Seasonal Settlement in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside [Paperback]

Piers Dixon (Editor); Claudia Theune (Editor)

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ISBN: 9789464270099 | Published by: Sidestone Press | Series: Ruralia | Volume: 13 | Year of Publication: 2021 | Language: English 330p, H280 x W210 (mm) 117fc/22bw

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Hardback - ISBN: 9789464270105 - £ 185.00

Seasonal Settlement in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside


For the first time seasonality is placed at the centre of the study of rural settlement. Using a Europe-wide approach, it provides a primer of examples, of techniques and of ideas for the identification and understanding of seasonal settlement. As such, it marks an important new step in the interpretation of the use of the countryside by historic communities linked to the annual passage of the year. The particular studies are introduced by an opening essay which draws wider conclusions about the study of seasonal settlement, followed by 31 papers by authors from all parts of Europe and beyond.

By its very nature ephemeral, seasonal settlement in the medieval and early modern periods is less well researched than permanent settlement. It is often presumed that seasonal settlement is the result of transhumance, but it was only one facet of seasonal settlement. It was also necessitated by other forms of economic activity, such as fishing, charcoal-burning, or iron-smelting, including settlements of pastoralists such as nomads, drovers, herders as well as labourers’ huts within the farming context. The season a settlement was occupied varied from one activity to another and from one place to another - summer is good for grazing in many mountainous areas, but winter proved best for some industrial processes. While upland and mountainous settlements built of stone are easily recognised, those that use wood and more perishable materials are less obvious. Despite this, the settlements of nomadic pastoralists in both tundra and desert or of fishermen in the Baltic region are nonetheless identifiable. Yet for all that definitive recognition of seasonal settlement is rarely possible on archaeological grounds alone. Although material remains can be of particular importance, generally it is the combination of documentary information, ethnography, geographical context and palaeo-environmental data that provide frameworks for interpreting seasonal settlements.

Table of Contents

Piers Dixon and Claudia Theune
Seasonal settlement in rural archaeology as a research question
Piers Dixon
Too much environment and not enough history: the opportunities and challenges in researching seasonal settlement in Atlantic Europe
Richard Oram
Archaeological research on seasonal settlement in the south-west part of Europe – an overview
Caterina Tente and Margarita Fernandez Mier
Archaeological research into seasonal settlement in a medieval and early modern countryside landscape in East-Tyrol, Austria
Elizabeth Waldhart
A multi-disciplinary approach to the relationship between seasonal settlements and multiple uses: case studies from southern Europe (10th-21st Century)
Anna Maria Stagno
Transhumance in medieval Serbia
Ugljesa Vojvodic
Multi-functionality of grazing areas in the Cantabrian Mountains
Margarita Fernandez Mier and Pablo Gomez
Ploughs, herds and chafurdões: vernacular architecture and land-use in modern Castelo de Vide (Alto Alentejo, Portugal)
Fabián Cuesta-Gómez and Sara Prata
From Roman villa rustica to modern farmers grange – the specific way of seasonal settlements in eastern Croatia
Anita Rapan Papesa and Pia Smalcelj Novakovic
Seasonal settlement in Wales
Rhiannon Comeau and Bob Silvester
Seasonal upland settlement as an indicator of ‘glocalisation’ in rural northern Europe, c.1350-1850
Eugene Costello
Seasonal and/or permanent? Entangled flexibility in the Scandinavian forested mountains
Eva Svensson
Upland habitation at Castle Campbell in the Ochils, Scotland: a multi-functional historic landscape at Dollar Glen
Daniel Rhodes
Palynological data on vegetation and land use change at a shieling ground on Ben Lawers, Central Scottish Highlands, since the 13th century AD
Richard Tipping
From seasonal settlement to medieval villages? The early medieval settlement in coastal region of Uusimaa, southern Finland
Tuuli Heinonen
Building crannogs in the 9th–12th centuries AD in northern Scotland: an old tradition in a new landscape
Michael Stratigos
‘This piece of singular bad neighbourhood’: disputed upland grazing and deer preservation in Mamlorn Forest, Scotland 1730-1744
Ian Maclellan
Early medieval seasonal and temporary settlements in the forest zone of Eastern Europe: the case of the culture of Pskov long barrows
Elena Mikhaylova
Whisky distilling in rural post-medieval Scotland
Darroch Bratt
Seasonal settlements and the production of iron in the Norwegian mountains
Kjetil Loftsgarden
Settlements by seasonal horse markets in inland Norway
Marie Odegaard
Seasonality and the logistics of late medieval and early modern cattle trade in Hungary
Laszlo Ferenczi
In which part of the year did the iron smelting in the Drava valley occur?
Ivan Valent and Tajana Sekelj Ivancan
Albuen, the king’s herring market, Denmark
Leif Lauritsen
Seasonal activities and settlements in medieval and early modern Czech Lands
Tomas Klir and Martin Janovsky
Long term patterns of nomadic and sedentary settlement in the crowded desert of north-west Qatar
Jose Carvajal Lopez
Seasonal settlement of the Sámi reindeer herders in northernmost Fennoscandia c. 800–1950 AD
Oula Seitsonen
Changes in seasonal settlement patterns of the forest Sami in Fennoscandia
Gudrun Norstedt
Dendrochronological research to track transhumance through shepherds’ woodcarving in the Pyrenees
Mireia Celma-Martinez and Elena Muntán-Bordas
To browse and mast and meadow glades: seasonal settlement in the Weald of south-east England
Andrew Margetts
‘Living in the woods, living on pastures’: a historical and archaeological comparative study of seasonal pastoral and craft-related settlements in medieval and post-medieval southern France
Sylvain Burri
Places, territories and routes of medieval and early modern practice of pannage in Hungary
Czilla Zatyko

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