Middle Low German

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Middle Low German

Low German from about 1200 to about 1500
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Under our definitions, brass in Britain was primarily an alloy of the first century AD (and the Late Iron Age), but continued in circulation in declining ubiquity (as a pure copper-zinc alloy) until the start of the middle Saxon period, accompanied by increasing amounts of other zinc-containing alloys (gunmetal and leaded gunmetal), indicating that some of the brass was being mixed with bronze and leaded bronze to create these mixed alloys.
By combining data from various sources to give a long time-depth and a substantial number of analyses, we can see a number of major transition points in the pattern of copper alloy circulation in Britain--specifically, at the Late Iron Age/Roman transition, and, significantly, at the early to middle Saxon transition, indicating continuity from the late Roman fourth century AD into the early Saxon period.
It is also necessary to combine the metallurgical data with other forms of archaeological information--to see if, for example, the appearance of CC12 copper in the middle Saxon period reflects the closer continental links that are similarly mirrored in new forms of ornamental metalwork and the reintroduction of wheel-turned pottery and silver coinage.
A significant number of residual finds were also evident among the Middle Saxon deposits, particularly the refuse dumps.
At an inter-regional level, the large quantity of lead recovered from Flixborough also suggests links with the Peak District, the main lead producing region of Middle Saxon England.
Links with continental Europe are evident throughout the Middle Saxon occupation phases at Flixborough, but after the mid 9th century, continental imports no longer seem to have been available.
In comparison with most Middle Saxon rural settlements discovered in northern England, the range and quantity of imports from the continent and southern England at Flixborough appears to be exceptional, although this apparent wealth may be partially a reflection of the fact that it is the most extensively excavated settlement in the hinterland of the Humber estuary.
The Anglo-Saxon settlement remains from Flixborough have previously been interpreted as those of a monastery, on the basis of apparent similarities with material recovered from excavations at documented Middle Saxon monastic settlements (Whitwell 1991: 247; Yorke 1993: 146; Blair 1996a: 9).
Indeed, the weight of evidence at these and other sites, such as North Elmham and West Heslerton, suggests that many Anglo-Saxon rural settlements had at least a loosely planned layout within or associated with enclosures or linear boundaries, in their Middle Saxon phases (Hamerow 1995: 16; Wade-Martins 1980: 54-5; Lyall & Powlesland 1997: 1).
It is clear, therefore, that the occurrence of imported commodities on Middle Saxon rural settlements should not be relied upon as an indicator of monastic character.
Environmental evidence showed, surprisingly, that some arable agriculture was practised under tidal conditions in the Middle Saxon period, making use of salt-tolerant barley.
The islands of the southern fen produced Early or Middle Saxon finds; it is likely that most early sites are concealed by the existing villages.

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