Linear Pasts and Presents: Researching Dykes, Frontiers and Borderlands

Howard Williams


This editorial essay introduces the fifth volume of the Offa’s Dyke Journal (ODJ) by presenting a review of the contents, recent related research published elsewhere, and the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory’s activities during 2022 and early 2023.


borderlands; dykes; frontiers; identity; linear earthworks; memory

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Comeau, R. and Seaman, A., with Davies, T., Hemer, K., Redknap, M., and Shiner, M. 2023. Research Framework for the Archaeology of Early Medieval Wales c. AD400–1070.

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Ray, K., Bailey, R., Copeland, T., Davies, T., Delaney, L., Finch, D., Heaton, N., Hoyle, J. and Maddison, S. 2021. Offa’s Dyke: a continuing journey of discovery. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 33–82.

Seaman, A. 2019. Llywarch Hen’s Dyke: place and narrative in early medieval Wales. Offa’s Dyke Journal 1: 96–113.

Swales, W. 2019. Grinton-Fremington dykes: names, places and spaces. Landscapes 20(1): 4–23.

Swogger, J. and Williams, H. 2021. Drawing the line: What’s Wat’s Dyke? Practice and process. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 211–242.

Wilken, D., Hadler, H., Wunderlich, T., Majchczack, B., Schwardt, M., Fediuk, A., Fischer, P., Willerschäuser, T., Klooß, Vött, A. and Rabbel, W. 2022. Lost in the North Sea—Geophysical and geoarchaeological prospection of the Rungholt medieval dyke system (North Frisia, Germany). PloS ONE 17(4): e0265463.

Williams, H. 2020a. Collaboratory, coronavirus and the colonial countryside. Offa’s Dyke Journal 2: 1–28.

Williams, H. 2020b. Living after Offa: place-names and social memory in the Welsh Marches. Offa’s Dyke Journal 2: 103–40.

Williams, H. 2021a. Collaboratory through crises: researching linear monuments in 2021. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 1–16.

Williams, H. 2021b. Rethinking Wat’s Dyke: a monument’s flow in a hydraulic frontier zone. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 151–182.

Williams, H. and Delaney, L. 2019. The Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory and the Offa’s Dyke Journal. Offa’s Dyke Journal 1: 1–31.

Williams, H. and Swogger, J. 2021. What’s Wat’s Dyke? Wrexham Comic Heritage Trail. Offa’s Dyke Journal 3: 183–210.



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Edited in Madrid by JAS Arqueología