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Wasteland: Buffer in the Medieval Economy

At the end of the Roman period the area of wasteland seems to have increased. Since the increase or decrease in wasteland is closely linked with the economy in general, we can discern several periods of decline and growth.

Wild to domestic and back again: the dynamics of fallow deer management in medieval England

The medieval fashion for parks transformed the English landscape: it is estimated that by 1300 AD over 3000 had been established, covering about 2% of the total area of countryside

The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century

The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century By Mark Gardiner Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval Sea Fishing, eds. J. Barrett and D. Orton (Oxbow Books, 2016) Abstract: From the early fifteenth century English vessels began fishing in Icelandic waters. They adopted a mixed approach of fishing and trading to […]

Tips on being a good CEO from a medieval abbot

In many ways, Abbot Samson would resemble the Chief Executive Officer of a company – indeed, he was actually running a corporation that would have been worth tens of millions of pounds in today’s money

Common Rights and Natural Resources: The 1217 Charter of the Forest in Historical Perspective

It is the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest in 1217.

Historical rise of waterpower initiated the collapse of salmon stocks

We demonstrate that populations declined by up to 90% during the transitional period between the Early Middle Ages (c. 450–900 AD) and Early Modern Times (c. 1600 AD).

Historical evolution of forest management in Europe and in Japan

This paper describes in brief the historical evolution of forest management in Europe and in Japan and the motivations of these changes. In particular, the paper analyses three periods: pre-industrial (from the Middle-ages until the mid-17th century), industrial (from the mid-17th until the mid-20th century) and the post-industrial period (from the late-20th century until today)

Living by the Sea: Women, Work, and Family in Maritime Communities in Medieval England

I want to focus on how we can gender female the maritime world of ships, waterfronts, and coastal communities– a world that scholars have largely populated with adult males– focusing on four questions.

BOOK REVIEW: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.

Approaches to famine in medieval England

Given the potential importance of famine in medieval England, it is at least surprising that so little has been written on it. If we consider the greatest single famine event of the middle ages, the great famine of the early fourteenth century, a crisis event that may have killed something in the region of 10 per cent of the English population, the degree of historical discussion of this, relative to say investigation of the Black Death, is really quite muted.

The World’s Earliest Dated Tide Mill

Thomas McErlean discusses the story of the discovery the earliest mill in Ireland and the earliest presently known example of a tide mill in the world.

Fish commoditization and the historical origins of catching fish for profit

Herring trade expanded in the late 1300s with the introduction in Holland of an improved curing process that allowed the salting of fresh herring in barrels at sea.

How Much Taxes Did a Medieval Peasant Pay? The numbers from Sweden

A new study on taxation in late medieval Sweden has revealed fascinating details about how much peasants had to pay to the royal government in taxes.

Medieval poaching site discovered in England

Archaeologists working in northern England have uncovered a stone-lined cess pit that was filled with dozens of bones from deer. The evidence suggests that they were dumped here by poachers.

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

Local and Traditional on the Millennial Scale: Sustainable Waterfowl Management from Viking Age Iceland

Inhabited by Vikings since approximately 600 AD, the islands hosts an abundant, but terribly fragile resource, puffins, flightless birds that nest on rocky exposed cliffs, in easy range of the islanders other prime food source, pigs.

The imperial abbey of Ellwangen and its peasants: a study of the polyptych of 1337

This paper presents an analysis of Ellwangen Abbey’s polyptych of 1337, with a view to understanding better the nature of the south German rural economy in this period.

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

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.

BOOK REVIEW: Plague Land by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes brilliant medieval thriller, Plague Land.

Manor Village and Individual in Medieval England

This thesis explores peasant life of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in England from information found in the manorial court rolls-the village court records–of Ramsey Hepman grove and Bury.

Animals in Saxon and Scandinavian England

In this book an analysis of over 300 animal bone assemblages from English Saxon and Scandinavian sites is presented. The data set is summarised in extensive tables for use as comparanda for future archaeozoological studies.

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