added by archaeologs A political, economic, and social system by which the peasants of medieval Europe were dependent on their land and on their lord. Its basic unit was the manor, a self-sufficient landed estate, or fief, that was under the control of a lord who enjoyed a variety of rights over it and the peasants who were serfs. It was the focus of the feudal societies that developed in western Europe form the 8th-9th centuries. Well-known examples are 10th-12th-century sites of Goltho in Lincolnshire and Sulgrave in Northamptonshire for the Anglo-Norman period, and Wintringham, Lincolnshire, and Hound Tor, Devon, for the later Middle Ages. Houses of feudal lords from the 11th and 12th centuries in northern and western France have been excavated as well as small castles inside fortified villages, as at Rougiers in Provence or in Renaissance villages in Tuscany.