Cemeteries and Society in Merovingian Gaul

Selected Studies in History and Archaeology

Guy Halsall

"The brash postgraduate is now an authoritative voice on the barbarian invasions and early medieval sources in the New Cambridge Medieval History. But he has lost none of his edge, his scholarly zest for thrusting at established ideas with the lances of new paradigms. The intellectual adventure at the heart of this volume could enthuse a new generation of graduate students." - Bailey K. Young, The Medieval Review

Seven of Guy Halsall's most important essays on the social interpretation of Merovingian cemetery archaeology are collected in this volume.

In the opening chapter Guy discusses the relationships between documentary history and archaeology while the subsequent articles cover the interpretation of fourth-century Gallic furnished inhumations, the celebrated burial of King Childeric I, and the ways in which one might 'read' a burial as evidence for ritual.

The final part of the book looks at the social history of Merovingian communities as revealed in cemetery evidence, looking at gender, sexuality and age. The reprinted chapters are accompanied by two wholly rewritten pieces and two entirely new articles. Finally, the book contains five extended 'commentaries' on the debates to which these chapters contributed.  

Guy Halsall is Professor of Medieval History. Guy is author of four other books, most recently Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568, and editor of two books, as well as the author of numerous articles and essays.