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Examining The Christianization Of The Region Of Metz From Archaeological Sources (5th–7th Centuries): Problems, Possibilities And Implications For Anglo-Saxon England

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Chapter Summary

The region of Metz has always featured prominently in the archaeology of Merovingian Gaul. This chapter shows comparison with mainland Europe renders it unlikely as an explanation. Closer study of the chronology of Anglo-Saxon grave-goods weakens the degree of chronological coincidence in any case, and further points up the parallels between developments in England and on the mainland. Gaul had been part of the Christian Roman Empire and Christianization must already have taken place to some extent before the Merovingian period. Placing Anglo-Saxon England back in the mainstream of post- imperial history permits a very different appreciation of the changes that took place in the seventh century. Many of the transformations in burial practice that are observable there are, as has been remarked, similar to those in northern Gaul. The chapter argues that archaeological evidence tells us very little about the processes of religious conversion in any direct fashion.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon; Christianization; England; Metz



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