Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Resilience and Society in Medieval Southampton: An Archaeological Approach to Anticipatory Action, Politics, and Economy

From the book Making the Medieval Relevant

  • Ben Jervis


Resilience is a key theme in contemporary urban studies, with researchers seeking to understand what it is that makes some urban communities better equipped to cope with trauma than others. However, this scholarship rarely draws on historical examples to understand how resilience might emerge over the long term. This chapter introduces key concepts relating to resilience and the ways in which communities are able to anticipate trauma and applies these ideas to understanding the resilience of the community of medieval Southampton. Southampton faced a number of traumatic events in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, not least the Black Death and a French raid in 1338. Evidence from archaeological excavations in the city is drawn upon to consider the different ways that members of Southampton’s community were able to protect their interests, build resilience and anticipate trauma, and the implications of their actions for urban development. The chapter demonstrates how the idea of resilience can be used to provide deeper insights into the political structure of medieval towns, and also assesses how archaeological evidence might be used to further develop and test concepts which are more typically used in understanding the modern city.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
Downloaded on 7.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button