Similar in theme and method to the first and second volumes, Water and the Environment in the Anglo-Saxon World, third volume of the series Daily Living in the Anglo-Saxon World, illuminates how an understanding of the impact of water features on the daily lives of the people and the environment of the Anglo-Saxon world can inform reading and scholarship of the period in significant ways.
In discussing fishing, for example, we learn in what ways fish and fishing might have impacted the life of the average person who lived near fishing waters in early medieval England: how fishing affected that person’s diet, livelihood, and religious obligations, as well as how fish and fishing waters influenced social and cultural structures. Similar lines of enquiry in the volume’s chapters shed insight on water imagery in Old English poetry, on place names that delineate types of watery bodies across the early medieval landscape, and on human interactions (poetic and otherwise) with fens and other wetlands, sacred wells and springs, landing spaces, bridges, canals, watermills, and river settlements, as well as a variety of other waterscapes.
The volume’s examination of the impact of water features on the daily lives of the people and the environment of the Anglo-Saxon world fosters an understanding, in the end, not only of the archaeological and material circumstances of water and its uses, but also the imaginative waterscapes found in the textual records of the peoples of early medieval England.
comprehensive references throughout, as notes and selected texts to spur
Sue Harrington, Archaeological Journal