Recording Merovingians! Symposium 9th December

To celebrate the progress of the Rural Riches database we are hosting the symposium ‘Recording Merovingians!’ at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University on December 9th 2022.

As many of you probably know, we have been working on an online database collecting archaeological sites and historical attestations dating to the Merovingian Period in Northern Gaul (450-725). Up to now we have recorded information on 6873 sites and 1338 attestations, filled the bibliography with 9250 references, counted immense numbers of beads, brooches and glass vessels, recorded the location of finds in graves, and much more. This database will be a major instrument for future research on the Merovingian period.

We have been collecting sites in this database since the start of the RURAL RICHES project, which is financed by the European Research Council (ERC) under grant number 741340. You can find more information on the project here.

Now the Rural Riches project is coming to an end, the time has come to launch the Webportal which provides access to this database. After the 9th of December, the URL will be:

The festive launch of this new research tool will take place on December the 9th at the faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University during a one-day symposium on ‘Recording Merovingians’. Speakers from abroad will present comparable initiatives in France, Austria and Germany and members of the project will present their research. The programme of the symposium can be found below.

You are kindly invited to attend the symposium and the launch of the portal. We will celebrate the launch at the end of the day with a small party. For those who cannot travel to Leiden the symposium and the launch can be followed online followed using this link:

If you would like to join us in Leiden on the 9th of December please send an email to (before December 3th) with your name, affiliation and dietary wishes so we can plan lunches, coffee and tea.

We hope to welcome you all in Leiden very soon!

Frans Theuws & the Rural Riches team

printscreen of database webportal with map and number of sites, finds and attestations
Preview of database web portal

Symposium Programme

9 December 2022
Faculty of Archaeology Leiden

Rural Riches Project

09.00 Coffee
09.30 Frans Theuws (Leiden University): Introduction to the project
09.55 Stephan Eichert (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien)/Nina Richards (Östereichische
Akademie der Wissenschaften): Recording early medieval cemeteries in Austria
10.20 Mette Langbroek (Leiden University): Networks and bead research

10.45 Break (30 min)

11.15 Cyrille Le Forestier (National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research and
UMR6273, CRAHAM, University of Caen-Normandy): Recording early medieval
cemeteries in the Île the France
11.40 Femke Lippok (Leiden University): Burial rites and communities of practice
12.05 Susanne Brather-Walter (Universiät Freiburg): Digital beads of the Lauchheim

12.30 Lunch ( 60 min)

13.30 Jip Barreveld (Leiden University): The whereabouts of Merovingian kings
13.55 Rica Annaert (Flemish Heritage Agency): recording Merovingians in Belgium
14.20 Roeland Emaus (Leiden University): Digital Merovingians

14.45 break (30 min)

15.15 Phillip von Rummel (Deutsches Archäologische Institut): Recording Merovingians in
15.40 Frans Theuws/David Schaper (Leiden University): The Rural Riches database
16.05 Launch of the Portal by Phillip von Rummel

16.15 Drinks