Dr Susan Oosthuizen publishes new book on Anglo-Saxon England
We are proud to announce the publication of a new book by Dr Susan Oosthuizen, University Senior Lecturer and Academic Director for Historic Environment (landscapes and gardens) at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).
Tradition and Transformation in Anglo-Saxon England: Archaeology, Common Rights and Landscape is published as part of Bloomsbury Academic's 'Debates in Archaeology' series.
Most people believe that traditional landscapes did not survive the collapse of Roman Britain, and that medieval open fields and commons originated in Anglo-Saxon innovations unsullied by the past. Dr Oosthuizen tests that belief by contrasting the form and management of early medieval fields and pastures with those of the prehistoric and Roman landscapes they are supposed to have superseded. The comparison reveals unexpected continuities in the layout and management of arable and pasture from the fourth millennium BC to the Norman Conquest.
Dr Oosthuizen's results suggest a new paradigm: the collective organisation of agricultural resources originated many centuries, perhaps millennia, before Germanic migrants reached Britain. In many places, medieval open fields and common rights over pasture preserved long-standing traditions for organising community assets. In central, southern England, a negotiated compromise between early medieval lords eager to introduce new managerial structures and communities as keen to retain their customary traditions of landscape organisation underpinned the emergence of nucleated settlements and distinctive, highly-regulated open fields.
The book is available as hardback, epub ebook and PDF ebook from Bloomsbury Publishing.
Find out more about the book - on the Bloomsbury Publishing website
About the author
Dr Susan Oosthuizen has been involved in lifelong learning since 1985. Her undergraduate degree in Archaeology and History was taken at the University of Southampton; she holds an MA from SOAS (University of London), and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where her research on Anglo-Saxon landscapes bridged archaeology, history and historical geography.
Dr Oosthuizen teaches Historic Environment courses for ICE, including landscape archaeology and garden history, with a special interest in the Anglo-Saxon and medieval landscapes, and in research skills. She also supervises full-time and part-time postgraduate students in the University.