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Medieval Academy of America

The Archaeology of Monasticism: A Survey of Recent Work in France, 1970-1987


Author(s): Sheila Bonde and Clark Maines
Source: Speculum, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Oct., 1988), pp. 794-825
Published by: Medieval Academy of America
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The Archaeologyof Monasticism:


A Survey of Recent Work
in France, 1970-1987
By Sheila

Bonde

and Clark

Maines

Recognition of medieval archaeology as a distinct field, worthy of study in


its own right, began in France in the 1950s when Michel de Boiiard established the Centre de Recherches Archeologiques Medievales (CRAM) at the
Universite de Caen.' Development of the field accelerated in the 1960s with
the establishment of the Laboratoire d'Archeologie Medievale under the
direction of Gabrielle Demians d'Archimbaud at the Universite de ProvenceAix and with the creation of formal academic programs at Caen, Aix, and
several other universities. It is important to note that the development of
medieval archaeology in France occurred regionally and that research and
study programs were initiated with a strong regional focus. For example, Aix
concentrated on deserted villages, early monasteries, and ceramics, while
Caen focused on Frankish cemeteries and medieval castles.
The appearance in 1971 of the annual bulletin Archeologiemedievalemarked
a watershed for the field. Archeologie medievale, first published by CRAM,
began in 1973 to receive subvention from the Centre National de Recherches
A shorter version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy
in Toronto in April 1987. We are indebted to Fredric L. Cheyette, who organized the session
and, together with Bailey K. Young, read and commented on earlier versions of this paper. Our
work on this topic is now being expanded into an anthology of original articles: Sheila Bonde
and Clark Maines, eds., The Archaeologyof French Medieval Monasticism(forthcoming).
' There seems to be no single summary which ties together the central events and details of
the recent history of French medieval archaeology. The discussion which follows derives from
remarks found in: Michel de Bouard, "Le centre de recherches archeologiques medievales de
l'Universite de Caen," Revue historique 229 (1963), 427-32, and "L'archeologie medievale en
France," in RotterdamPapers: A Contributionto Medieval Archaeology,ed. Jacques Reynaud (Rotterham, 1968), pp. 7-14; "L'archeologie medievale dans les universites de France," Archeologie
medievale 1 (1971), 262-67; Pierre Leman, "Vingt ans d'archeologie medievale dans le nord de
la France," Bulletin de la Societe nationale des antiquairesde France (1980-81), pp. 49-54; "Avantpropos," Archeologie du Midi medievale 1 (1983), n.p.; Jean Chapelot, "Introduction," in La
ceramique(Ve-XIXe s.): Fabrication-commercialisation-utiisation,Actes du premier congres international d'archeologie medievale, Paris, 4-6 octobre 1985, ed. Jean Chapelot, Henri Galinie,
and Jacqueline Pilet-Lemiere (Caen, 1987), pp. 7-8. Other useful historical/theoretical discussions of medieval archaeology in France include Jean-Marie Pesez, "L'archeologie medievale en
Europe aujourd'hui," Chantiersd'etudesmedievales 13, Hommage a Genevieve Chevrier et Alain
Geslan (1975), 33-38; Michel Barrere, "L'archeologie du moyen age en Midi-Pyrenees," Dossiers:
Histoire et archeologie no. 120 (1987), 84-85; and H. Gaillard de Semainville and C. Sapin,
"L'archeologie medievale en Bourgogne: Origine et evolution des recherches," Bourgogne medievale: La memoiredu sol. 20 ans de recherechesarcheologzques(1987), pp. 17-22.
794

SPECULUM 63 (1988)

The Archaeology of Monasticism


795
Scientifiques. From the bulletin's beginning, its editors laid claim to national
status as the principal periodical for French medieval archaeology by including a section entitled "Chronique des fouilles medievales." These short, analytic resumes represent the best single source of information about each year's
excavations throughout France; they make the results of fieldwork available
long before the final reports can be published.
Further expansion of the field occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. The older,
long-established antiquarian journals continued to publish archaeological reports and articles, and new regional journals like Cahiers archeologiquesde
Picardie (from 1974) and Archeologie du Midi medievale (from 1983) were
added. Another development was the establishment of departmental or regional archaeological centers like the Centre d'Archeologie Historique des
musees de Grenoble et de l'Isere (from 1976) and the Centre Departemental
d'Archeologie de l'Aisne in Soissons (from 1983). The centers provide a
working base for professionals linked to the universities or the offices of the
twenty-one archaeological circonscriptionsinto which France is divided (Fig.
1).
Of necessity in a new field, much of the effort of the early years was
expended gathering new data rather than interpreting evidence. This inevitable circumstance was exaggerated during the late 1960s and the 1970s by
the mass of archaeological salvage work necessitated by the urban growth of
these decades.2 Since then, slowed urban growth and the availability of data
from more than twenty years of fieldwork have encouraged greater attention
to interpretation and theorizing in French medieval archaeology. The creation of the Societe d'Archeologie Medievale in 1983 and the publication of
the society's first biennial conference proceedings are evidence of this shift
in orientation.
This article is a contribution to the recent emphasis on interpretation and
theory in French medieval archaeology. It presents a critical survey and
comprehensive bibliography of one aspect of the field, the archaeological
study of monasteries, for the benefit not only of archaeologists and art
historians but also of other medievalists. Our goal is to provide a summary
of what has been learned in French monastic archaeology since 1970, to
delineate themes of interest to researchers, and to suggest directions for
future research.
The archaeology of monasteries began as and was for years the archaeology
of buildings and their decoration, emphasizing ground plans and the recovery of sculptural fragments.3 While this old approach lingers on, a new
2Jean Chapelot, "L'archeologie francaise des annees soixante-dix: La croisee des chemins et
la montee des crises," in Table-ronde'La politique de l'archeologieen Europe' tenue a Paris les 4 et 5
avril 1978, ed. Jean Chapelot and Alain Schnapp (Paris, 1984), pp. 73-94.
3 Notable
examples of this approach include Kenneth J. Conant, Cluny: Les eglises et la maison
du chef-d'ordre,Mediaeval Academy of America Publication No. 77 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968);
Elizabeth R. Sunderland, Charlieu a l'poque medievale (Lyon, 1971); and Sumner McKnight
Crosby, The Royal Abbeyof Saint-Denisfrom Its Beginning to the Death of Suger, 475-1151, ed. and
completed by Pamela Z. Blum (New Haven 1987).

