settlements were organized more clearly, and sometimes sections were specially reserved for artisanal or agricultural activities. It is during this period that religious structures and/or funerary structures were created among the settlements and cemeteries. Some modifications in construction were equally perceptible. The organization of artisanal and agricultural production also saw important changes.
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Contributor : Édith Peytremann <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 11:54:03 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 10:04:30 AM




Édith Peytremann. Rural Life and Work in Northern Gaul During the Early Middle Ages. Effros, Bonnie; Moreira, Isabel. The Oxford Handbook of the Merovingian World, Oxford University Press, pp.694-718, 2020, OxfordHandbook, 9780190234188. ⟨10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190234188.013.31⟩. ⟨halshs-02965456⟩



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