Offa's Dyke: Landscape & Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain (Paperback)
  • Offa's Dyke: Landscape & Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain (Paperback)
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Offa's Dyke: Landscape & Hegemony in Eighth-Century Britain (Paperback)

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£29.95
Paperback 464 Pages / Published: 07/03/2016
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The massive ancient linear earthwork that provides the sole commemoration of an extraordinary Anglo-Saxon king and that gives its name to one of our most popular contemporary walking trails remains an enigma. Despite over a century of study, we still do not fully understand how or when Britain's largest linear monument was built, and in recent years the views of those who have studied the Dyke have diverged even about such basic questions as its physical extent and purpose. This book offers a fresh perspective on Offa's Dyke arising from over a decade of study and of conservation practice by its two authors. It explores the specifically Mercian and English context for its creation, and identifies `political places' along its route that may have pre-existed it. As well as reviewing past studies of the Dyke and debates about its character, the authors identify build practices not previously noted. They demonstrate the fundamental uniformity of the design of the earthwork, including in Gloucestershire, and show how it facilitated surveillance of the landscape at key locations. Offa's Dyke is explained as the most dramatic among several devices of hegemony deployed by the Mercian regime of the late eighth/early ninth century, and as the key element in an early Welsh Marches frontier paralleled in Charlemagne's contemporary European empire.

Publisher: Windgather Press
ISBN: 9781905119356
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 1520 g
Dimensions: 246 x 185 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
...a landmark in Anglo-Saxon archaeology and field survey... [Offa's Dyke] was an impressive achievement for its time, and so is this book. * Medieval Archaeology *
This is an important work every student and scholar of the early middle ages should tackle and interrogate. * British Archaeology *
...this new book has set out an exciting research agenda that addresses not just archaeological questions, but bigger issues to do with such matters... * Current Archaeology *
This is an important contribution to the ongoing study on Offa's Dyke, a valuable successor to Cyril Fox's British Academy volume... [the authors] have certainly provided us with considerably more to think about. * Medieval Settlement Research Vol 31 *
...the book's value lies not only in the synthesis of past work it offers, the new field observations it identifies, and the ideological context it explores, but in providing a foundation for a new generation of scholars to test and critique the interpretations that the book contains. * Archaeologia Cambrensis *
There is something for everybody in Keith Ray and Ian Bapty's 'Offa's Dyke'. * Antiquity *
This is a book which represents a meticulous yet engaging study of an important and imposing field monument in which the archaeological details of its design and its historical context, its local and regional landscape setting, as well as its historical context are all combined in a way which decidedly raises the bar for landscape and other historians - of any period. * Landscape History *
This book is a welcome and substantial addition to the literature on Offa's Dyke... The book is attractively designed with numerous excellent maps and with a large number of photographs (many of them colour), the majority of high quality; it is clearly written and very reasonably priced. * Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society *
As might be expected of a book of this calibre, it provides the reader with more questions than answers to an enigma that physically divided two nation-states and two landscapes. It is a must-have for those researching the early medieval archaeology of the frontier lands of the Welsh Marches. * Current Archaeology *

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