Archaeology of medieval villages currently inhabited in Europe

medieval network

The international colloquium “Archaeology of medieval villages currently inhabited in Europe” will take place at the University of Oxford on 7 May 2016. This will be an event featuring speakers from all around Europe to discuss the topic, and their experiences of it, comparing and contrasting case-studies in different countries.


Aims and purposes

This colloquium will explore the problem in archaeological terms of studying villages that are still inhabited. Traditionally the study of medieval villages has been based on deserted sites, from which archaeologists have obtained only partial information about wider settlement networks, as an important number of villages remain inhabited today. Frequently these latter villages have not been investigated archaeologically, but they offer significant data if methodologies are applied properly. These data are of crucial importance if we want to have a complete idea of landscapes in medieval and modern times across Europe.

Moreover, archaeology can be an important tool to understand, on one side, the history of the different management systems of landscape and natural resources from a global point of view and, on the other side, rights over land, an issue which concerns many local communities at present. For instance, the political question relating to common lands is not well resolved in some European countries, and archaeology could recover significant information to this debate. Archaeologists working in villages currently inhabited can also play a major social role in their relationship with local communities.

Our aim is to gather different archaeologists throughout Europe with a specialism in those topics in order to create a common framework of reflection in a comparative perspective.


Colloquium guidelines

Different archaeological methodologies for the study of villages currently inhabited.

The relationship between deserted and non-deserted villages in the investigation about medieval and later settlement networks.

Archaeology on-site, off-site or “all-site”? Inhabited villages and their agrarian space as a sole object of research.

The social impact of archaeology in local and global communities.

The relationship between academics and rural societies.

Organisers: University of Oxford and Agrarian Archaeology Research Group



9.00-9.30: Iñaki Martín Viso (University of Salamanca). Introduction: aims and purposes

English session

9.30-10.15: Andrew Reynolds (UCL Institute of Archaeology) “Excavating villages: questions, methods and approaches in three Wiltshire settlements”

10.15-11.00: Stephen Mileson (University of Oxford) “Using village archaeology for a spatial analysis of medieval social relationships”

11.00-11.30: Break

11.30-12.15: Carenza Lewis (University of Lincoln) “Micro-digs, macro outcomes: Test pit excavation in currently occupied rural settlements in England”

International session

12.15-13.00: Margarita Fernández Mier (University of León) and Jesús Fernández Fernández (University of Oxford) “Archaeology of medieval villages currently inhabited in Asturias (NW of Spain)”

13:00-14.00: Lunch break

14.00-14.45: Édith Peytremann (INRAP, Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives).”Archaeology of early medieval villages currently inhabited in France. Back on twenty years of experience”

14.45-15.30: Wim De Clercq (Univesity of Ghent) “Middelburg in Flanders: integrating archaeology and history in modern-day community life”

15.30-16.00: Break

Roundtable and debate

16.30-17.30: Roundtable coordinator: Julio Escalona (CSIC, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas)


17.30-18.00: Chris Wickham (University of Oxford)

Please note that there is a maximum number to participation. Admission is free, but under prior registration. Places are limited, and participants must sign up in advance to participate. Click here to register: 




Oxford Medieval Studies

Contact name: Jesus Fernandez
Contact email:
Audience: Open to all