796

The Archaeology of Monasticism

ONC01*$

ADAPTEDFROM
GALLIh

Fig. 1. The twenty-one archaeological circonscriptions,


corresponding to French
administrativeregions
emphasis is found in the work published since 1970. Monasticismrather than
the monastery has become the focus of archaeological investigation. This
approach treats the monastic complex as an integrated whole rather than a
cluster of separate buildings, as the physical expression of spiritual and social
motives rather than a construction site. It considers not only the form of
buildings and the style of their decoration but also the function of the
buildings, the men and women who used them, and the quality of life carried
on within and around them. Moreover, it considers these phenomena not as
constants but as elements of a monastic history that changed across the
centuries of a monastery's existence. The new archaeology of monasticism
also considers the monastery and its architecture as part of local and regional
(and sometimes interregional) networks of power and influence. In short,

The Archaeology of Monasticism

797

600

500
400
300
200

100

Civil Ecclesiastical

Military Funerary Industrial Laboratory Method

Fig. 2. Sites published in Archeologiemedievale, 1971-87

the archaeology of monasteries in France has increasingly become the archaeology of sites rather than the history of buildings. The new approach
aims to achieve a separate, archaeological definition of monasticism which
forges its chronologies and perspectives from stratified evidence - both
monumental and material - and seeks thereby to complement the definitions
of monasticism provided by the disciplines of history and architectural history.
Before we look critically at some of the ways in which the new archaeology
of monasticism has evolved, we need briefly to consider its place within
French medieval archaeology in general and within church archaeology in
particular. For this purpose, we rely on statistics derived from Archeologie
medievale, which is both the most comprehensive source of information and
the most consistent for the period under consideration.
Graphs of the sites published in Archeologiemedievale from 1971 through
1987, in articles and in fieldwork abstracts (Chronique des fouilles medievales), reveal that ecclesiastical subjects have held a significant position in
medieval archaeology (Figs. 2, 3).4 Within the category of religious sites,
monasteries have received the most study, followed closely by parish churches
and their cemeteries. One might conclude from this that monasteries have
now received sufficient attention, and that excavation priorities should shift
to other kinds of sites, among them synagogues, which have received rela4 Another useful statistical assessment of nredieval
archaeology in France is Jean Chapelot and
Gabrielle Demians d'Archimbaud, "Dix ans d'archeologie medievale en France (1970-1980),"
Archeologiamedievale 10 (1983), 297-316, which treats funding priorities in the field as a whole.

The Archaeology of Monasticism

798
125
100
75
50
25

Monastic

Parish/
Funerary

Fortified/
Castle
chapel

Cathedrals

Regional
studies

Synagogues

Fig. 3. Religious sites published in Archeologiemedievale, 1971-87

tively little attention despite their importance in the medieval townscape.5


What this distribution masks, however, is the number of monastic sites that
have simply been cleared or "rescued." Fewer than one-quarter of the more
than one hundred sites listed in the graph represent ongoing, systematic
research projects. Still fewer are part of truly regional studies. While it would
be misleading to suggest that these statistics represent the totality of work on
medieval sites in France, supplementary compilations from other national
journals, from local and regional periodicals, and from monographs and site
reports support the general configurations represented in the graphs.
Within the monastic category there are some revealing statistics. Though
a large number of secondary Benedictine abbeys and priories have been
cleared or excavated in a limited way, the number of important Cistercian
sites excavated exceeds those of any other order. Partly this fact results from
the relatively unencumbered, rural nature of most Cistercian sites. However,
it is also a reflection of a lifetime of work by the late Father Marie-Anselme
Dimier, whose efforts have been recognized in several anthologies published
in his honor.6 The recovery of an increasing number of Cistercian sites
permits the comparison of features and has allowed researchers to test the
See Gerard Nahon, "L'archeologie juive de la France medievale," Archeologie medievale 5
(1975), 139-60; Bernhard Blumenkranz, "Un ensemble synagogal a Rouen, 1095-1116,"
et belles-lettres(1975), pp. 663-88; and Noi-man Golb,
Comptes-rendusde I'Academzedes n.scr-lptzons
"The Forgotten Jewish History of Medieval Rouen," Archaeology30 (1977), 314-25. On the
archaeology of medieval Jewry in France more generally, see Bernhard Blumenkranz, ed., Art
et archeologzedesjuifs en France medzivale(Paris, 1980).
e
Benoit
Chauvin, ed., Melanges a la memozredu Pere Anselme Dimier, 3 vols. (Arbois, 1982);
Meredith P. Lillich, ed., Studies in CzstercianArt and Architectuie2 ("dedicated to Marie Anselme
Dimier") (1984).

The Archaeology of Monasticism


799
hypothesis of strict centralized control within the order. Much more work
needs to be done for other orders, however, notably the Augustinians and
the Premonstratensians. A comparative study within a region such as the
Aisne, with its dense distribution of monasteries of different orders, should
clarify the relationship of religious and local influences upon monastic planning and site design.
An interesting feature to emerge from the statistical survey of Archeologie
medievale is the large number of nunneries that have been excavated. The
convent at Montmartre in Paris (Perin 1977; Young 1978, 1979) seems to be
the single Benedictine convent to have been investigated. Research on Cistercian convents has been more plentiful. Work is currently underway at the
abbey of Saint-Pons de Gemenos (Demians d'Archimbaud 1981), at Maubuisson (Toupet et al. 1983), at Coyroux near Aubazine (Barriere 1982), and
at Fontenelle (Beaussart and Maliet 1983). The concentration of such work
has helped to clarify the variations between male and female Cistercian
communities. Furthermore, the quantity of programmed research on Cistercian sites has led to important advances in the study of site evolution.
1. MONASTIC SITES AND THEIR EVOLUTION

The selection of a monastic site and its evolution during the period of its
occupation are fundamental questions which the archaeologist is particularly
well placed to answer.
One of the central goals in French medieval archaeology over the last
eighteen years has been a better understanding of the transitions from lateantique to early-medieval society.7 Within church archaeology, scholarly opinion divides between those who argue principally for continuity of occupation
from Roman into early-medieval times and those who argue principally for
abandonment and later reoccupation.8 The monastic evidence for France,
recently surveyed by James (1981), presents a complex picture of both con7For an overview of this question for urban areas, see Noel Duval and Charles Pietri, eds.,
Topographiechretzennedes cltes de la Gaule: Des origines a la fin du Vile szecle,4 vols. to date (Paris,
1975-). For northern France in particular, see Patrick Perin, ed., Lutece: Paris de Cesar a Clovzs
(Paris, 1984); Francoise Vallet, ed., La Picardie: Berceau de la France (Amiens, 1986); and Patrick
Perin and Laure-Charlotte Feffer, eds., La Neustrie: Les pays au nord de la Loire de Dagobert a
Charles le Chauve (VIIe-IXe siecles) (Creteil, 1985). The rural situation has been recently summarized in Robert Fossier and Jean Chapelot, The Vzllage and House in the Middle Ages, trans.
Henry Cleere (Berkeley, 1985).
8 Issues of
continuity and discontinuity in site use as these apply to church archaeology are
discussed in John Percival, The Roman Villa: An Historical Introduction(London, 1976), especially
pp. 183-99: "Villas, Churches and Monasteries"; and Bailey K. Young, "Sacred Topography
and the Origins of Christian Architecture in Gaul," in First Millennium Papers: WesternEurope in
the First Millennium AD, BAR International Series 401, ed. Richard F. J. Jones, J. H. F. Bloemers,
Stephen L. Dyson, and Martin Biddle (London, 1988), pp. 219-40. The rural situation has been
reviewed recently by Renee and Michel Colardelle, "Archeologie religieuse du haut moyen age
en milieu rural: Methodes et problemes," Associationfi-anCased'archeologiemerovingienne4 (1981),
29-33. Most recently, see the concise but illuminating essay by Claude Raynaud, "Les campagnes
du Languedoc oriental a la fin de l'antiquite et au debut du haut-moyen-age (IVe-VIIe s.):
Continuite, transition ou rupture?" in Landes (1988).

