Livestock and animal husbandry in early medieval England
Major themes in the zooarchaeological record regarding livestock and animal husbandry in England from the 5th to 11th Centuries AD are reviewed. The 5th–7th centuries, following the end of Roman rule, are particularly challenging, though evidence is emerging of greater continuity of pastoral production than the structural and artefactual record might suggest. The re-emergence of nucleated settlements in the 8th century led to diversification of deposition, especially between monastic and trading sites. Comparing ‘Saxon’ and ‘Danelaw’ regions from the late 9th to early 11th centuries shows some hints of differing traditions, but with regional constraints predominating. For the future, new biomolecular research offers great potential, but will need to be driven by archaeological questions, not analytical opportunism.