Assembly in North West Europe: collective concerns for early societies?

Alexandra Sanmark, Sarah Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The archaeological study of assembly practices in the medieval west is often met with scepticism. The reliance on late documentary records and place-names, and the difficulties inherent in defining what actually constituted an `assembly¿, are just some of the issues that face researchers. This paper brings
together some of the first collated and excavated evidence by the HERA TAP project1, and offers across-European perspective, drawing attention to the great variety of systems and types of structure created for the purpose of assembly in the late prehistoric and medieval eras. Selected case studies emphasize the chronological variations in the inception and life-span of assembly places and underline the
diverse relationships of designated assembly sites to pre-existing landscapes, resource patterns, and social
structures. Connections between the `architecture¿ and location of these sites, and their role in the creation,
maintenance, and signalling of collective identities are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-542
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
VolumeVolume 16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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