Current Students

Kelly Marie Clarke

The seventh century was a transformative period for Merovingian Gaul and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.  The century witnessed key developments in religion, politics, culture and economics. In c.600, Merovingian Gaul possibly claimed hegemony over some of South-East England (Wood) but from c.650 important change occurred in Merovingian Gaul whilst Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (e.g. Northumbria) entered a ‘Golden Age’ and interactions with Gaul are viewed as important in causing this. All areas of the North Sea world were inextricably linked and this interaction proved crucial to these developments. This project investigates the form of interaction between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and Merovingian Gaul in the seventh century from three interlinked perspectives: political connections; trading networks and ecclesiastical ties. Recent decades has witnessed an increase in the availability of evidence (e.g. numismatic) and recent scholarly analysis (e.g. Loveluck, Tys, Deckers) demonstrates how our understanding of the complexity of interaction between different polities and cultures may change. Through a comparative analysis of textual sources, material culture and manuscript evidence from both regions, my project re-evaluates our understanding of the importance of intercultural relationships to the formation and development of seventh-century kingdoms and culture, and investigate their wider significance in shaping and (re-)making the southern North Sea world.

Supervisory Team: Dr Helen Foxhall Forbes, History (Durham), Dr Sarah Semple, Archaeology (Durham).

Start Date: October 2016.