King Harald's Saga. Around 7 km to the west, close to the mouth of the Tyne, lay Tyningham, an ecclesiastical site closely associated with St. Northern Archaeological Survey.

The study of this period consistently highlights the importance of a series of key, mainly ecclesiastical, sites: Whitby, Hartlepool, Bamburgh, Lindisfarne and the twin monastery of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow. Even a brief look at a map of early medieval Northumbria will reveal that these sites have coastal or estuarine locations Fig. The key importance of maritime power and coastal zones in the early medieval period is well established.

The importance of networks of emporia, wics and other trading centres is Teedevaheline operatsioonisusteem both historically and archaeologically e. Hodges ; ; Kramer Most of DH Trading Systems work has focused on the southern North Sea zone, including southern and eastern England, northern France, the Low Countries and southern Scandinavia e.

DH Trading Systems explorations of trade and exchange in western Britain and Ireland Binaarsed valikud maaklerid Indias also considered the archaeology of early coastal sites Campbell ; Wooding However, there has been relatively little consideration of the coastal landscapes of Anglo-Saxon England north of the River Humber. Monastic sites stood overlooking the mouths of most of the major rivers between the Humber and the Forth, and important secular centres, such as Bamburgh, and possibly South Shields lay in very similar locations.

A notable exception is Yeavering Northumberland although this site is only around twelve miles from the coastline Hope-Taylor The central position of the North Sea DH Trading Systems a means DH Trading Systems communication and medium of interaction in Northumbria can be seen in a variety of ways, although direct archaeological evidence for maritime trade along the Northumbrian coast is limited. Although it is clear that York was a major centre for foreign trade throughout much of the early Middle Ages Mainman ; Kemp There is very little evidence for imported continental ceramics, beyond the southern area of the kingdom.

It seems that few imports were being traded on beyond the borders of the kingdom of Deira, and the River Tees appears to form a northern boundary for goods arriving via the southern North Sea trading system. However, the recent discovery of walrus ivory from excavations at Bamburgh may suggest direct maritime links between Northumbria and northern Scandinavia P.

Gething pers. Despite the relatively slight archaeological evidence for trade, the importance of the sea as a communications route in early medieval Northumbria is attested in documentary evidence. The shipping lanes also ran north as well as south. Bede's Life of St Cuthbert records Cuthbert and two brethren travelling to 'the land of the Niduari' in Pictland, a journey that would have taken him north, passed the northern boundaries of Northumbria and the Firth of Forth to the coast of Fife and beyond VSC 9.

The sea and major rivers could also be used to transport goods, as well as people. Bede's Life of St Cuthbert includes a miracle performed by Cuthbert when he saved monks who had been bringing wood down the Tyne by raft from being swept out to sea VSC 3. Valikud kaubeldakse parimates raamatutes there has been interest in the symbolic and ideological elements of early maritime landscapes, there has been relatively little exploration of this aspect of the early medieval coastal zone in Britain e.

Westerdahl The only real exception to this has been a consideration of the role of islands as suitable locations for hermitages and places of retreat, drawing on the association of the sea with the desert retreats of the early Christian fathers.

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Recent scholars have emphasised the way in which Britain and Ireland were conceived, conceptually and literally, as marginal zones, located on the edge of the known world and distant from the Christian centre of the world, Jerusalem and the Holy Land O'Loughlin ; O'Sullivan34 f. This was made manifest in early maps of Christendom.

The so-called T-0 maps were centred on DH Trading Systems, whilst Britain was located in the sea that borders the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa.

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One of the key factors in the representation of Britain and Ireland as liminal areas is the presence of the ocean surrounding the islands. DH Trading Systems the early medieval mind, the sea was often imagined as a desert, a remote and terrifying place in which ascetic churchmen could challenge themselves spiritually and physically. The maritime landscape was a watery version of St. Anthony's Egyptian desert, where devils could be confronted and faith tested away from the more worldly influences of power and secular society O'Loughlin The tradition of coastal and maritime retreat was a particularly strong one in early medieval Irish Christian practice.

