They were my comments on Aelfwine's statement and his question 'how long?'
"Those Saxon foederati or mercenaries who were probably the first to arrive would have no doubt have taken British wives and girlfriends. That is an example of the settled order of nature. How long this "love in" lasted is another question."
If the starting point is germanic male warriors coming to britain taking british wives, a point on which Aelfwine has 'no doubt', and the end point is settled anglo saxon families, what is the proposed chain of events that join those two points? When do germanic women start to settle? When do they arrive in numbers? At what point in time do the number of females migrating equal the numbers of males migrating.? What are the numbers of the mixed anglo saxon/british families at that time? This is not speculating. They are questions which follow the suggestion. We do not have enough data to provide clear answers.
I am fully familiar with the case of West Heslerton having been in personal correspondence with Paul Budd when his paper was published in Antiquity in 2004 and also in personal correspondence with Janet Montgomery, when the multidisciplinary study was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2005. Budd's study ran into problems and ended using only some ambiguous data on oxygen isotopes. Montgomery's study was on the strontium isotopes and it was then extended to include archeological disciplines. I have also publically debated with Dominic Powlesland following a lecture of his on West Heslerton, which omitted Budd's comments in his Toronto conference which explained the shortcomings of his study and which also conflicted with Montgomery's findings. The debate with DP was about his rejection of Philip Rahtz's paper in Antiquity which summarised the West Heslerton Conference which was attended by 'some 50 well known archaologists' in 2001. DP took exception to Rahtz's view that "Although DP stressed his own belief in continuity, it was generally seen more as one of continuity of place, with a dichotomy between ‘late Romans’ and the new settlers". DP's belief in continuity led him to reject findings such as Charlotte Precious and Maggie Darling's findings that, "no links could be found between the late Roman pottery and the Anglian that followed - nothing ‘sub-Roman’; the general impression is still of a social and economic collapse in the latest 4th-early 5th century".
Powlesland's views reject the views of his peer archaeologists and reject the findings of the science, however West Heslerton studies do not demonstrate an example of a purely migrant community. Neither Budd nor Montgomery make that claim. Montgomery's conclusion is limited to her statement that there is "no clear support for the exclusively male, military-elite invasion model at this site."
Just as the earlier osteological evidence suggested two groups, the 32 skeletons examined too showed two groups, a local and a non local group. The origin of the non local group is suggested as continental through on the basis of the grave goods as on their own, the isotopic results overlap with Scotland and are therefore not definitive. However, there is no data on whether the local group are migrants or not, nor could it be. We cannot distinguish between britons and locally born offspring of migrants. They are just local, that's all we know. The graves tested do not represent a single migration event and span 150 years. We have continuous migration into the community. There are two date ranges acccording to calibration. The table below gives the upper and lower limits of those calbrations. Only 22 of the 32 graves were dated:
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The sexing of the local and non local groups does not allow us to conclude that men and women came over in equal numbers at the same time or which women were british and which were germanic. Some are germanic, but we cannot say all were germanic.
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It is interesting to see that both local and non local groups contain weapons and that women and juveniles are buried with weapons.
Thanks for the personal info. I think have just about everything published on West Heslington (expensive though some of it is) but it is refreshing to get the inside story.
I did realise that Sr and 02 evidence could be interpreted in other ways - in simple terms all it tells us is that the person spent childhood in an eg an area of high rainfall and granite geology - hence Scotland or Norway can equally fit.
I certainly accept that some women were British but it seems clear that a significant and sufficient number were Angles both from the grave furniture and the simple fact that we speak English today.
Must say I thought from what I read that Powlesland's interpretations were a bit suspect and he tries so desperately to justify continuity - thanks again, nice insight.
BTW - I hav seen a comment of his that all this business of studying "Placenames" should be consigned to the dustbin - I agree with him one thing at least!