Archaeology, Common Rights and the Origins of Britishness
Wednesday 31 October 2012
Lecture Theatre 8W 1.1
Rights of common, especially those exercised on pasture, are still practised across Britain. They are believed to have originated after the withdrawal of Roman administration from Britain in about 410 AD and before the Norman Conquest in 1066. This lecture explores the archaeological evidence for the management of prehistoric pasture, to ask whether it is possible that common rights were already traditional by the time the Anglo-Saxons arrived. It goes on to suggest that though commoning is practised only by a minority today, the values around which it is structured are alive and well and can be found in almost every formal and informal organization, providing the foundation of our understanding of what it is to be British.
For more lectures, see the full Autumn 2012 GULP programme.
Dr Susan Oosthuizen
Dr Susan Oosthuizen is University Senior Lecturer for the historic landscape at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. She is a member of the McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research in the University’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Originally South African, she received her university education largely in Britain, at the universities of Southampton, London and Cambridge. Her research and teaching interests are most often focused on the origins of medieval villages, fields and pastures.