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This paper aims to bring together hitherto neglected archaeological data about the early medieval landscapes of Galicia (north-west Spain), in order to understand the social transformations this ‘peripheral’ region underwent between the fifth and the ninth centuries and to frame them in the context of wider European debates. Despite its many limitations, the archaeology reveals that until the middle of the seventh century, the late antique society of Gallaecia experienced a previously unsuspected vitality. At this point a socio-political fragmentation occurred, which was characterized by the strengthening of local power, until a further change took place with the progressive incorporation of Galicia into the Asturian kingdom in the ninth century.