Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

Enemy and Ancestor: Viking Identities and Ethnic Boundaries in England and Normandy, c.950 – c.1015

The Bayeux Tapestry and the Vikings

This thesis is a comparison of ethnicity in Viking Age England and Normandy. It focuses on the period c.950-c.1015, which begins several generations after the initial Scandinavian settlements in both regions.

Call for Papers: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015)


CFP: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015)

Stature and frailty during the Black Death: the effect of stature on risks of epidemic mortality in London, A.D. 1348-1350

The excavation site at East Smithfield. Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster, has identified the bacteria responsible for causing the 1348 Black Death. Photo reproduced courtesy of the Museum of London

Recent research has shown that pre-existing health condition affected an individual ’ s risk of dying duringthe 14th-century Black Death. However, a previous study of the effect of adult stature on risk of mortality during the epidemic failed to find a relationship between the two; this result is perhaps surprising given the well-documented inverse association between stature and mortality in human populations.

Body Mass and Body Mass Index estimation in medieval Switzerland

Medieval food - diet-

The aim of the present study is to test the available BM estimation formulae based on the femoral head breadth (Auerbach and Ruff 2004, Grine et al. 1995, McHenry 1992, Ruff et al. 1991) on skeletal populations from medieval Switzerland and to reconstruct the BM and the BMI within a specific temporal and geographical setting.

Ancient DNA analysis indicates the first English lions originated from North Africa

Tower of London - Royal Menagerie

Although the Royal Menagerie and its animals are known from documentary records, few physical re- mains survive (O’Regan et al., 2005). Amongst the rare exceptions are two lion skulls that were recovered from the moat of the Tower of London during excava- tions in 1936-1937. These skulls were recently radio- carbon-dated to AD1280-1385 and AD1420-1480.

Medieval Urban Literacy: Questions and Possibilities

16th c. women

In the Middle Ages, in towns one seems to have had more chance of being confronted with writing than elsewhere. Certain urban milieus participating in written culture, however, have caught the scholars’ attention more than others. Studies of the urban communes of northern Italy have suggested a direct link between the reception of the written word in daily life and the emergence of literate mentalities.

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