Production and consumption in an early complex society: Animal use in Middle Saxon East Anglia

Pam J. Crabtree

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper examines the relationships between urban consumers and rural producers of animal products during the period when the earliest post-Roman urban sites first appear in eastern England. The mammal and bird faunas from a Middle Saxon emporium (Ipswich), two Middle Saxon rural sites (Brandon and Wicken Bonhunt) and an Early Anglo-Saxon village (West Stow) are examined in order to determine how early urban sites were supplied with animal products and the effect that this early urban growth had on systems of rural animal production. The data indicate that the urban emporium of Ipswich was provisioned with meat from a limited range of domestic animal species. Contemporary rural sites show evidence for increasing specialization in some aspects of animal production – pork production at Wicken Bonhunt and wool production at Brandon – when compared with the faunai remains from the Early Saxon village of West Stow. The data suggest that there is a integral relationship between the development of the emporia as centres of craft production and trade and the appearance of increasing specialization in certain animal products at rural sites.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)58-75
    Number of pages18
    JournalWorld Archaeology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jun 1 1996


    • Anglo-Saxon England
    • Emporia
    • Urbanism
    • Zooarchaeology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Archaeology
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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