800

The Archaeology of Monasticism


tinuous and discontinuous site use. Le Maho's (1985) excavations in the
cloister of the abbey of Saint-Georges at Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville have
revealed successive fana (Gallo-Roman sacred places), the last of which was
converted into a Christian funerary chapel after perhaps three centuries of
abandonment. The work of Giot (1979-80, 1986) at Ile-Lavret has revealed
the establishment of an early Celtic monastery (5th/6th c.) within a late Roman
(3rd/4th c.) villa, with no indication that the site was abandoned between the
two phases. Similar work at the villa site of Arnesp near the Pyrenees (Fouet
1978, 1980, 1983, 1987), at Saint-Victor in Marseille (Demians d'Archimbaud
1971, 1974, 1977), and at other sites has contributed to our understanding
of the complexities of this transition. The combined evidence suggests a
greater continuity of cult function (if not of actual continuous use) than has
been supposed for nonurban areas.
For Cistercian monasteries, Courtois's work at Vauclair (Stas 1971; Litt
1969; Courtois 1982) demonstrates a pattern of at least recurrent, if not
continuous, use and occupation from the late La Tene period to the French
Revolution. Lapart's (1982, 1985) work on Cistercian grange sites in the Gers
yields similar results. The traditional view of Cistercian monastic foundations,
so often described in contemporary texts, presents the monks retreating from
the secular world to an isolated "desert site." Lately, however, historians have
shown that Cistercians often took over sites with a near-contemporary history
of occupation.9 Archaeological results thus provide a long-term context for
and a material confirmation of recent historical investigations.
Barriere's (1981, 1982) study of site history at the convent of Coyroux
takes a comparative approach. The contemporaneous foundation of the
nearby monastery of Aubazine has allowed her to compare site selection and
site management of a Cistercian convent and monastery. The choice of a
more isolated site for the convent at Coyroux dramatically affected the quality
of life there. The stratigraphy of the site reveals repetitive sequences of
terracing and flooding, the consequences of which seem to have absorbed
most of the convent's resources. This fact is amply reflected in the mediocre
quality of the buildings in comparison with nearby Aubazine.
2. ARCHITECTURAL ANALYSIS

Location of the plan and analysis of standing architectural remains is an


essential component of the archaeological investigation of a monastery. While
clearing of the plan alone cannot fulfill archaeological objectives, its recovery
is a necessary prelude to fuller site analysis. The plan of the abbey church
9 Recent considerations of early foundations include Henrietta Leyser, Hermits and the New
Monasticism:A Study of Religious Communitiesin WesternEurope, 1000-1150 (New York, 1984);
Jean Schaefer, "The Earliest Churches of the Cistercian Order," Studies in Cistercian Art and
Architecture1 (1982), 1-12; Giles Constable, "The Study of Monastic History Today," in Essays
on the Reconstructionof Medieval History, ed. Vaclav Mudroch and G. S. Couse (Montreal, 1974),
pp. 21-51, and Constance Hoffman Berman, Medieval Agriculture,the SouthernFrench Countryside,
and the Early Cistercians,Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 76/5 (Philadelphia,
1986).

801
The Archaeology of Monasticism
and the arrangement of conventual buildings reflect, in permanent form,
evanescent aspects of daily monastic life such as liturgy and prayer and
patterns of use and movement. In this way the recovery of a monastic plan
goes beyond purely architectural concerns toward the reconstruction of daily
life.
The so-called "vertical archaeology" of standing structures, pioneered by
Harold Taylor and by Warwick Rodwell,'1 among others, is an essential
component of the archaeological investigation of a monastery with extant
architectural remains. Vertical archaeology has as its aim the identification
of sequences of construction. Careful observation of the sequences of features
which cut or are cut by others permits the recognition of newer and older
fabric. The analysis of this "stratigraphy above ground" is best facilitated by
detailed stone-for-stone recording, with precise measurement and scale drawing of every block and mortar joint. This requires the investigator's immediate
physical proximity to the wall itself, not only for the recording process but
also for the analysis of coursing and interpenetration patterns.
Photogrammetric recording (scaled transfer drawings made from serial
photographs taken at a constant distance and a fixed angle of ninety degrees)
can be substituted for measured drawings for extensive surfaces, such as
precinct walls, and for areas which are difficult to access, such as vaults. Work
of this kind has been undertaken for the vaults of the nave of La Madeleine
in Vezelay and for much of the early fabric of Saint-Denis."
Although archaeological analysis of standing fabric and foundations has
great potential for the study of construction campaigns, there are limitations
in its application. An archaeological reading of a wall provides a relative
stratigraphic sequence. This chronology may be rendered more precise by
compositional analysis of mortar, as has been done at the deserted village site
of Rougiers (Demians d'Archimbaud 1980). Carbon-14 analysis of medieval
lime mortars was pioneered at Saint-Benigne in Dijon (Malone et al. 1980).12
Greater precision can also be gained by observing patterns of stone use
and by the identification of the quarry sources for the building stone, as
Demians d'Archimbaud (1977) has done for Saint-Victor in Marseille. The
projects on medieval quarries under way in Paris, Burgundy, and the south
of France are reported in the Chronique des fouilles medievales of Archeologie
medievale and form part of a larger C.N.R.S. study of mines, quarries, and
metallurgy.'3 These research projects are relatively new but promise immense
returns.
10 Harold
Taylor, "The Foundations of Architectural History," in The ArchaeologicalStudy of
Churches, ed. Peter Addyman and Richard Morris, Council of British Archaeology Research
Report 13 (London, 1976), pp. 3-9, and Warwick Rodwell, The Archaeologyof the English Church:
The Study of Historic Churchesand Churchyards(London, 1981).
11 For
Vezelay see Robert Vassas, "Travaux a la Madeleine de Vezelay," Les monumentshistoriques
de la France, new series 14/1 (1968), 56-61. For Saint-Denis see Crosby, Royal Abbeyof SaintDenis.
12 The
technique was first applied at Roman Stobi, in Yugoslavia. See Robert Folk and Salvatore
Valastro, Jr., "Successful Techniques for Dating of Lime Mortar by Carbon-14," Journal of Field
Archaeology3 (1976), 203-8.
13For quarries, see Francois Ellenberger, J. Marvy, and Marc Vire, "Les anciennes carrieres

