For about three centuries, the coastal town of Blankenberge would send to the nearby city of Bruges a porpoise. A new study examines this tradition and why it happened.
A team of geneticists and archaeologists has sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from Iran. This remarkable specimen has revealed sheep husbandry practices of the medieval Near East, as well as underlining how natural mummification can affect DNA degradation.
Digging up animal bones can teach us a lot about the Middle Ages – in fact, zooarcheologists are able to make them speak! Today’s guest is Erin Crowley-Champoux, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. She talks with Lucie Laumonier about zooarchaeology and how animal remains of the past can speak to social changes.
Among the most popular folk heroes of the Middle Ages is one who hails not from a traditional kingdom, but from the animal kingdom. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Anne Louise Avery about the charming, troubling, and evergreen trickster, Reynard the Fox.
Archaeologists at the University of Oulu observed that draught reindeer were used in Finnish Lapland at least 700 years ago.
If nothing else works, you could bring the vermin to justice.
This article investigates the way in which medieval farmers practiced sheep-rearing and looks at the profits they made with their herds.
One of the most influential animals of the medieval world, both in the barnyard and on the table, was also one of the most troublesome: the pig. This week, Danièle speaks with Jamie Kreiner about how the humble pig influenced everything from culture to theology.
The team extracted DNA from 44 tusks. By analyzing genetic sequences known to differ between African forest and savanna elephants, the scientists determined that all of the tusks they analyzed belonged to forest elephants.
This talk explores the fragmentary twelfth-century mural depicting an elephant, situated in the lowermost zone, or dado, of the choir wall in the church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption at Gourdon, a small village in the Charolais district of Burgundy. T
Kate Buchanan is joined by Kevin Malloy to discuss Kevin’s journey to studying medieval Scottish history, his work on medieval deer parks, and how researching medieval Scottish history can lead to other work.
Medieval historians can sometimes study quirky things. For John Wyatt Greenlee it is researching eels in the Middle Ages. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Surprised Eel Historian about the impact of this fish on the medieval world – who was eating them, how they were eating them, and why they were sometimes a great way to pay the rent.
How rabbit farming was a lucrative business in the Middle Ages.
There are tales of the ‘big fish’ that got away. Now, researchers from Lund University have revealed that a two-metre long Atlantic Sturgeon was able to escape a royal feast, by remaining in a barrel of a sunken ship for the last 525 years.
It is rare for archaeologists to come across the remains of a buried cat – to find one along the medieval Silk Road is even rarer.
Dogs and holiness in the stories of St Guinefort and St Christopher.
During the Northern Song period, the best regions for horse breeding had been snapped up by powerful steppe empires. So the Chinese state had to turn to other means to obtain good horses, coming up with a variety of innovative and ambitious schemes in the process.
The mysterious disappearance of Greenland’s Norse colonies sometime in the 15th century may have been down to the overexploitation of walrus populations for their tusks, according to a study of medieval artefacts from across Europe.
A team of researchers have shown that soon after the Norse arrived in Iceland, that island’s species of walrus went extinct.
The wild landscape in the medieval imagination is both enchanting and enchanted.
My research looks at specific acts of ritualised mortuary violence enacted on objects, animals, and people by Vikings in the British Isles, and aims to develop a new interpretative framework with which to consider them.
This article explores compelling and specific cases from France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in which animals were formally executed for crimes.
“I’ve never feared for myself any more than I did when I was entangled with that devil…”
In medieval literature boars made teh perfect enemies that the hero must conquer in order to complete their quest.