Starting from September 2017, Jip is working as a PhD within the Rural Riches project, which approaches the economy of post-Roman Northern Gaul from the bottom-up. Starting from the observation that a vast amount of objects, sometimes precious and exotic, have been found in thousands of cemeteries across the region, this project seeks to analyse the role of the rural, non-elite population within the Early Medieval economy.
Jip’s PhD, Towns and Elites in Merovingian Northern Gaul, investigates 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.
Jip has obtained his BA (cum laude) History and Research MA (cum laude) in Ancient History, both at Leiden University. Early on, he has developed an interest in the period of Late Antiquity and the transformation of the Roman World, with a particular focus on the sixth century A.D. Latin West. His BA-thesis critically examined ethnic identity in Ostrogothic Italy. His MA-thesis questioned the rigid division of Late Antique North African society into an urban, cosmopolitan society on the one hand, and an inland, indigenous and rural population on the other. Combining evidence from (physical) geography, survey archaeology, literary evidence and epigraphy, he instead posited the interrelationship of various local societies, only breaking down progressively in the sixth century A.D.