Session: #266

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

A United Europe of Things: Was There a Common Horizon of Material Culture in the Late Medieval Europe?
The idea of ‘unity of culture’ of Medieval Latin Europe is well known in historical literature, especially when it concerns the so called ‘Europe North of Alps’. Scholars had often inclined that due to long distance trade, universal knowledge of Latin and shared religious ideas we can observe cultural similarities all over Late Medieval Europe. This bold statement (of course) is only partially true. Our question is whether a similar trend is visible in portable material culture? Archaeologist are dealing with this problem since interest in Late Medieval archaeology began, however not much interregional study has been done so far with a few exceptions, such as pottery studies and some conferences focusing on more local, or specific regions (i.e. Lubeck Hanseatic Colloquiums or Forum Urbs Medii Aevii). Recently though, the sessions concerning small finds, which were organized on previous meetings of the EAA Conference, have shown that there are many similarities in material culture between regions. To pick up this trend, we would like to provide a forum for more interregional discussion.
We would accept papers concerning late medieval (1200-1550) material culture (small finds, but not only) focusing on:
- finds that are typical and/or rare in regions as well as their comparison with other regions – at this state of research and lack of global communication over this topic, even basic ideas are worth to bring to the table!
- possible borders and peripheries of common material culture
- interactions between local material culture and imported things
- production, consumption and interregional trade
- moments of change – new material culture (or technologies) taking over older ones
- theoretical studies about interpreting material culture and ideas of ‘common material’ culture
material culture, interregional studies, interpreting material culture, long-distance trade, consumption patterns, Pan-European horizon
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Jakub Sawicki (Czech Republic) 1
Michael Lewis (United Kingdom) 2,3
1. Institute of Archaeology, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague
2. Portable Antiquity Scheme
3. British Museum