Main article: Migration Period
2nd century CE to 5th century CE simplified migrations
During the 5th century CE, as the Western Roman Empire lost military strength and political cohesion, numerous Germanic peoples, under pressure from population growth and invading Asian groups, began migrating en masse in far and diverse directions, taking them to Great Britain and far south through present day Continental Europe to the Mediterranean and northern Africa. Over time, this wandering meant intrusions into other tribal territories, and the ensuing wars for land escalated with the dwindling amount of unoccupied territory. Wandering tribes then began staking out permanent homes as a means of protection. Much of this resulted in fixed settlements from which many, under a powerful leader, expanded outwards. A defeat meant either scattering or merging with the dominant tribe, and this continual process of assimilation was how nations were formed. In Denmark the Jutes merged with the Danes, in Sweden the Geats merged with the Swedes. In England, the Angles merged with the Saxons and other groups (notably the Jutes), as well as absorbing some natives, to form the Anglo-Saxons.
A direct result of the Roman retreat was the disappearance of imported products like ceramics and coins, and a return to virtually unchanged local Iron Age production methods. According to recent views this has caused confusion for decades, and theories assuming the total abandonment of the coastal regions to account for an archaeological time gap that never existed have been renounced. Instead, it has been confirmed that the Frisian graves had been used without interruption between the 4th and 9th century CE and that inhabited areas show continuity with the Roman period in revealing coins, jewellery and ceramics of the 5th century. Also, people continued to live in the same three-aisled farmhouse, while to the east completely new types of buildings arose. More to the south, in Belgium, archeological results of this period point to immigration from the north.
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