The Archaeology of Monasticism


Construction chronologies such as these cease to be archaeological, however, when they begin to rely too heavily upon predetermined stylistic sequences, which are themselves too often pinned unconvincingly to dates
derived from written sources. The application of absolute dates to building
fabric based on capital styles and molding profiles must also be approached
with extreme caution. The reuse of elements bedevils chronology, as does
the deliberate use of archaizing forms. Both of these phenomena of medieval
construction are especially relevant to the study of reform monasteries, where
we often find a conservative approach to decoration. In short, archaeological
sequences must remain autonomous from art history if they are to retain
their ability to test chronological hypotheses.'4 With these preliminary remarks in mind, we turn now to important results in the study of the church,
the cloister, and other monastic buildings.
802

ChurchAnalysis
A number of excavations have recently contributed new evidence to the
corpus of monastic church plans. Among the most important discoveries are
Renimel's (1976, 1982) first church at Cluniac La Charite-sur-Loire, Bru's
(1982) foundation church at Cistercian Saint-Sulpice-en-Bugey, and Stoddard
and Dodds's Carolingian church at Benedictine Psalmodi (W. Stoddard 1977;
B. Stoddard et al. 1983; Dodds 1973-74). Not surprisingly, the number of
new Cistercian plans or partial plans recovered has been considerable; the
most complete of these result from Courtois's (1982) work at Vauclair, which
presents not only the Bernardine plan of the first church but also that of its
Gothic successor. Little work has been done for the regular canons apart

souterraines de Paris," Bulletin d'informationgeologiquesdu bassin de Paris (1980); Marc Vire, "Les
anciennes carrieres de pierre a Paris au moyen-age," in Mines, carriereset metallurgzedans la France
medzivale,ed. P. Benoit and P. Braunstein (Paris, 1983), pp. 395-406; Joelle Bruno-Dupraz and
Marie-Christine Bailly-Maitre, "Premiers travaux de recherche et de prospection destine a 1'etablissement d'un inventaire des mines et carrieres et centres metallurgiques dans les Alpes
occidentales au moyen-age (Ve-XVIe siecles)," Archeologzemedievale 12 (1982), 384-85; Joelle
Bruno-Dupraz and Marie-Christine Bailly-Maitre, "Inventaire des mines et carrieres et centres
metallurgiques dans les Alpes occidentales au moyen-age (Ve-XVIe siecles)," Archeologzemedzivale
13 (1983), 349-52. For an application of quarry evidence to the study of an ecclesiastical site,
see Annie Blanc, Pierre Lebouteux, Jacqueline Lorenz, and Serge Debrand-Passard, "Les pierres
de la cathedrale de Bourges," Archeologzano. 171 (1982), 22-32. On the identihcation of sculpture
from specific quarries, see Jean M. French, Edward V. Sayre, and L. van Zelst, "Nine Medieval
French Limestone Reliefs: The Search for Provenance," Proceedings of the Fifth Seminar on the
Applicationof Science in the Examination of Worksof Art, September,1982 (Boston, 1987); and Lore
Holmes, Charles Little, and Edward Sayre, "Elemental Characterization of Medieval Limestone
Sculpture from Parisian and Burgundian Sources," Journal of Field Archaeology13 (1986), 41938.
14 The
power of archaeological method to address stylistic chronology is currently recognized
in the literature of architectural history. Traditional formal analysis of building fabric is increasingly styled "archaeological" without including either systematic, precise recording or scientific
mortar and masonry analysis. It is these two elements, however, which distinguish an archaeological approach to monuments.

The Archaeology of Monasticism


803
from our own work at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, where plans for both the Romanesque and Gothic abbey churches are now available (Bonde et al. 1987).
Several monastic projects have applied the principles of vertical archaeology to the recording and analysis of standing fabric. At the priory of SaintLubin at Chateaudun, Robreau (1984, 1985) has distinguished early Christian
(6th c.?), Carolingian, and tenth-, eleventh-, and twelfth-century phases in
elevation. Sapin (1982) has also distinguished multiple phases from the Roman to the Romanesque periods at Saint-Pierre-l'Estrier in Autun. Recording
and analysis of this type have also been accomplished at Saint-Victor in
Marseille (Demians d'Archimbaud 1971, 1977), Saint-Benigne in Dijon (Malone 1980), and Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons (Bonde and Maines
1988b).15
The Cloisterand ConventualBuildings
Next to the church, the chapter room and other spaces of the east range
have received the most attention in recent excavations. At least twelve chapter
rooms have been excavated or are currently in process. Of these, six are
Benedictine, three are Cistercian, two are Premonstratensian, and one is
Augustinian.16 Comparative study of this growing sample of chapter rooms
should provide insights into the various ways in which different orders used
those spaces. 7
The entire cloister is under excavation or is projected at a Benedictine
monastery, a Cistercian monastery, two Cistercian convents, a Grandmontaine
community, a Premonstratensian house, and an Augustinian abbey.18
Levalet's (1978) survey of medieval kitchens in France and England suggested that no monastic kitchen was at that time under excavation in France.
However, Barriere (1984) has now begun investigation of the kitchen at
Coyroux, where the refectory and the warming room are also under study.
At Notre-Dame-du-Pinel, Falco (1987) has recovered the entire south range,
including the kitchen and refectory.
15 Vertical
archaeology in France is hardly limited to monastic sites. See, for example, Rollins
Guild, Jean Guyon, and Lucien Rivet, "Recherches archeologiques dans le cloitre Saint-Sauveur
d'Aix-en-Provence: Bilan de quatre campaignes de fouilles (1976-1979)," Revue archeologiquede
Narbonnaise 13 (1980), 115-64.
16 Benedictine
chapter rooms excavated or under excavation include Saint-Georges at SaintMartin-de-Boscherville; Saint-Victor in Marseille; Saint-Austremoine, Issoire; Saint-Sauveur in
Saint-Macaire; Saint-Nicolas-d'Acy in Courteuil; Chelles; and Landevennec. The Cistercian sites
include Vauclair and Clairlieu. Three Premonstratensian chapter rooms have been excavated:
La Lucerne, Dommartin, and Ardenne. The sole Augustinian site under excavation to our
knowledge is our own at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons.
17 Bernard Beck, "Les salles
capitulaires des abbayes de Normandie: Elements originaux de
l'architecture monastique medievale," L'informationd'histoirede l'art 8 (1973), 204-15, is a useful
comparative study, but it is primarily architectural and cannot address the full range of evidence
offered by an archaeological approach.
18
Among the abbeys where complete excavation of the claustral complex is under way or
projected are Saint-Pere in Chartres (Benedictine); Saint-Sulpice-en-Bugey (Cistercian monastery); Maubuisson and Coyroux (Cistercian convents); Notre-Dame-du-Pinel (Grandmontain);
Ardenne (Premonstratensian); and Saint-Jean-des-Vignes (Augustinian).

