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Dinas Powys in context: Settlement and society in Post-Roman Wales

Seaman, Andy ORCID: 2013. Dinas Powys in context: Settlement and society in Post-Roman Wales. Studia Celtica 47 , pp. 1-23.

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Dinas Powys hillfort is the richest, best preserved and most fully excavated early medieval secular settlement in Wales. The hillfort was extensively excavated by Leslie Alcock in the late 1950s. The subsequent publication became a seminal work of early medieval archaeology (Alcock 1963) and Dinas Powys is often quoted as the classic type site of the early medieval west. Nevertheless, re-evaluation of the finds assemblage and site stratigraphy (Edwards and Lane 1988; Graham-Campbell 1991; Campbell 1991, 2007; Dark 1993) combined with recent radiocarbon dating of material from the 1950s excavation have demonstrated that many of Alcock's interpretations are in need of re-examination. It remains true, however, that the quality and quantity of the early medieval material from Dinas Powys is thus far unparalleled in Wales and the site offers unique insights into the socio-political and economic conditions of early medieval western Britain. In this paper Dinas Powys is interpreted as the seat of a dynasty of 'petty kings' who controlled a small kingdom centred upon the eastern Vale of Glamorgan and the Cardiff basin. It is argued that by exploring Dinas Powys within its local and regional contexts we are able not only to enhance our understanding of this and other post-Roman settlements in Wales, but also to contribute to our broader understanding of society and culture in post-Roman western Britain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: University of Wales Press
ISSN: 0081-6353
Date of Acceptance: 15 April 2013
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 11:53

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