Everyday Products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the individual in Northern Europe c. AD 800-1600 [Hardback]

Gitte Hansen (Editor); Steven Ashby (Editor); Irene Baug (Editor)

ISBN: 9781782978053 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 352p, H240 x W170 (mm) b/w and col. illustrations

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Paperback - ISBN: 9781789252118 - £ 38.00

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Everyday Products in the Middle Ages


The medieval marketplace is a familiar setting in popular and academic accounts of the Middle Ages, but we actually know very little about the people involved in the transactions that took place there, how their lives were influenced by those transactions, or about the complex networks of individuals whose actions allowed raw materials to be extracted, hewn into objects, stored and ultimately shipped for market. Twenty diverse case studies combine leading edge techniques and novel theoretical approaches to illuminate the identities and lives of these much overlooked ordinary people, painting of a number of detailed portraits to explore the worlds of actors involved in the lives of everyday products - objects of bone, leather, stone, ceramics, and base metal - and their production and use in medieval northern Europe. In so doing, this book seeks to draw attention away from the emergent trend to return to systems and global models, and restore to centre stage what should be the archaeologist’s most important concern: the people of the past.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Chapter 1: Everyday products in the Middle Ages: Crafts, Consumption and the Individual in Northern Europe c. AD 800-1600: An Introduction
Steven P. Ashby, Gitte Hansen, and Irene Baug
Chapter 2:‘With staff in hand, and dog at heel’? What did it mean to be an ‘Itinerant’ artisan?
Steven P. Ashby
Chapter 3: Itinerant Craftspeople in 12th Century Bergen, Norway - Aspects of Their Social Identities
Gitte Hansen
Chapter 4: Urban craftspeople at Viking-age Kaupang
Unn Pedersen
Chapter 5. Crafts in the landscape of the powerless
A combmaker’s workshop at Viborg SøndersøAD 1020-1024
Jette Linaa
Chapter 6. Bone-workers in medieval Viljandi, Estonia: comparison of finds from downtown and the Order’s castle
Heidi Luik
Chapter 7: Consumers and Artisans: Marketing Amber and Jet in the Early Medieval British Isles
Carolyn Coulter
Chapter 8. The home-made shoe, a glimpse of a hidden, but most‘affordable’, craft.
Quita Mould
Chapter 9. Fashion and Necessity. Anglo-Norman leatherworkers and changing markets
Quita Mould and Esther Cameron
Chapter 10. Tracing the nameless actors: Leatherworking and production of leather artefacts in the town of Turku and Turku Castle, SW Finland
Janne Harjula
Chapter 11. Ambiguous Stripes: a Sign for Fashionable Wear in Medieval Tartu
Riina Rammo,
Chapter 12. Silk finds from Oseberg: Production and distribution of high status markers across ethnic boundaries
Marianne Vedeler
Chapter 13. The soapstone vessel production and trade of Agder and its actors
Torbjørn P. Schou
Chapter 14. Actors in quarrying. Production and distribution of quernstones and bakestones during the Viking Age and the Middle Ages
Irene Baug
Chapter 15. The role of Laach Abbey in the medieval quarrying and stone trade
Meinrad Pohl
Chapter 16. Iron producers in Hedmark in the medieval period - who were they?
Bernt Rundberget
Chapter 17. What did the blacksmiths do in Swedish towns? Some new results
Hans Andersson
Chapter 18. The Iron Age blacksmith, simply a craftsman?
Roger Jørgensen
Chapter 19. Bohemian Glass in the North: Producers, distributors and consumers of late medieval vessel glass
Georg Haggrén
Chapter 20. If sherds could tell: imported ceramics from the Hanseatic hinterland in Bergen, Norway. Producers, traders and consumers: who were they, and how were they connected?
Volker Demuth
Chapter 21. Marine trade and transport-related crafts and their actors: People without archaeology?
Natascha Mehler

Reviews & Quotes

"The whole volume will, I am sure, bring alive to all readers many of these 'everyday' craftspeople, products and processes of the early to late medieval North European world."
Neil Christie
Medieval Settlement Research Vol 31

"Collections of essays can be unwieldy and unfocused, but such, I am happy to report, is not the case with 'Everyday Products in the Middle Ages'… the archaeological analysis takes scholars to topics that are otherwise ignored by textual sources."
The Medieval Review
The Medieval Review

"So much archaeological research on the medieval period purports to be about people but is actually about processes and ‘-isms’. In this volume, however, while the broad concepts and issues are never farm from the surface, real people making everyday items are at the forefront, and their decisions, practices, skills and knowledge – plus something of the hustle and bustle of daily life – emerge vividly from the detailed accounts presented in individual chapters, most of which are well supported by illustrations."
Dawn Hadley
Medieval Archaeology (17/10/2017)

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