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Coastal landscapes and early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria

Coastal landscapes and early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria

By David Petts

Estonian Journal of Archaeology,Vol.13:2 (2009)

Abstract: This paper explores the ways in which coastal landscapes were used by the early church in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. The coastal highways were a key element of the socio-political landscape of the Northumbrian kingdom, with many key secular and ecclesiastical power centres being located in proximity to the sea. However, the same maritime landscapes also provided the location of seemingly remote or isolated hermitages.

This paper explores this paradox and highlights the manner in which such small ecclesiastical sites were, in fact, closely integrated into a wider landscape of power, through case studies exploring the area around Bamburgh and Holy Island in Northumberland and Dunbar in southern Scotland.

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