What is A DMV?; Clovis Points, USA; Uruk, Iraq.

What is a DMV?

DMV stands for Deserted Medieval Village. There are two main periods where many villages were abandoned – the 11th- 12th centuries and the 14th-15th centuries.

Medieval villages were made up of strips of land called tofts and on these a person or family built their croft (small house) – tofts and crofts!!! And there were usually 6 or more of these in a village. The village also included a church, a Manor where the Lord lived, and trackways.

Aerial View of Wharram Percy ©www.webbaviation.co.uk
Aerial View of Wharram Percy

During the 11th and 12th centuries, after the Norman’s had invaded England, they kicked a lot of the people off their land and built their castles. They sometimes rebuilt villages for people to work the land for them – they also had to pay the Lord from their own land – toft – for the privilege of being in the village.

People also had to leave their land when the Church decided they wanted to build new cathedrals and monasteries. Again, the local people either left or were forced to work on the Church lands.

Houndtor Deserted Medieval Village ©www.english-heritage.org.uk
Houndtor Deserted Medieval Village

During the 14th and 15 centuries villages were deserted too – mostly due to the Black Death (the Plague) which killed just over a third of the population of England. Other reasons were failed crops due to the climate becoming wetter and economic pressures.

Also Enclosure was becoming popular. Enclosure is where the Lords and land owners found that they could make more money by keeping sheep, so they kicked everyone off and only kept a few on the look after the sheep. Another reason people were made to leave was that the Lords wanted to make great views from their manors, but the tofts and crofts were in the way – so they simply demolished them all and opened up their views of the countryside to impress their friends!

Four well known DMV’s in Britain are

  • Wharram Percy, Yorkshire,
  • Upton, Gloucestershire,
  • Goltho, Lincolnshire, and
  • Houndtor, on Dartmoor, Devon.

All that remains of these once bustling villages are a few lumps and bumps in the ground. Occasionally a church may have survived, and the clue is finding a church which appears to be in the middle of nowhere!



  • Clarke. H. 1984. The Archaeology of Medieval England. London: British Museum Publications.
  • Houndtor Deserted Medieval Village – ©www.english-heritage.org.uk.
  • Aerial View of Wharram Percy – ©www.webbaviation.co.uk



Archaeology Wow!! – Clovis Points

Following on from last week and the paleoindian cultures of North America – this week we look at Clovis Points.

The Clovis culture existed at around 13,500 years ago and shows how the early paleoindians were adapting to their culture following on from the crude pre-Clovis culture.

Clovis points from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa, USA ©Billwhittaker
Clovis points from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa, USA

The points are bifacial with convex sides which have been pressure flaked to give their distinctive style. These were hafted (placed on the end of a stick) and used for hunting. They were first found at Clovis in New Mexico in 1929, and they are named after the site.

Clovis Points Distribution Map © http://pidba.utk.edu/maps.htm
Clovis Points Distribution Map
© http://pidba.utk.edu/maps.htm

The above map shows the distribution of Clovis technology. The culture developed in America as it is not found anywhere else in the world and their technology also included knives, gravers, end scrapers and large blades.

There are many examples of them in American museums – make sure you check them out!!



  • Collins. M. B., & Kay. M. 2010. Clovis Blade Technology: A Comparative Study of the Keven Davis Cache, Texas. Texas: University of Texas.
  • Peck. T. R. 2010.  Light from Ancient Campfires: Archaeological Evidence for Native Lifeways on the Northern Plains. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press.
  • Clovis points from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa, USA. ©Billwhittaker at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons.
  • Clovis Points Distribution Map – © http://pidba.utk.edu/maps.htm


Archaeological Site Guide – Uruk, Iraq

Iruk was the world’s first city – truly incredible!! It lies in what was once Mesopotamia and dates back to 4,000 BC. It covered around 600-700 hectares, had about 60,000 inhabitants and included temples and a large stone built city wall. The two main areas were Eanna and Anu where the Temples were located.

Reconstruction of Uruk © www.faz.net
Reconstruction of Uruk
© www.faz.net

The archaeological periods for the city are

  • Uruk XVIII Eridu period (c 5000 BC); the founding of Uruk
  • Uruk XVIII-XVI Late Ubaid period (4800–4200 BC)
  • Uruk XVI-X Early Uruk period (4000–3800 BC)
  • Uruk IX-VI Middle Uruk period (3800–3400 BC)
  • Uruk V-IV Late Uruk period (3400–3100 BC); The earliest monumental temples of Eanna District are built
  • Uruk III Jemdet Nasr period (3100–2900 BC); The 9 km city wall is built
  • Uruk II
  • Uruk I
Uruk © www.brynmawr.edu
© www.brynmawr.edu

The city was made up of farmers, herdsmen, craftsmen and artisans and some really beautiful artefacts have been uncovered.

Uruk Trough - British Museum © By Jononmac46
Uruk Trough – British Museum
© By Jononmac46
Male Bust in the Louvre, Paris Public Domain
Male Bust in the Louvre, Paris
Public Domain

Uruk surely is a gem and it is critical that the site is saved from destruction and war. It would truly be a huge loss to the world if it was destroyed 🙁



  • Uruk – © www.brynmawr.edu.
  • Reconstruction of Uruk – © www.faz.net.
  • Eanna District of Uruk – © By Lamassu Design Gurdjieff (talk).Gurdjieff at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.
  • Male Bust in the Louvre, Paris – Public Domain.
  • Uruk Trough – British Museum – © By Jononmac46 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.



Great Books to Read…….



Great Web Pages to Look At…….


Activity –  Word Search 28 November 2014

One Comment on “What is A DMV?; Clovis Points, USA; Uruk, Iraq.

  1. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #11 | Doug's Archaeology

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