804

The Archaeology of Monasticism


3. MONASTIC

WATER

MANAGEMENT

AND INDUSTRY

Relatively little work has been devoted to the "peripheral" areas which lie
outside the church and claustral ranges, although .this important work is
beginning at monasteries of various orders. For example, associated with a
monastery's conventual buildings were underground systems which carried
fresh water to the well and kitchen and which continued beyond to flush the
monastic drains. The conduit system has been studied at Benedictine SaintSauveur in Saint-Macaire (Billa 1976-78). The most complete results on this
subject, however, have been produced at Cistercian sites, such as Saint-Sulpice-en-Bugey (Bru 1982) and Coyroux (Barriere 1982, 1984), where basins,
conduits, and a cistern have been traced. At Vauclair, Courtois (1982) has
located the water source as well as the system of conduits leading to the south
range. Benoit's (1986, 1988) area survey and selective sampling have established the importance of ironworking at Cistercian Fontenay and identified
the role of water power for that industry there. Over all, Vauclair has been
our richest source for information about the larger picture of Cistercian
water management and industry, with excavation of a thirteenth-century fish
pond, a mill, and a number of other artisans' ateliers which relied upon
waterpower for production.
The question of monastic industry has also been confronted at Cluniac La
Charite, where domestic and artisanal installations have been located near
the perimeters of the monastery (Renimel 1981, 1982). A number of sites
have produced information on various sorts of industrial activity: at Maguelone (Foy and Vallauri 1985), where evidence for glass manufacture was
recovered; at Monastier (Laforgue 1972-75, 1978) and La Charite, where
evidence of bell casting was found; and at Vauclair, where a chalk furnace,
two pottery kilns, and three tileries have been excavated (Courtois 1982).
In addition to the investigation of tileries themselves, recent archaeological
results have stimulated a renewal of tile studies in which older discoveries
are being reassessed in comparison with newly formed ensembles (Carette
and Deroeux 1985; Pinette 1981). Norton (1986a) has reviewed the archaeological record as it applies to the invention and spread of two-color tile
production in the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries and has clarified the
role of monasteries in that process. His exhaustive bibliography of French
tile studies (Norton 1986b) contains a considerable amount of monastic material and will be the standard reference for years to come.
The excavation of such "peripheral" areas and the analysis of materials
produced within the monastic complex are crucial, as they provide insight
into monastic industry and the functional aspects of site management for
which other sources of information are severely limited.
4.

MATERIAL EVIDENCE FOR MONASTIC DAILY LIFE

The quality of daily life in the Middle Ages is an elusive topic.19 Liturgical
texts, monastic legislation, and monastic art provide useful but limited information about daily life in monasteries. For example, the impact of monastic
19Joan Evans, Life in Medieval France (London, 1925; 3rd ed., 1969) remains a standard of

The Archaeology of Monasticism


805
spirituality has been sought in the form and decoration of a monastery's
structures, but austerity in monastic churches and conventual buildings does
not necessarily reflect a parallel restraint in daily life.20 Because the textual
and visual evidence regarding daily life is difficult to interpret, archaeology
has a particularly important contribution to make, although few French
monastic projects have confronted this question as a research problem.
The study of all ceramic recovered from a given monastery (and not only
that manufactured at the site) may prove to be the most productive avenue
for charting shifts in standards of monastic life. The process of assembly and
analysis has begun for Vauclair (Sautai-Dossin 1975), for Saint-Etienne in
Caen (Burnouf et al. 1982), and for Maubuisson (Durey 1985). With widely
separated sites and communities of different religious orders, however, close
comparative analysis remains difficult.
More analytic publication of ceramic material, combined with regional
study, is urgently needed. Only then will we be able to appreciate how life at
the table changed at a particular site across time, how diet and dietary practice
compared at various houses within an order, or how the monastic table
compared with the secular one.
What is encouraging is the quantity of ceramic material recovered from
secular sites in France. The ongoing programmed urban excavations in Orleans, Saint-Denis, Tours, and Paris and the structured salvage work in towns
like Chalons-sur-Marne, Laon, and Noyon (to name only some northern
centers) mean that good sequences of stratified ceramics from secular sites
already exist for comparison with monastic evidence as it becomes available.21
Glassware is less frequently present in the monastic archaeological record,
but it can be equally indicative of daily life, as the rich ensemble of highquality ware from the abbey of Psalmodi reveals. As with ceramics, the
the literature which attempts to reconstruct medieval daily life from textual and visual evidence.
More recently, see Georges Duby, ed., Histoirede la vie privee, 2: De lEuropefeodale a la Renaissance
(Paris, 1985), which takes a similar approach but includes more archaeological material. By
contrast, Gabrielle Demians d'Archimbaud, ed., Aujourd'huile moyenage: Archeologieet vie quotidienne en France meridionale(Senanque, 1981), considers the issue of daily life from an archaeological perspective.
20 This
opinion is particularly prevalent in work on Cistercian houses. See, generally, Marcel
Aubert and G. de Maille, L'architecturecistercienneen France, 2 vols. (Paris, 1943), and Caroline
Bruzelius, "Cistercian High Gothic: The Abbey Church of Longpont and the Architecture of
the Cistercians in the Thirteenth Century," Analecta Cisterciana35 (1979), 3-204. Work on other
reform orders is only beginning. See, for example, Sheila Bonde and Clark Maines, "Saint-Jeandes-Vignes, Soissons, and the Evidence for Augustinian Style in the Thirteenth Century," presented at the Augustinian Historical Institute at Villanova University, October 1986, and now
in preparation for publication.
21 For the ceramic material at Orleans, see Orssaud (1985). At Saint-Denis, see Olivier Meyer,
Laurent Bourgeau, David Coxhall, Nicole Meyer, and Caroline Relier, 1981: Bilan d'une annee d
Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis, 1982), and Olivier Meyer and Michael Wiss with David Coxhall and
Nicole Meyer, Saint-Denis: Rechercheurbaine 1983-1985, bilan desfouilles (Saint-Denis, 1985). For
salvage work at Chalons-sur-Marne, see Hubert Cabart, "Materiel archeologique trouve dans le
fosse P-24, rue Saint-Dominique a Chalons-sur-Marne," Memoiresde la Societe d'agriculturede la
Marne, 2nd ser. 101 (1986), 117-44, and Jean-Marie Derouard, "Fouille de la fosse P-58, rue
Saint-Dominique a Chalons-sur-Marne," Memoiresde la Societed'agriculturede la Marne, 2nd ser.
101 (1986), 145-60.