There was the distinct Irish and Hiberno-Latin literary genre of the immrama 'rowing about'. The key structural element was the sea voyage on which further encounters were hung blooding a; b.

The practice of locating hermitages or monastic sites offshore was widespread in DH Trading Systems and areas influenced by the religious practices of the Irish church Herity ; The major Scottish cult centre at Iona was located on an offshore island, and it has been argued convincingly that the choice of Lindisfarne as the site for a monastery by Irish churchmen was DH Trading Systems by both a desire to emulate Iona and a wider urge to link into existing concepts of island asceticism O'Sullivan We thus have two contrasting images of the coastal zone and the sea in early medieval Britain: a thriving and important corridor for communication and trade, and a bleak zone of isolation suitable for hermits and holy men.

Is it possible to reconcile these two seemingly opposed conceptualisations of the sea, one related to the secular world of power and economy and the other linked to the ecclesiastical world?

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What follows is a more detailed exploration of the coastal archaeology of Northumbria with two brief case studies of areas that have evidence for important secular and ecclesiastical activity: the Holy Island and Bamburgh area in northern Northumberland and Dunbar and Tyningham in east Lothian Scotland.

The Northumbrian coast At its greatest extent the eastern coastline of Northumbria from the mouth of the Humber to the Firth of Forth runs over miles. There is great variation in this coastline.

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At its southern end the coast has evolved considerably, with the North Sea and the Humber estuary constantly remodelling the coastline of the low-lying Holderness area of east Yorkshire; it is certain that there has been considerable retreat of the coastline in this area.

Moving north, the nature of the coast changes, gentle beaches are replaced by clay cliffs reaching a height of m at Flamborough Head.

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Despite their size, these cliffs are comprised of soft shale and clays and are vulnerable to erosion from the sea. They do not form a solid barrier.

In places, such as Whitby, Hartlepool and Scarborough they are broken by river estuaries.

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Elsewhere, there are small valleys providing access to the coast. In Yorkshire, many of these, such as Robin Hood's Bay, Staithes, Runswick Bay and Saltburn have become the site of small fishing villages, which probably Tookohtade nimekirjad up in the 11thth centuries AD.

However, access to the coast in County Durham is far more limited.


The small valleys known as denes provide some access to the sea, but few fishing villages developed along this more exposed coast. As the coast DH Trading Systems north to the estuaries of the Wear and the Tyne the cliffs rise again and the coast becomes rockier.

The Tyne estuary is dominated to the north by the rocky eminence of Tynemouth still surmounted by the ruins of its 12th century monastery. The coastline to the north of this remains rocky, but broken by a number of river mouths including the Blyth and Wansbeck, before becoming increasingly low-lying with developed dune systems and expansive sandy beaches.

This is occasionally broken by rocky outcrops, such as at Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, where the Whin Sill, a line of tough basaltic rocks projects into the North Sea. The Whin Sill is also responsible for the DH Trading Systems of a series of small coastal islands, including Coquet Island, the Fame Islands and parts of Holy Island.

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After reaching the mouth of the Tweed, the cliffs reappear, DH Trading Systems much of the southeast coastline of Scotland is dominated by high cliffs preventing easy access to the beach, before the cliffs once again fade away replaced by wide sandy beaches as the coast turns westwards into the Firth of Forth.

In general, there have undoubtedly been some changes in the coastline of Northumbria in the millennium or more since the Anglo-Saxon period, DH Trading Systems around Holderness and Cleveland, where there has certainly been some coastal retreat. Beyond this, though, there has been little major alteration in the broad course of coast, and the modern DH Trading Systems broadly resembles that of Bede and Oswald.

