Features Podcast

Old Barrels and Networks of Trade

How urban and marine archaeology allows us to dive into international commerce. In this episode of the Medieval Grad Podcast, Lucie Laumonier interviews Jeroen Oosterbaan, who is doing a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Leiden. Jeroen studies casks and barrels found in shipwrecks and in urban settings to investigate the networks of trade in the premodern Low Countries. More specifically, Jeroen looks at the residues inside of the barrels to identify their content and at the barrels themselves to know where they came from. Our guest walks us through the science behind his research and tells us about his preliminary findings. Who would have known that old casks had so many secrets?!

Jeroen Oosterbaan is currently a PhD student in Archaeology at the University of Leiden. Click here to view his university webpage. See also The Leiden Medievalists Blog for more about his work and those of other graduate students at the University of Leiden.


Here are some of Jeroen’s recommended readings:

Bochove, C. van, The economic consequences of the Dutch. Economic integration around the North Sea, 1500-1800 (Amsterdam, 2008)

Dijkman, J., Shaping Medieval Markets. The Organisation of Commodity Markets in Holland, c. 1200 – c. 1450 (Brill, 2011)


Epstein, S.R., Freedom and growth : the rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750 (London, 2000)

Kilby, K., The cooper and his trade (London, 1971)

Munck, B. de, Guilds, labour and the urban body politic: fabricating community in the Southern Netherlands, 1300–1800 (New York-London, 2018)

See also: Viking trade with the Middle East dates back to the year 775, researchers find

The Medieval Grad Podcast is hosted by Lucie Laumonier. Lucie is an affiliate assistant professor at Concordia University. Click here to view her page or follow her on Instagram at The French Medievalist. She is also a columnist on, writing about agriculture and rural life in the Middle Ages.


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The music in this podcast is La douce jouvencelle

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