Medieval waterways and hydraulic economics: monasteries, towns and the East Anglian fen

D Sayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The wetlands of medieval Britain represented a valuable regional resource, and contributed to the success of some of the wealthiest monasteries in Britain. Drainage systems and transport mechanisms created an interdependent regional economic environment that needed administrative elites to manage and maintain its resources and ensure the continued survival of urban communities. This paper will compare recent excavations at Swavesey and Burwell and demonstrate that, while the letter of Wittfogel's classification of a 'hydraulic society' is not applicable to medieval England, aspects of it can be used to understand regional communities and wetland environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-150
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Archaeology
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Cambridgeshire
  • monasteries
  • waterways
  • fen
  • Medieval
  • Anglo-Saxon

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