A number of overarching comments came out of the workshops discussions for the framework that should be taken into consideration for the early medieval period:
Re-examine and date deposits of animal bones and environmental material from Castle Street, Carlisle, to resolve at least some of the uncertain date of existing material excavated from urban contexts.
A literature review is needed and this should be done through PhDs/theses, specifically looking at the interventions involving dark earth.
Develop a programme of sampling and dating of suitable samples, such as those from Castle Street, Carlisle, to enlarge the corpus of insects from the region, and our understanding of the conditions in which they thrived.
Undertake focused research on issues of border and cultural identity across borders ie. Wales and Scotland. How would a post-Roman cultural identity be recognised within the specific NW region?
Ensure method statements and research designs for the excavation of rural settlement in the region build in costings for scientific dating, in most cases for a series of dates, particularly targeting short-lifespan material, such as twiggy charcoal, animal bones and charred cereal grains, as well as archaeomagnetic dating of materials heated in situ (hearths, ovens, kilns, etc).
Undertake detailed surveys at Romano-British sites with good earthwork preservation to establish potential phases prior to excavation. Training is needed on identification of RB and EMED mixed deposits Radiocarbon dating of seemingly Roman remains could reveal they were actually in use after the Roman period eg. charred residue to late Roman wares and other organic remains within Roman assemblages.
A synthesis of excavation evidence is needed and this would make a suitable subject for a PhD.
Target place names that suggest political centres or meeting places. Learn more from place name studies, working more closely with English place name societies, to identify site specific and wider EM settlements and seek ways to map place name evidence on county HERs.
This would make a potential PhD research project.
Target centres of medieval culture, including churches with early sculpture and medieval churches on Romano-British sites, hill forts and assembly points.
The successful Cheshire metal detector model could be applied to the rest of the region as it is particularly relevant for the early medieval period.
Links to/from medieval buildings need to be considered with respect to Christian/religious development. Include circular graveyards.
CSIR work for area underway, corpus for Anglo-Saxon sculpture on-line. How do we maintain/update publications/websites?
Review existing burial assemblages to highlight key artefacts which may indicate belief systems. Examine distribution patterns of excavated late Roman and early medieval grave yards. This would make a potential PhD research project.
Review Anglo Saxon sculpture in the North West publications. NEW STRATEGY Systematic scanning of sculpture and worked stone to help to facilitate new research. NEW STRATEGY
Review existing burial assemblages to highlight key artefacts which may indicate burial practices. This has been shown to work at Cumwhitton but the artifacts may also indicate sites of more general activity.
Training issue: need workshops for identification of EMED pottery for early career archaeologist, researches and local society groups. This would make a potential PhD research project.
This would make a potential PhD research project. Ensure all Romano-British assemblages are scrutinised for potential early medieval materials, including intra-regional contexts, and data along with Scotland and Cornwall.
Examine how and if particular post-Roman regional industries generate a unique NW culture and vibrant economic and trade systems.
Examine to what degree the post-Roman NW was an Irish Sea or terrestrial-based economy and culture. Could be both or mixed.
Can a re-evaluation of PAS and museum archives identify potential early Medieval sites in a coastal environment?
A better understanding of this would be provided through analysis of PAS data, examining museum archives, and scientific analysis. This would make a potential PhD research project.
Great care needs to taken when preparing project designs on high medieval castles as there is a possibility of early medieval or post-Conquest military and/or ecclesiastical activity.