Jip Barreveld is a PhD researcher in the Rural Riches project. As a historian with a strong interest in archaeology, he graduated (cum laude) in a (R)MA Ancient History in 2018 at Leiden University. His previous research concerned ethnic identity in Ostrogothic Italy for his BA; for his MA-thesis he studied the relationship between inland and urban communities in Late Antique North Africa (4th-6th centuries AD), combining evidence from geography, survey archaeology, and historical sources.
Jip is now working in the Rural Riches project on ‘Centres and elites in Merovingian Northern Gaul’, investigating the presence of elites and the extent of elite control over the economy within the region. If richly furnished graves are no longer accepted at face-value as evidence for elite status, then aristocrats are difficult to find in the archaeological record. The presence, or absence, of elites will have important ramifications for our understanding of the social and economic organisation of post-Roman society. The research focuses on whether the old Roman civitas centres and the newly rising towns (former vici) were residential centres for the 6th century aristocracy.