Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft

Archaeological considerations for the creation of a pan-regional identity as a result of mobility in the Late Roman North - Archäologische Überlegungen zur Schaffung einer überregionalen Identität als Ergebnis der Mobilität im spätrömischen Norden

My central aim during my time at the DFG-Kollegforschergruppe „Migration und Mobilität in Spätantike und Frühmittelalter" was to evaluate the hypothesis of the creation of a pan-regional northern identity expressed in shared practices in Northern Gaul and the adjacent regions in the Germanic territories during the 4th and 5th centuries. Multiple aspects of the material culture indicate a progressive merging of social practices and cultural traits in the rural landscape of Northern Gaul. Changes away from the typical ‘Gallo-Roman’ materiality already commenced in the 3rd century, but manifest and develop during the following centuries into a mixed material culture carrying signatures of both a Gallo-Roman and Germanic ‘parent-culture’, such as in the handmade pottery and housebuilding traditions. Additionally, petrographic analyses of the handmade pottery revealed that new techniques emerged that were not present in either original cultural setting. This brief project focused on the role of mobility and migration in this process of shared materiality that cannot clearly be distinguished as “Roman” or “Germanic”. Mobility was used not as a deus ex machina explanation as migration was in the past, but as a sound methodological framework to investigate the part that mobility played in the changing materiality of the Late Roman and beginning of the Early Medieval period in Northern Gaul based on a theoretical framework and empirical archaeological data. This work is currently being incorporated into the larger study of Late Roman handmade pottery in Belgica Secunda, Germania Inferior and the surrounding regions.

For further information about Vince van Thienen, please click here.