Session: #524

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Medieval Glocalisation: Local Manifestations of Global Connections
‘Glocalisation’ is a combination of the terms ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation’, which coalesce into a concept that refers to global impact on a local scale. In Eurasia, the interconnections established in prehistory continued to develop, with the first millennia seeing the rise and fall of vast empires, such as the Assyrian, Hunnic, Kushan, Macedonian, Parthian, and Roman. By the beginning of the Medieval Period (5th-15th centuries) globalisation had reached new heights, with large migrations, religious pilgrimages, and extensive trade networks weaving Eurasia together. Examples include, but are not limited to, the Viking Age trade networks, the spread of Christianity and Islam, and the establishment of emporia along the Silk Road. Apart from the large-scale exchange of goods, materials, people, and ideas occasionally traversing thousands of kilometres, global connections frequently manifested in particular ways at the local scale, resulting in ‘glocalisation’. While research into glocalisation is growing within the humanities and social sciences, it has remained under examined in archaeology, with the Archaeological Review from Cambridge in April 2018 providing one of the first real discussions on the topic within the field. Within medieval archaeology it has remained rather ignored altogether. This session aims to explore the exemplification of the impact of globalisation on local communities in the Medieval Period. The examination of the glocal not only highlights the heterogeneity of societies across Eurasia, but also illustrates the ways in which communities adapted to outside influences, reflected in several ways such as in the appearance of local examples of hybridisation or creolisation.
We encourage the submission of papers that explore how globalisation manifests in medieval archaeological contexts, and how it was variously acquired and negotiated at a local level from sites throughout Eurasia. This includes papers exploring all medieval contexts ranging from settlement and living-spaces, to emporia, burial grounds, and sanctuaries.
Glocalisation, Medieval Period, Eurasia, Networks
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Main organiser:
Rachel Cartwright (United States) 1
Abigail Górkiewicz Downer (United Kingdom) 2
1. University of Minnesota, Department of Anthropology
2. University of Chester, History and Archaeology