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Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict$
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Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382424

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382424.001.0001

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Material Culture: From Arts to Coins

Material Culture: From Arts to Coins

(p.119) Chapter 5 Material Culture: From Arts to Coins
Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict

Oliver H. Creighton

Duncan W. Wright

Michael Fradley

Steven Trick

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the material culture of the twelfth century and assesses evidence for change as a result of the civil war. The period’s pottery shows a myriad of regionally distinctive patterns although towards the end of the twelfth century we see the growth of markets and commercialisation of the industry in a post-war boom. In the sphere of the arts there is no evidence whatsoever of any hiatus nor of declining standards during Stephen’s reign, and instead the period witnessed achievement and innovation in several different areas. While it is difficult to isolate developments in the 1130s, 40s and 50s from longer-term trends, it does seem clear that sculpture in parish churches shows particularly high levels of experimentation, while grave slabs were a modish means of commemoration and expressing identity for emerging parish elites. Coinage provides our best means of mapping the fluid geopolitics of the civil war on the ground. An ever-expanding dataset is highlighting the existence of a short-lived Angevin proto-state in south-west England during the 1140s, but we should also be cautious in assuming that all ‘rival’ coin issues during the period provide straightforward evidence for opposition to Stephen’s rule.

Keywords:   coin, hoard, material culture, metalwork, mint, pottery, Romanesque, sculpture, seal, weapon

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