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Dark Ages Debate

400 – 1066 Dark Ages?

It has long been believed that British society fell apart when the occupying Roman Army and administrators were called back around 400 AD to defend their home land. It was supposed that and there was chaos until and waves of superior peoples invaded, each bringing their distinctive culture defined by the styles of worship, pottery, house building and tools.

 

This idea is now being questioned. What were the British doing while their farms and land were being taken from them? There is little, if any, archaeological sign of great battles. They had been very successful with growing corn and oats, surely they didn't just hand over the fields and the homesteads. There appears to be very little archaeological evidence of battles with the newcomers from the mainland.

 

Maybe if there were invasions they were invasions of waves of ideas and technology, which travelled with the merchants and traders. New ideas were adopted just as today we want the latest fashion and gadgets.

 

A recent find of Saxon treasure in Staffordshire dating from between 675 and 725 possibly adds to the idea that the times were not so 'dark' as suggested.

 

Splat!  Was it in a similar way that ideas travelled along the Silk Road from the east as amazing inventions and technology exchanged their way to and from China.

 

An Invasion by Yanks?

Hi! An interesting analogy can be made with the arrival of American troops in the war. They brought swing, chewing gum, a new language, some of which was adopted into the local culture and became a part of everyday life in Britain.  Although it was sometimes seen as an 'invasion' by the locals it was just part of the ready adoption of new ideas which remains characteristic of British life today.

 

By a similar process the British adopted ideas from the Romans, probably some who had had responsible positions in the households adopted the Roman way of life copied the new life style and became the new aristocracy, the Romano British.

Splat DARK BLUE