Historical evolution of forest management in Europe and in Japan

The forest in the black fog by Claudia Dea

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

Maryanne Kowaleski Living by the Sea

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

Books: 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

Detail of a miniature of deaths from famine - from British Library MS Royal 15 E.IV, f.187

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

Nendrum, Mahee Island. Photo by Rowan McLaughlin

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

A Brixham trawler by William Adolphus Knell,

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

ruin of an medieval monastery named Alvastra in Östergötland county Sweden - Photo by Stefan / Flickr

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

medieval deer hunting scene - British Library Egerton 1146   f. 5v

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

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

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

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

Ellwangen - photo by

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

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.

BOOK REVIEW: Plague Land by SD Sykes

Plague Land by SD Sykes

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

Manor Village and Individual in Medieval England

Medieval peasants

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

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.

Primstav and Apocalypse Time and its Reckoning in Medieval Scandinavia

Primstav - Runic Calendar - Museum of History in Lund, Sweden.

This work is intended as an exploration of methods of time-reckoning and conception in Medieval Scandinavia. In the main this is tied to the dynamism between a duality: that of the cyclical and linear models of time‟s progression. Involved in this study are sources verbal and pictoral.

New study to look at Norse farming on the Orkney Isles

17th Century map of the Orkney Islands

A year-long study will begin this fall that will look look at herding economies in the Orkney Isles from the 8th to the 15th century AD.

The role of goat in English medieval husbandry and economy

medieval goat

This paper presents a summary of an on-going PhD project that aims to re-assess the role of goats in the medieval economy and society of England.

The emergence of concentrated settlements in medieval Western Europe: explanatory frameworks in the historiography

medieval village

There is now a general scholarly consensus that the concentration of rural people into settlements in Western Europe (as opposed to dispersed or scattered habitations across the countryside) occurred in various stages between the eighth and twelfth centuries, though with regional divergences in precise timing, speed, formation, and intensity.

Bastard Feudalism in England in the Fourteenth Century


As this summary indicates, the study of fifteenth-century bastard feudalism has shown the necessity of exploring both the private relationship – its nature, extent and function – and the public system of local rule within which it operated and of which it was an essential part.

How to defraud your lord on the medieval manor

Medieval fraud

Here are six ways to commit fraud explained by Robert Carpenter in the 13th century.

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