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Carved stones and Christianisation (Hardback)

Place, movement and memory in early medieval north-western Europe

P&S History > Medieval World > Anglo-Saxon & Medieval Britain

Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 400
Illustrations: 85bw/315fc
ISBN: 9789088909818
Published: 10th November 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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The early medieval period witnessed one of the deepest and most significant transformations of European societies and cultures with the process of Christianisation. The emergence and establishment of Christianity created a new dimension of power in society with an appeal to supernatural forces combined with an access to a broader transnational authority. Carved stones did not merely reflect these changes, but enabled them within northern societies with traditions of sculpture and epigraphic representations. This book looks at three datasets of monuments from Ireland, Scotland and Sweden using an innovative comparative framework to offer new insights on these monuments and the societies that erected them.Analysed through the three major themes of place, movement, and memory, the case studies are presented from a holistic perspective comprising the monument, their landscape settings and historical and archaeological contexts (when available). The results of this research demonstrate that by means of comparisons across national boundaries, new interpretations emerge on the use and functions of early medieval carved stones. The thematic approach adopted emphasises similarities and contrasts in a more efficient manner than a geographical approach, freed from historiographical biases within scholarly traditions of ‘Celtic’ or ‘Scandinavian’ archaeologies. Furthermore, a multi-scale analysis places the monuments within their local contexts but also within a broader narrative of Christianisation.

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