806

The Archaeology of Monasticism


quantity of glassware recovered from urban excavations such as those in
Avignon, Strasbourg, Colmar, and Paris assures that well-stratified material
from secular sites is available for comparison with monastic finds in the
future.22
Faunal and botanical materials are the most direct records of environment
and diet. Studies of the bone material from a monastic well at Saint-AvitSenieur (Gauthier 1972) and the floral and faunal material from La Charitesur-Loire (Renimel 1981, 1982; Audoin 1984, 1986) are two of the very few
published synthetic analyses of such material from monastic sites.23 Also
important is Blanc's (1983) study of the agricultural economy of the Benedictine convent of Lagrasse (Aude), which takes a textual approach to these
same archaeological questions.
5. MONASTIC BURIAL

The archaeology of Merovingian France has been almost exclusively the


archaeology of cemeteries and burial goods. Until quite recently, projects
with a different focus, including excavations of monasteries of Merovingian
date, were very rare (James 1981). Conversely, the archaeology of the central
and high Middle Ages, with its concentration on the analysis of monasteries,
has largely ignored monastic burial zones, perhaps because of the general
lack of grave goods. While skeletal material is regularly included in published
site reports, and references to excavated burials on medieval monastic sites
are frequent in the Chronique des fouilles medievales of Archeologiemedievale,
the analyzed sample remains small, and consideration of burial material is
generally appended to the site report rather than integrated with it.
At the outset, it must be noted that burials occur in different zones within
any one monastery. Abbots, donors, and other elite are often interred in
22 For the
glassware from southern sites generally, see Daniele Foy (1988) and "L'artisanat du
verre creux en Provence medievale," Archeologiemedievale5 (1975), 103-38, and Demians d'Archimbaud (1981). On Psalmodi in particular, see Foy's entries in Landes (1986). For Strasbourg
and Colmar, see Jean-Pierre Rieb, "Verrerie," in J. Schweitzer et al., Objetsde la vie quotidienne
au moyen age et a la Renaissance en Alsace, Cahier du Groupe d'archeologiemedievaled'Alsace (Strasbourg, 1987), pp. 586-95. For Paris, see Jorge Barrera, "Le verre," in Pierre-Jean Trombetta
et al., Grand Louvre: Fouilles archeologiquescour Napoleon (Paris, 1985), pp. 65-69, which was
published in conjunction with a temporary exhibit held during the meeting of the Premier
Congres International d'Archeologie Medievale in 1985. In fact, much archaeological material
is first made available in local and regional exhibitions which often appear without catalogues
or with catalogues of limited distribution. Lists of exhibitions, with mention of catalogues, appear
regularly in Nouvelles de l'archeologie, published quarterly by the Fondation de la Maison des
sciences de l'homme in Paris.
23 In
France, the archaeological study of faunal and botanical remains has been more developed for prehistoric periods than for the Middle Ages. See the various articles collected under
the rubrics "Dossier: Archeozoologie," "Dossier: Archeobotanique, lere partie - Les differents
disciplines mis en jeu," and "Dossier: Archeobotanique, 2eme partie - Consequences et implications," which appeared in Nouvelles de 'archeologieno. 11 (1983), 7-56; 18 (1984/85), 7-66,
and 19 (1985), 7-49, respectively, and which make reference to medieval material. An interesting
assessment of Eastern and Western diets based entirely on textual evidence is Maria Dembinska,
"Diet: A Comparison between Some Eastern and Western Monasteries in the 4th-12th Centuries," Byzantion 55 (1985), 431-62.

The Archaeology of Monasticism


807
privileged zones: the church, the chapter room, and the cloister alleys. Ordinary members of the community and others such as conversiare buried in cemeteries outside the church and claustral area. To our knowledge, systematic
excavation of all burial zones has not occurred at any French monastic site.
Several projects have made significant contributions to the study of monastic burial zones, demonstrating the potential of this kind of work. The
questions asked of the cemetery material at each site, however, vary widely
and reflect fundamental differences of approach and analysis. These varying
approaches include osteological and cranial analysis, anthropological and
demographic study, formal analysis of sarcophagi and tombstones, and examination of the orientation and placement of burials as they relate to the
larger issue of site evolution.
The phased evolution of burials has been traced for a number of urban
and rural monastic sites. Demians d'Archimbaud (1977) has identified the
chronology of changing burial placement, orientation, and custom as these
relate to the growth of Saint-Victor in Marseille from a memorial chapel to
an abbey. A similar evolution has been identified by Le Maho (1985) at SaintMartin-de-Boscherville. In contrast, at Saint-Symphorien-de-Buoux, Fixot
and Barbier (1983) have suggested that the establishment of a priory within
a preexisting necropolis markedly diminished the funerary function of the
site.
Identification of individual members of a monastic community has been
suggested, on the basis of grave goods and texts, at Saint-Pierre-de-Montmartre (Young 1978), Saint-Denis (Fleury and France-Lanord 1979), and
Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville (Le Maho 1980). At Saint-Evre in Toul two
burials ad sanctos in the now-destroyed Merovingian abbey church have been
convincingly identified as those of the thirteenth bishop of Toul (Endulus
t622) and a contemporaneous patroness of local churches (Praetoria) on the
basis of texts and monograms found on seal rings recovered from their tombs
(Lieger et al. 1984). At the Augustinian convent of Schwartzenhann (Alsace),
a number of carved tombstones bear inscriptions, including the names of
two women: Ellenta and Gertrude. A positive identification of the individuals
remains problematic, however, since the necrology for the convent is incomplete and since frequent exchanges between convents make it difficult to
determine the conventual population at any given time (Bronner 1973). At
Toussaint d'Angers, an Augustinian abbey, more than two hundred burials
have been explored in the original church and its thirteenth-century successor, as well as in the monastic cemetery zone (Prigent et al. 1986). Among
others, the burial of the fourteenth-century abbot Guillaume II Godard has
been identified.
Another large sample of skeletal material from a single monastic site comes
from Saint-Martial in Limoges. There, Billy (1976) has examined remains of
more than 128 burials from three distinct chronological phases of the site's
history. Anthropological analysis of skull types and stature is used by Billy to
differentiate ethnic groups, and by extension to understand the monastic
community and its supporting population. An osteological study of a smaller
sample from the priory and village of Saint-Jean-le-Froid (Aveyron) also poses

