Colonization or Migration? Applying colonial theory to Post-Roman Britain

Author(s): Brooke Creager

Year: 2016


Colonial studies has long ignored early medieval Britain. However thanks to archaeology it is possible to reconstruct enough the conditions of the fifth and sixth centuries to understand the impact of the multiple colonizations. England experienced two distinct occupations by foreign parties before the Norman Conquest: the expansion of the Roman Empire into Britain ending in 410 AD and the Anglo-Saxon migration beginning in the mid-fifth century. Neither of these occurrences has been discussed using colonial and post-colonial theory. This paper will consider the lingering impact of the Roman occupation on Britain in the decades preceding the Anglo-Saxon migration. Similar to the cases of India, Britain retained traces of a foreign culture long after the departure of the occupying political force. What makes these two events important in colonial studies is that there was very little time between them and there is evidence of residual Roman practice into the period of Anglo-Saxon occupation. The confluence of a post-colonial society becoming recolonized by a new group in the space of only a few decades is distinctive. This paper will apply colonial and post-colonial theory to fifth and sixth century Britain to examine the cultural environment that the Anglo-Saxons would have encountered.

Cite this Record

Colonization or Migration? Applying colonial theory to Post-Roman Britain. Brooke Creager. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404064)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;