Book Series Studies in the History of Daily Life (AD 800-1600), vol. 3

Objects, Environment, and Everyday Life in Medieval Europe

Ben Jervis, Lee G. Broderick, Idoia Grau-Sologestoa (eds)

  • Pages: xii + 313 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:65 b/w, 20 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2016

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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55503-4
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56204-9
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This volume presents Europe-wide perspectives on urban life in medieval Europe through the study of artefacts and environmental remains.


"This book is well produced and looks attractive " (Else Roesdahl, in The Medieval Review, 2016.11.06)

"The essays included in Objects, Environment, and Everyday Life in Medieval Europe are highly detailed, specialist analyses, surprisingly readable for the most part, and (…) of consistently high quality." (Stephanie Hollis, in Parergon, 33/2, 2016, p. 155)


Dr Ben Jervis is a specialist in the study of medieval pottery and is Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology at Cardiff University. He is the author of Pottery and Social Life in Medieval England (Oxbow books)

Lee G. Broderick is a zooarchaeological consultant and a PhD researcher at the University of York.

Idoia Grau-Sologestoa is a PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield, studying faunal remains from medieval Spain.


Artefacts and environmental remains are abundant from archaeological excavations across Europe, but until now they have most commonly been used to accompany broader narratives built on historical sources and studies of topography and buildings, rather than being studied as important evidence in their own right. The papers in this volume aim to redress the balance by taking an environmental and artefact-based approach to life in medieval Europe.

The contributions included here address central themes such as urban identities, the nature of towns and their relationship with their hinterlands, provisioning processes, and the role of ritual and religion in everyday life. Case studies from across Europe encourage a comparative approach between town and country, and provide a pan-European perspective to current debates.

The volume is divided into four key parts: an exploration of the processes of provisioning; an assessment of the dynamics of urban population; an examination of domestic life; and a discussion of the status quaestionis and future potential of urban environmental archaeology. Together, these sections make a significant contribution to medieval archaeology and offer new and unique insights into the conditions of everyday life in medieval Europe.



Part 1. Provisioning as Process

Zooarchaeology at Medieval Ipswich: From wic to Regional Market Town — PAM CRABTREE

An Archaeobotanical Perspective on Wooden Artefacts from Medieval Reykjavík — DAWN MOONEY

Building the Towns: The Interrelationship Between Woodland History and Urban Life in Viking Age Ireland — EILEEN REILLY, SUSAN LYONS, ELLEN O’CARROLL, LORNA O’DONNELL, INGELISE STUIJTS, and ADRIENNE CORLESS

Urban Patterns of Animal Husbandry on Three Sites in Medieval Anatolia — EVANGELIA PIŞKIN

Part 2. Social Dynamics

Patterns of Diversity: Using Ceramics to Examine the Social Topography of the Medieval Town of Płock, Poland — MACIEJ TRZECIECKI

Meat Consumption as Identity of Status and Profession during the Middle Ages: A Review of the Zooarchaeological Evidence from Rome and Latium (Italy) — CLAUDIA MINNITI

Mounts for Furnishings, Padlocks and Candleholders: Understanding the Urbanisation of Medieval England through Metal Small Finds Recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme — MICHAEL LEWIS

Part 3. Domestic Life

Jeux sans Frontières: Play and Performativity or Questions of Identity and Social Interaction across Town and Country — MARK A. HALL

Runic Inscriptions on Stave Vessels in Turku: Materialisations of Language, Education, Magic and Domestic Religion — JANNE HARJULA

Changing Places? Place-making in Anglo-Saxon Hamwic, Southampton and Winchester — BEN JERVIS

Part 4. Studying the Town

The Changing Role of Environmental Science in Archaeological Research in Copenhagen — HODA EL-SHARNOUBY

Soil Micromorphology in Urban Research: Early Medieval Antwerp (Belgium) and Viking Age Kaupang (Norway) — BARBORA WOUTERS, KAREN MILEK, YANNICK DEVOS, and DRIES TYS

Human Dental Calculus and a Medieval Urban Environment — ANITA RADINI, EFTHYMIA NIKITA, and LISA MARIE SHILLITO