Honey trade was widespread in late medieval Europe, study finds
Europe was a veritable beehive of activity when it came to the medieval honey trade. A study just published in the Journal of…
New Medieval Books: The Fabric of the City: A Social History of Cloth Manufacture in Medieval Ypres
This is a very interesting book if you want to know more about how business and trade worked in the Middle Ages. It covers a full range of individuals and groups involved in this industry, from the owners to the workers, including some case studies.
Women’s Work in Catalonia with Sarah Ifft Decker
We know that women in the Middle Ages worked and contributed in vital ways to their families and communities, but where do we find the evidence? And what can it tell us? This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Sarah Ifft Decker about women’s work in medieval Catalonia, how we can trace it, and how it differed from city to city and faith to faith.
New Medieval Books: Message in a Bottle: Merchants’ letters, merchants’ marks and conflict management in 1533-34
This open-access book tells the story of a ship captured by pirates in 1533, and a batch of letters to Londoners that was recently rediscovered.
Was Feudalism Wasteful?
A look at the economics of feudalism can reveal a major fault of this system – the failure to put surplus earnings to productive uses.
The Consequences of Climate Change on the Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was affected by climate change. New research reveals how warming and cooling trends correspond to economic upswings and declines that took place in Byzantium.
Herring trade began in the Viking age, study finds
Herring bones from trading places in the Baltic Sea show that extensive trade was established already in the Viking Age. Historians previously believed extensive herring trade started around 1200.
Medieval shipwreck’s cargo revealed by researchers
Around the year 1440, a ship was sailing towards Belgium when it sank off the coast of Sweden. Researchers have now been able to determine its cargo – which included copper, oak timber, quicklime, tar, and bricks and roof tiles – offering insights into trade in northern Europe during the late Middle Ages.
Bees in the Medieval Mediterranean: Economic, environmental and cultural perspectives
Bees and bee products were of tremendous cultural significance in the Later Middle Ages
Elite Vikings wore beaver furs, study finds
Beaver fur was a symbol of wealth and an important trade item in 10th-century Denmark, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Norse traded walrus ivory in Kyiv, study finds
An archaeological dig in Kyiv in 2007 yielded amazing results.
Wayfinding Through the Stars: The Science and Craft of Medieval Navigation in the Indian Ocean
A case study of the practices of medieval Indian Ocean pilots, and quite particularly at their sophisticated usage of the lunar mansions (manazil al-qamar), and stars in general, for making their way through the ocean.
Old Barrels and Networks of Trade
How urban and marine archaeology allows us to dive into medieval international commerce.
Researchers to examine the origins of the Maritime Silk Route
An international team of researchers will be delving into medieval ceramics and how they led to the origins of the Maritime Silk Route.
Beta Samati and the Aksumite Empire of East Africa: From the Red Sea to the Ancient Mediterranean
This was the mighty Empire of Aksum, an ancient east African kingdom that thrived at the same time as the Roman and Byzantine empires.
Medieval Zanzibar’s environment damaged by urban growth, study finds
Humanity’s impact on the environment is often framed in the context of the post-industrial era but new archaeological research reveals how intensive land use by a medieval East African population altered their natural habitat forever.
Cryptocurrency and Medieval Monetary Theory
The state of affairs in late medieval France—also a time of inflation and economic uncertainty—has much to tell us about the digital economy.
Japan’s Medieval Economic Miracle
Mikael Adolphson on Japan’s economy between the 11th and 16th centuries
Viking trade with the Middle East dates back to the year 775, researchers find
An interdisciplinary Danish team of researchers has used new astronomical knowledge to establish an exact time anchor for the arrival of trade flows from the Middle East in Viking-age Scandinavia.
Salt mafias and rebellion in medieval China
Salt was big business in Tang China, and for certain individuals the vibrant but illegal trade in contraband salt paved the way for grander, imperial ambitions.
Massive early medieval wine factory discovered in Israel
A huge 1,500-year-old industrial estate has been uncovered in archeological excavations in the Israeli city of Yavne. During the Byzantine era this site could have produced as much as two million litres of wine every year.
The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began
Valerie Hansen will take us back to the year 1000 and discuss how globalization began. For the first time in world history an object or a message could travel all the way around the world.
From Moneylending to Hell
Moneylending was serious business in the Middle Ages. You could be risking your very soul! Lucie Laumonier talks with Sama Mammadova, a PhD candidate at Harvard University, who studies the history of usury and moneylending in fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italy. How did moneylenders reconcile their business with the fear of sin?
Could a pandemic destroy an economy? Iran and the Black Death
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.
Human Trafficking 1000 years ago
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.