Often fragmented and without context, early medieval inscribed and sculpted stone monuments of the fifth to eleventh centuries AD have been mainly studied via their shape, their decoration and the texts a fraction of them bear. This book, investigating stone monuments from Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia (including the important memorials at Iniscealtra, County Clare), advocates three relatively new, distinctive and interconnected approaches to the lithic heritage of the early Middle Ages. Building on recent theoretical trends in archaeology and material culture studies in particular, it uses the themes of materiality, biography and landscape to reveal how carved stones created senses of identity and history for early medieval communities and kingdom. An extensive introduction and eight chapters span the disciplines of history, art-history and archaeology, exploring how shaping stone in turn shaped and re-shaped early medieval societies.
Howard Williams is Professor of Archaeology, University of Chester; Joanne Kirton is Project Manager, Big Heritage, Chester; Meggen Gondek is Reader in Archaeology, University of Chester.
Contributors: Ing-Marie Back Danielsson, Iris Crouwers, Meggen Gondek, Mark A. Hall, Joanne Kirton, Jenifer Ni Ghradaigh, Cliodhna O'Leary, Howard Williams.