• Placing the Pillar of Eliseg: Movement, Visibility and Memory in the Early Medieval Landscape

      Murrieta-Flores, Patricia; Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis/Society for Medieval Archaeology, 2017-06-19)
      The landscape context of the early 9th-century monument known as the Pillar of Eliseg is interrogated here for the first time with GIS-based analysis and innovative spatial methodologies. Our interpretation aims to move beyond regarding the Pillar as a prominent example of early medieval monument reuse and a probable early medieval assembly site. We demonstrate that the location and topographical context of the cross and mound facilitated the monument’s significance as an early medieval locus of power, faith and commemoration in a contested frontier zone. The specific choice of location is shown to relate to patterns of movement and visibility that may have facilitated and enhanced the ceremonial and commemorative roles of the monument. By shedding new light on the interpretation of the Pillar of Eliseg as a node of social and religious aggregation and ideological power, our study has theoretical and methodological implications for studying the landscape contexts of early medieval stone monuments.