Professor Randsborg is one of the leading members of the new theoretically innovative generation of European archaeologists and one of the very few who is applying theories from anthropology and other disciplines to classical antiquity. Modern archaeology, with its huge methodological repertoire, its interdisciplinary orientation and its rapidly expanding basis in excavations, is beginning to rewrite history, and to reshape our views of the development of Europe prior to the present millennium. Archaeological evidence draws attention to processes on which the written record is silent, or which were not fully appreciated by contemporaries in the literate centres. The present book deals with the rise of medieval western Europe as the Roman Empire crumbled, and the integration of hitherto barbarian societies into the new mainstream of European society. Archaeological material is the main focus, but information derived from written sources, especially those illuminating the economic and the associated social circumstances, is also taken into account.
'He outlines the rise of medieval western Europe from the ruins of the classical world in an intelligent and readable account ... he marshalls a wealth of data to offer a penetrating analysis of the dynamics of culture change during a period that saw the creation of Europe as we recognise it today. This is a particularly valuable book for students.' New Scientist '... an exhaustively researched and carefully presented account of the first millennium AD in Europe ... a valuable reference work for archaeologists and historians alike.' American Anthropologist