808

The Archaeology of Monasticism

questions of cultural anthropology (Bucaille 1973) and concludes that a


demographic shift is perceptible in the monastic period (eleventh through
thirteenth centuries).
Important synthetic studies which assess burial practice in relation to architectural and other chronologies and which include monastic material have
been completed for two regions: the northern French Alps region (M. Colardelle 1983) and the larger Oise area (M. Durand 1987). In his examination
of the funerary traditions of the northern Alps, Colardelle discusses two
priory churches (Viuz and Sainte-Croix). Phased architectural plans for both
churches have been successfully related to evolving burial distribution and
chronology; changing patterns in grave goods have been traced; and age,
sex, and stature tabulations have been compiled for each individual site as
well as for the larger region.
These studies demonstrate ways in which the archaeology of monasticism
can incorporate burial evidence more fully within its purview. The approaches that may profitably be applied to such information are many and
should be combined for the study of the cemetery material at a single site.
Like the floral, faunal, and ceramic material discussed above, skeletal remains
can also reveal vital information about diet and illness, and by extension
about the nature and quality of monastic daily life.
Excavation and analysis of all cemetery zones within a monastery remains
the ideal. This complete approach promises to illuminate the chronological
evolution of the site. In the best cases, it may also provide a separate archaeological chronology based on burial sequence. This sequence may confirm,
deny, or elaborate other site chronologies based on ceramic, textual, or architectural evidence. As the burials from Montmartre, Marmoutier, and
Toussaint d'Angers make clear, monastic hierarchy and social status can be
revealed by burial placement or grave goods. Even the more anonymous
monastic cemetery may reflect similar hierarchical rankings and social divisions. It would be useful to know whether separate areas were set aside for
monks and conversi, for men and women, and for religious and seculars.
These larger objectives clearly hold the greatest potential for expanding the
role of cemetery analysis in the archaeology of monasticism.
6. REGIONAL ANALYSIS

Most excavations and analyses in French medieval archaeology have been


limited to individual sites, but questions of regional context are beginning to
be posed for both ecclesiastical and secular sites.
The most ambitious projects elucidating the evolution of a region concentrate on Provence and have been undertaken by the Laboratoire d'arch6ologie medievale of the Universit6 de Provence at Aix.24 Especially notable
24 For a r6sum6 of
university-sponsored archaeological projects focusing on medieval France,
see the article on the subject cited in n. 1 above. The journal Archeologiedu Midi mediterraneen
periodically publishes lists of university-sponsored courses and excavations in the Midi. See, for
example, "L'enseignement de l'archeologie dans les facultes," Archeologiedu Midi mediterraneen2
(1982), 5-15.

The Archaeology of Monasticism


809
have been the excavation of the deserted village at Rougiers (D6mians d'Archimbaud 1980) and the survey and excavation of ecclesiastical and domestic
sites which include the abbey of Saint-Victor at Marseille (Demians d'Archimbaud 1971, 1974). Another of these studies examines the relationship between religious foundations, secular settlements, and military fortifications
throughout the region at Lambesc (Heck 1975).
Several projects have recently begun to examine church sites as evidence
for the diocesan organization of medieval settlement. Marc Durand's (1977)
study of the monastic parish church of Noel-Saint-Martin, nominally a singlesite study, is in fact distinguished by its attention to questions of context and
settlement as they are expressed in the church plan, fabric, and burials. Two
other studies, both based in Burgundy, examine a wider range of church
implantations in the context of settlement, regional patterns, and ecclesiastical
organization. Sapin, Young, and Berry have begun an ambitious project to
survey the archaeological evidence for the Christianization of the diocese of
Autun.25 Initiated at the Paleochristian site of Saint-Pierre-l'Estrier near Autun, the study has expanded to include two other churches, Saint-Leger at
Triey and Saint-Clement in Macon, which lie at greater distances from the
center of the diocese. Crumley's related survey of parishes and burials poses
settlement questions for the Burgundian region of Mont-Dardon, using the
techniques of excavation together with field walking, systematic satellite and
air photography, and geologic survey (Berry 1984, Crumley 1984).
The definition of a monastery's region is related to diocesan organization,
but several other factors are also important. On the most obvious level, the
immediate situation of the monastery - rural, suburban, or urban - must
be considered, as Racinet's (1982) catalogue of the implantation of Cluniac
priories in Picardy has done.
The siting of an individual monastery was no accident of geography, nor
was it determined solely by density of population, as the siting of a parish
church was likely to be (Desbordes 1978). Monastic sites were sometimes
chosen for their proximity to urban centers (often the case with Augustinians)
and sometimes for their remoteness (Cistercian or Premonstratensian sites).
In other cases, the site was dictated by a founder's donation of land.
A monastery's region is not restricted to its immediate area, for successful
monasteries such as Fontfroide near Narbonne attracted donations of numerous outlying lands and possessions. In this sense a monastery defined its
own larger region in dynamic relationship with its landed supporters. This
region changed through time as properties and parishes were lost or acquired, reduced or expanded.
A number of historically oriented studies have recently examined the regional distribution and impact of monastic implantation. Tracing the urban
foundation of mendicant orders in Alsace, Recht (1971) finds a density of
certain orders within regions and a marked preference on the part of par25Personal communication from the
investigators: Bailey Young, Christian Sapin, and Walter
Berry. Although work has already begun on several sites, no theoretical statement has yet
appeared in print.

810

The Archaeology of Monasticism

ticular orders for specific locations within cities. For the region of La Cadiere,
Broecker (1983) combines careful study of textual evidence for politics, lordship, and economy with a program of systematic archaeological soundings
designed to recover architectural and burial information, in order to present
a history of the implantation of southern Victorine monasticism. Using textual evidence exclusively, Grezes-Rueff (1979) plots the donations and agricultural holdings of the abbey of Fontfroide. He defines two phases for the
abbey's relationship with its region. In the first, Fontfroide kept a local profile,
while in the second, the abbey took on a larger, panregional role.
The diocese of Soissons has also recently attracted the interest of historians
studying the implantation of reform monasticism. Duval-Arnould (1977)
gathers much basic information about the arrival of the new orders in the
region. Brunel (1987) combines place-name and charter evidence with geologic and geographic information to suggest that the new houses established
themselves in the southern part of the diocese (around Villers-Cotterets) in
response to new needs: partly economic pressures, partly the spiritual desires
of the nobility and their pursuit of prestige.
At Saint-Jean-des-Vignes we have identified the parish and farm holdings
for the abbey during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.26 Their distribution
demonstrates that Saint-Jean wielded much more influence to the south of
Soissons than to the north. That an abbey did not necessarily lie at the center
of its sphere of influence raises the question of regional competition among
religious houses. The pattern of Saint-Jean's holdings may be explained by
the availability of land in a region dense with old and powerful monastic
foundations which seem to have dominated areas north of Soissons.27
The introduction of such historical strategies into archaeological projects
allows them to define the larger regional relationships of the monastic foundations they study. Conversely, archaeology has an important contribution to
add to the full historical study of monastic regions. It can investigate farms
and granges to define the economic interdependence of an abbey and its
region. By exploring the sources of ceramic, building stone, and other aspects
of material culture it can trace patterns of trade and the movement of artisans
and generally provide a picture of the quality of daily life in a regional
context.
7. AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

The use of aerial photography for archaeology has yielded important


results in France, particularly in the work of Roger Agache (1971, 1978).28
His systematic study of Picardy has transformed our understanding of Gallia
26 The discussion which follows summarizes our
research, which is in preparation for publication.
27 Problems of center and
periphery in archaeological theory have been reviewed recently by
Michael Rowlands, "Center and Periphery: A Review of a Concept," in Center and Peripheryin
the Ancient World, ed. Michael Rowlands, Mogens Larsen, and Kristian Kristiansen (Cambridge,
Eng., 1987), pp. 1-11.
28 A recent overview of the state of aerial
photography in relation to archaeology in France is

