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Female Status And Power In Early Merovingian Central Austrasia: The Burial Evidence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deliberately examines only one region, modern Lorraine, focusing on the diocese of Metz. This, the north-eastern corner of the Parisian basin, forms a geographical unity, and the archaeological cemetery data reveal general similarities across the sites examined, although there are differences in detail. Cursory examination of cemeteries in other parts of Austrasia reveals clear differences in custom, which might be explained by reference to physical geography: the Triererland is far hillier than the Plateau Lorrain; the Vosges cut off Alsace from the region under discussion. The chapter deals primarily with the period c. 525c. 625, drawing attention to observable changes within this time-span. It is a rigidly contextualised sketch of female status and power in one region during one century.

Keywords: Central Austrasia; female Power; female status



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