It is important to explore the human geography of the early medieval Northumbrian coast. It is possible to identify key early medieval sites along the coast using both archaeological and historical evidence. The evidence from archaeology mainly takes the form of carved stone, primarily of an ecclesiastical nature, supplemented by excavation at a series of important sites, including Whitby, Hartlepool, DH Trading Systems and Jarrow, Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Cramp ; Lang ; There DH Trading Systems little evidence for any mid-Saxon coastal settlement in Holderness.

This is not surprising, due to the significant retreat of the coastline in this area. It was recorded in Alcuin's Life of St. Willibrord, that Wilgils settled as a hermit at the tip of Spurn Head in the mid-7th century Levison This hermitage may have been identical to, or connected to the Cornu Yallis from where Ceolfrith set sail for Gaul.

It is not until that Filey is reached that there is further evidence for ecclesiastical sites in the form of a single 8th-century stone grave cover from the church of St. Oswald Lang Filey sits in a shallow bay, and a number of narrow valleys lead down to the beach.

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The beach is protected to the north from prevailing winds by the headland known as Filey Brigg, and provides an excellent and sheltered location to beach ships. Standing prominently on the headland above the estuary of the river Esk lies Whitby, the site of a major Anglo-Saxon double monastery founded by Hild in AD Well-attested in the documentary evidence, it is best known as the site of the Synod of Whitby in AD A short distance north, across Whitby Strand is the intriguing site of Lythe.

Although best known for its extensive collection of Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture, there are fragments of 7th or 8th century date Langff. It has been DH Trading Systems that this site was possibly a cell of Whitby Abbey Cambridgeff.

Another major monastic site lay on the headland at Hartlepool. Bede records its foundation in AD This site has also seen extensive excavations revealing significant structural and artefactual remains Daniels ;and has also produced plentiful pre-Viking carved stonework Okasha At Monkwearmouth, one element of the twin DH Trading Systems founded by Benedict Biscop in ADthe site sits on the north side of the mouth of the river Wear.

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Although the topography of the area has been substantially changed in the post-medieval period by the dumping of ballast on a colossal scale, it is still clear that the monastery would have had an excellent view of traffic in the river, and easy access to a landing area.

The site has been extensively excavated by Rosemary Cramp and has DH Trading Systems produced much stone sculpture Crampff. Jarrow also lies close to a river mouth; despite substantial reshaping of the area by post-medieval industry, it is evident that the monastery stood right on the river edge Crampff. It was also adjacent to the small inlet known as Jarrow Slake. Just 3 km to the north-east lay the site of the Roman fort of South Shields Arbeia.

Recent re-analysis of the finds from excavations on the Roman remains has also revealed previously unrecognised early medieval material Alex Croom pers. The DH Trading Systems Syrneon of Durham locates this site at Jarrow; it may have lain at the mouth of the small river Don a short-distance downstream from the monastery.

An alternate DH Trading Systems places it at South Shields Wood quoted in Cramp However, it may have in fact been at an entirely different location, possibly on the River Don in south Yorkshire Rollason Across the Tyne stand the remains of the monastery of Tynemouth.

Whilst the standing ruins are of 12th century date, an Anglo-Saxon monastic site is recorded there HE 5. Early medieval activity is indicated by sculptural material Crampff.

The study of this period consistently highlights the importance of a series of key, mainly ecclesiastical, sites: Whitby, Hartlepool, Bamburgh, Lindisfarne and the twin monastery of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow.

Just over 30 km north, on the mouth of the river Coquet, lies Coquet Island. A small ecclesiastical site was recorded here by Bede VSC A late 7th- or early 8th-century grave slab was found here in Cramp, and a brooch and buckle of early medieval date have also been found.

Under a mile upstream lies the settlement of Warkworth. King DH Trading Systems gifted Warkworth, its church 'with its appurtenances' to the community of St. Cuthbert at some point before AD LE ii.

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Although now largely disappeared, the site of the church overlooking the river is known, and in the late 18th century a substantial stone cross was recovered from the immediate surrounding area Crampf. Lindisfarne and Bamburgh DH Trading Systems major nexus of early medieval features can be found at Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Fig.