The Royal Archaeological Institute (RAI) is a leading national archaeology society, with a history dating back to 1844. Its interests span all aspects of the archaeological, architectural and landscape history of the British Isles.

Through our annual publication of the Archaeological Journal and our programme of monthly lectures, we have a strong tradition of presenting archaeological research. We also give grants to enable research projects, host conferences and run specialist tours for our members to archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes.

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View our comprehensive lecture program, covering a variety of topics between October and May every year.
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12 FEBRUARY LECTURE by Dr Mark Gardiner
Wednesday 12th February 2020

Anglo-Saxon timber buildings: archaeological evidence for the forms and the processes of construction

The methods and practices of erecting later medieval timber-framed buildings are well understood. Our knowledge allows us to interpret the remains of buildings, even if only fragments still remain. However, buildings constructed before 1200 used very different techniques. Instead of depending on a few principal posts to carry the weight of the structure, they used numerous posts to carry the roof and support the infill of the walls. Very few buildings of that earlier tradition still remain upstanding, and they only survive in a very partial form. Instead, the evidence for construction must rely upon the interpretation of excavated remains. From a close study of the evidence, it is possible to suggest how the buildings were laid out and constructed. This suggests that construction of Anglo-Saxon building followed a very different approach to later ones.

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