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How fruits spread along the Silk Road in the Middle Ages

New research reveals that many of the most familiar fruits in our kitchens today were cultivated in Central Asia over a millennium ago

Uncovering the glass-industry in 9th century Iraq

Analysis of chemical composition of glass specimens allows reconstruction of glass supply and exchange networks in the Abbasid Caliphate

Ancient DNA reveals the chronology of walrus ivory trade from Norse Greenland

These results reveal a significant shift in trade from an early, predominantly eastern source towards a near exclusive representation of Greenland ivory.

The Italian “commercial revolution”: an archaeological reading

Archaeology tells us more about how commerce really worked than written texts do, but it has not been used enough to construct historical narratives on its own; this lecture will offer one.

How did a cockatoo reach 13th century Sicily?

Frederick II’s cockatoo provides a rare window into that world – a medieval world that was surprisingly interconnected.

Literacy and Trade in Late Medieval Norway

The present article tries to study whether or not it is possible to relate the notion of literacy to trade in this period of time in late medieval Norway.

The elusive Norse harbours of the North Atlantic: why they were abandoned, and why they are so hard to find

In the 8th century, Scandinavians began to press westwards across the North Atlantic; exploring, raiding, colonizing and trading.

The Road to China: Seaborne Exploration in Medieval Islam

This lecture explores how sea and mainland trade with China was one of the most important aspects of the flourishing of Islam in the Middle Ages.

Assembling the archaeology of the global Middle Ages

Responding to recent developments in archaeological theory and growing interest in the ‘global Middle Ages’, an approach to exploring relations between local and global processes in the medieval world is proposed.

World cities before globalisation: The European city network, A.D. 1300-1600

This dissertation is a quantitative study of the spatial business strategies of 130 late medieval and 16th-century European commercial and banking firms, the business networks of which have been put together for a structural analysis of the European city network between ca. 1300 and ca. 1600.

Linking the Mediterranean: The Construction of Trading Networks in 14th and 15th-century Italy

When the Mediterranean Sea is discussed historically, it is never a simple question of geography. Its meaning remains somewhat indeterminate. It refers to intellectual journeys that do not circumnavigate any one particular region; it indicates periods that splash over.

Walrus Ivory and a History of Trade: Greenland Trade Networks in the North Atlantic

Norse settlement in Greenland represents the far westward reach of Norse influence. Despite being a considerable distance from other settlements, the Greenland colony was not nearly as isolated as it appeared.

Catalan commerce in the late Middle Ages

In this article I shall examine the maritime commercial activities of Catalans abroad.

Animals came with medieval trade in Indian Ocean, researchers find

The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

DNA samples reveal Viking Age fish trade

It has been assumed that the Vikings were trading in cod, but so far solid evidence has been lacking. With new methods, it is possible to extract ancient DNA from fishbone remnants and this can provide some exciting new information!

Clothes Make the (Wo)Man: Interpreting Evidence of the Secondhand Clothing Trade in Late Medieval England

There is very little work done on the topic of secondhand clothing in the Middle Ages, but what has been done has revealed a new phenomenon that reshaped the social structure of medieval England.

The Affects of Warfare Upon Trade: Growth in a War-Torn World, Northern Europe 1000-1700

By requiring rulers to raise new revenue streams, warfare forced them to bargain for new resources. This bargaining granted concessions to cities and merchants, in the form of city charters and monopolies, which encouraged trade and therefore increased the economic well-being of the affected states.

The Growth of London as a Port from Roman to Medieval Times

Rather than describing a history of the port of London, it seems more appropriate to say PORTS of London, since the locations, vessels, cargoes and waterfront facilities differed as much as the prevalent languages, cultures and currencies.

Enforcing contracts for Valencian commerce: the institutional foundations of international trade in the first half of the fifteenth century

This paper tries to explore how contract enforcement was handled in the cross-religious environment of late medieval Christian Valencia, Muslim Granada and North Africa, given the fact that each religious community has usually been assumed to apply their own set of rules through their own community courts.

Was it for walrus? Viking Age settlement and medieval walrus ivory trade in Iceland and Greenland

The Norse expansion into the North Atlantic is remarkable testimony to the maritime transformation of the early medieval world.

The Getty Enchants with Alchemy Exhibits

Long shrouded in secrecy, alchemy was once considered the highest of arts. Straddling art, science, and natural philosophy, alchemy has proven key to both the materiality and creative expression embedded in artistic output, from ancient sculpture and the decorative arts to medieval illumination, and masterpieces in paint, print, and a panoply of media from the European Renaissance to the present day.

The Globalised World of the Middle Ages: An archaeologist’s view

This talk outlines how archaeologists can reveal the globalised world, with examples from medieval West Africa and the Indian Ocean. What can objects tell us about how our ancestors engaged with their immediate world, and the world beyond?

The Extent of Indigenous-Norse Contact and Trade Prior to Columbus

The full extent of Norse exploration in North America is a growing field and the extent of their contact and trade with Indigenous Americans is becoming increasingly known.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Dirhams for slaves: Investigating the Slavic slave trade in the tenth century

The idea that a massive trade in Slavic slaves underpinned the economic growth of Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries is not new. It is, however, most often only implicit; and at any rate, it is very rarely discussed.

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