• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Areas of interest Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, History, European Studies, Heritage Studies

This course considers the archaeology of the period when the English language arose and the English state was formed from the various Anglo-Saxon and Viking kingdoms. It was during this period that the current 'Celtic Fringe' of Europe developed in Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland and the legend s of King Arthur and Beowulf arose. Looking at Post-Roman Britain during the period from around 400 to 1400 AD allows us to examine issues such as continuity versus replacement in biological anthropology, migration versus diffusion in the archaeological record, the relation between archaeological and linguistic entities, the nature of personal and group identities, and the interplay of archaeology and nationalism in the modern world. Contemporary developments in Continental Europe from the end of the Western Roman Empire are also examined.


Course Contact: Dr Ash Lenton
E: ash.lenton@anu.edu.au

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Critically evaluate the cultural trends and developments of Post-Roman Britain .
  2. Analyze the catalysts driving social and economic life in Post-Roman Britain.
  3. Explain key sites and archaeological assemblages in the context of early medieval societies. 
  4. Discuss the roles of material culture in the transition from the preceding  Roman period and into the later medieval period in Europe.
  5. Explain key debates and controversies in early Medieval European studies.

Indicative Assessment

Conference poster, 800 words (25%) Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 5
Poster Presentation & lead seminar discussion, 15 mins (10%) Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 5
Annotated Bibliography, 1500 words (15%) Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5
Argumentative Essay, 4000 words (50%) Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5


In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARCH2037 or PREH2037

Prescribed Texts

Hinton, D.A. 2006. Gold and Gilt, Pots and Pins: Possessions and People in Medieval Britain.

Preliminary Reading

Bassett, S. (ed.) The Origins of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, Leicester University Press, 1989.
Dark, K. From Civitas to Kingdom: British Political Continuity 300-800 AD, Leicester University Press, 1994.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4160 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In-Person and Online View

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