As already mentioned in this section, the three structures (re)constructed in our Gyrwe’s farm and showcased in these Collections were excavated at Thirlings, New Bewick, and Yeavering. These places, all in current Northumberland, are located less than 30 Km inland from the important early medieval coastal sites of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh. The density of the archaeological record in these inland areas could be partially determined by the fact that their distance from the settlements on the coast corresponds to what can be covered during an ordinary day of march.

Thirlings and Yeavering are located in the Milfield Basin, where human activity associated to agricultural production is documented since prehistory. They are within a rich archaeological area of approximately 15 square kilometres that also comprises Milfield, Cheviot Quarry, and Lanton Quarry. All these sites have returned archaeological traces of early medieval settlements that have been dated by scholars between the 6th and the 7th century CE.

The interpretation of the archaeological record of these settlements and, in particular, of their building typologies has been pivotal in the debate about the social changes that occurred in Britain between the 5th and the 8th century CE. Basically, scholars attempted to establish whether the people who inhabited these buildings descended from indigenous “Romano-Britons” or from “Anglo-Saxons” who arrived from the Continent.