The Archaeology of Monasticism


811
Belgica and has important implications for the medieval topography of that
region. Nevertheless, there is no work for medieval monasteries in France
comparable to St. Joseph's aerial survey of English monastic sites.29 Resources
exist at the Institut Geographique National for vertical photographs, as is
evidenced in their publication with excavation studies for Vauclair (Courtois
1982) and Grandselve (Cazes 1982). However, a research project cannot
depend solely on IGN's resources, which include few oblique views.
A number of factors explain the slower pace of France relative to England
in the archaeological use of aerial photography for medieval monasteries.
The size of the country is only the most obvious obstacle to the fuller coverage
that England enjoys. Because aerial photography is less effective under certain geological conditions, some areas of France cannot profitably be prospected from the air.30 Moreover, it is important for medievalists to realize
that successful aerial photography requires systematic overflying in different
seasons and, ideally, over a number of years.
With rare exceptions, the severe drought of 1976 seems not to have been
exploited for monastic archaeology, although the opportunity was grasped
in other medieval areas.31 Chauvin and Francey (1982) discuss the identification of Balerne abbey during the drought but provide no photographs
with the publication of the soundings.
The Aisne region has been systematically overflown and photographed for
a period of years by Michel Boureux (1978), whose work includes, as does
Agache's, a number of medieval sites. Boureux's (1985) recent partial survey
of the department of the Aisne by stereometric aerial photography includes
several abbeys and monastic farms. His photographs reveal not only destroyed buildings but also buried water systems, defenses, functional and
ornamental terracing, and general land management. Agache's discovery of
a completely unknown and impressive monastic grange site near Vironchaux
(Somme) reveals that the potential for aerial photography is considerable
indeed. The aerial photograph of the town of Sauxillanges (Puy-de-Dome),
which reveals the monastic precinct clearly in the modern street patterns,
makes evident the utility of the technique for urban sites as well (Fossier
1980). Miguet's (1986) combined use of old maps and aerial photography to
reconstruct the parcellaire of a Norman commandery and to trace its impact

given by Francoise Passard, "La prospection aerienne," Nouvelles de l'archeologieno. 28 (1987),


20-27.
29 David Knowles and
J. K. S. Saint-Joseph, Monastic Sitesfrom the Air (Cambridge, Eng., 1952).
30 The
general handbooks by David R. Wilson, Air Photo Interpretationfor Archaeologists(New
York, 1982), and Derrick N. Riley, Air Photographyand Archaeology(Philadelphia, 1987), provide
useful introductions to other technical publications and include some French material. The state
of research on techniques and methods has been gathered twice in the Council for British
Archaeology Research Reports. See David R. Wilson, ed., Aerial Reconnaissancefor Archaeologists,
Council of British Archaeology Research Report 12 (London, 1975), and G. S. Maxwell, ed.,
TheImpactof Aerial Reconnaissanceon Archaeology,Council of British Archaeology Research Report
49 (London, 1983).
31 The drought of 1976 is the subject of an entire fascicle of Dossiersde l'archeologie22 (1977)
entitled "Special: Archeologie aerienne, les grandes decouvertes de l'ete 1976."

The Archaeology of Monasticism


on the modern landscape shows clearly how rich the yield can be in an
integrated study. It is essential, then, that aerial photography receive greater
attention among monastic archaeologists working in France, not simply to
locate sites and structures, but also to aid in defining regions and regional
relationships among sites and between sites and natural features.
812

The archaeology of medieval monasticism in France over the last eighteen


years has produced significant results in the areas of site recognition and
plan recovery, the analysis of water systems, and the collection of ceramic,
floral, and faunal material. More attention needs to be given, however, to
non-Cistercian sites and to areas outside the church and chapter room.
Beyond the necessity for more work, there is also the need for fuller
analysis, for more comparative study, and for larger regional approaches. It
is essential that we begin to ask broader questions and that we devise more
ambitious strategies for monastic archaeology. We must change our perspective from the study of single sites to the analysis of regions. It was the larger
regional community, after all, which created the medieval monastery and
which imbued it with power, patronage, and significance.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
This bibliography includes articles and monographs concerning monastic archaeology in France published since 1970. It contains general works on medieval archaeology, single-site and comparative studies, and abstracts of field reports which treat
some aspect of the subject. We have aimed at comprehensiveness. Many of the works
included here are not referred to in the article.

Abbreviations
AduMM
AeB
AIBL-CR
AM
BAR
BM
CAAAH
CAP
DHetA
FSHAA-M
JFA
Melanges Dimier
La Neustrie

RANEO

Archeologiedu Midi medigvale


Archeologieen Bretagne
Academiedes inscriptionset belles-lettres.Comptesrendus des seances
Archeologiemedievale
British ArchaeologicalReports
Bulletin monumental
Cahiersalsaciens d'archeologie,d'art et d'histoire
Cahiersarcheologiquesde Picardie
Dossiers: Histoire et archeologie (= Dossiers d'archeologie to Nov.
1980)
Memoires de la Federation des Socie'ts d'histoireet d'archeologiede
l'Aisne
Journal of Field Archaeology
Benoit Chauvin, ed. Melanges a la memoiredu Pere AnselmeDimier.
Vol. 3, parts 5 and 6. Arbois, 1982.
Patrick Perin and Laure-Charlotte Feffer, eds. La Neustrie: Les
pays au nord de la Loire de Dagobert a Charles le Chauve (VIIe-IXe
siecles). Creteil, 1985.
Revue archeologiquedu nord-estde l'Oise

The Archaeology of Monasticism


RAO
RAP
RduN
SAF-B
SAHL-B
Saint-Gery
SAT-B
SHAS-B
SNAF-B

813

Revue archeologiquede l'Oise


Revue archeologiquede Picardie
Revue du Nord
Bulletin de la Societearcheologiquedu Finistere
Bulletin de la Societe archeologiqueet historiquedu Limousin
Michel Rouche, ed. Saint-Geryet la christianisationdans le nord de
la Gaule, Ve-IXe siecle. Actes du Colloque de Cambrai, 5-7 octobre
1984. (= Revue du Nord 68 [1986])
Bulletin trimestrielde la Societearcheologiquede Touraine
Bulletin de la Socidtehistoriqueet archeologiquede Soissons
Bulletin de la Societenationale des antiquairesde France

Agache, Roger. 1971. Detections aeriennes des vestiges protohistoriques,gallo-romains et


medievauxdans le bassin de la Sommeet ses abords.Bulletin de la Societeprehistoriquedu
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Sheila Bonde is Assistant'Professorin the Program in the History of Art and Architectureat
Brown University,Providence,RI 02912. ClarkMaines is Professorof Art Historyat Wesleyan
University,Middletown, CT 06457.