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Middens, memory and the effect of waste. Beyond symbolic meaning in archaeological deposits. An early medieval case study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 November 2014


Building upon the debate published in volume 19 of Archaeological dialogues, this contribution explores how, rather than seeing deposits as meaningful, we can move to explore the processes through which things and spaces become waste as well as the broader social effects of these processes in relation to elements of identity and sense of place. An extended case study of depositional practice in the early medieval settlement of Hamwic (Southampton, UK) is presented, to demonstrate how depositional practice caused waste, people and spaces to develop particular meaning in the emergence of an urban settlement, and served as a medium for the negotiation of continuity and change in the lives of the settlement and its inhabitants.

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