“When, how, and why did the Black Death reach Europe?” These are the questions asked by Hannah Barker. In a new article, the historian finds that the long-believed story of how this great medieval plague reached Europe is likely untrue, and that the story of the pandemic’s spread has to deal with grain and trade.
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.
New research on beads discovered in Western Africa has revealed their origins came from thousands of kilometres away, and helps to show what goods were moving along medieval trade routes.
This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle is joined by Peter Konieczny to discuss The Merchant of Prato and the lives of Francesco and Margherita Datini. Their story from 14th century Italy comes from one of the richest document finds ever made!
A look back at the Black Death reveals how even regions that were not hard-hit by the plague would find themselves suffering other repercussions.
De Administrando Imperio is one of the first Byzantine accounts of contact between their empire and the Vikings.
We know we know about Nubia. We know about Egypt. We know about Carthage in the classical era. But the Berber, the Almohads, the Almoravids, and the kingdoms of Ghana and Songhai, and the great many other cultures that rose up and thrived on the western edges of the Sahara in the period of the medieval
In the mid-sixth century the Byzantine Empire was hit by both a pandemic and climate change. New research reveals how grape seeds discovered from that period reveal the scope of the empire’s economic downturn.
Sam Nixon explores the development of the medieval-era camel caravan trade across the Sahara which gave rise to Timbuktu
This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Dr. Valerie Hansen to get a global perspective on the Middle Ages at the turn of the millennium, including how cultures were connecting in the year 1000, what goods people were trading, and just how far the trade routes went.
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.
This article examines how Mývatn Icelanders were able to partially connect to the continental trade in beads, the Baltic trade in flint, and to other European trade networks operating between the 9th and 15th centuries, and to what extent these networks were able to influence the early Mývatn economy.
This paper explores the importance of new technologies in the art historical study of Medieval West Africa and how related methodologies both help us understand the important art and architectural landscape here in this period, and how Africa and the eastern Coptic Christian world helped to reshape Africa in this era.
Incidents of maritime violence such as this were common in the Mediterranean during the later Middle Ages.
Human trafficking was taking place in the Mediterranean a thousand years ago. A recent article takes a look at how and why this business was taking place.
The Viking towns of Birka, Kaupang, Hedeby and Ribe have captured the imagination of archaeologists and the public alike, presenting the lives of their enigmatic inhabitants.
New article argues the Vikings were pushed out of Scandinavia and had to attack raid lands such as the British Isles, since they were prevented from attacking targets closer to home.
This article suggests that minting at Carthage of the Byzantine gold coins known as globular solidi was related to the acquisition of metal through developing trans-Saharan contacts.
Why do we find coins from Central Asia and silver from Iran in Lincolnshire? What prompted medieval people to pack up and look for opportunity and adventure elsewhere?
The Venetians were conspicuous among the merchants resuming trade in Mamluk lands shortly after the fall of Acre in 1291.
In addition to the inability of the manor to be self-sufficient, the human desire for luxuries, foreign goods, such as fine clothing, highly decorated weapons, and exceptional foods, especially foreign wines and spices, tended to keep commerce alive.
The story of the Venetian-Byzantine military alliance is a complex one, with many questions that need to be answered.
Commercial trade routes, including the fur trade routes, would have contributed to the rapid spread of the Black Death and other epidemics throughout Europe.
Norse woven textiles definitely were acquired by Thule people much farther to the north and during the late 13th century. The AMS date received from Skraeling Island helps to narrow the age of the woven woolen cloth recovered there, and implies that interactions between the Norse and Thule Inuit may have begun almost as soon as these Arctic pioneers arrived from Alaska