The Medieval Household: Daily Life in Castles and Farmsteads: Scandinavian Examples in their European Context

Overview

Recent archaeological excavations in Scandinavia provide us with a fascinating insight into the household and its function as a social focus for people of different medieval social estates. This book investigates four excavated Swedish sites - the castles of Saxholmen and Edsholm, and the rural settlements of Skramle and Skinnerud - in order to juxtapose the daily life of nobles and peasants. The author argues that the practices of everyday life revealed by these sites offer new insights into social traditions, ...
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Overview

Recent archaeological excavations in Scandinavia provide us with a fascinating insight into the household and its function as a social focus for people of different medieval social estates. This book investigates four excavated Swedish sites - the castles of Saxholmen and Edsholm, and the rural settlements of Skramle and Skinnerud - in order to juxtapose the daily life of nobles and peasants. The author argues that the practices of everyday life revealed by these sites offer new insights into social traditions, mentalities, and cultural patterns. In particular, she asserts that notwithstanding the huge social gulf between the peasantry and the nobility in medieval Scandinavia, the two social groups shared some fundamental experiences which point to a common cultural milieu. In turn, the author uses daily life as a prism for addressing the formation of common European cultural traits during the medieval period by comparing these excavations with material from comparable sites in Central and Western Europe. By means of this comparison, the author questions the degree to which we may talk about a process of 'Europeanization' taking place in this era.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9782503525907
  • Publisher: Brepols Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Series: Medieval Countryside Series , #2
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface xv

Part I Introducing Everyday Life in Castles and Farmsteads

Background 3

Everyday Life 5

Social Collective 18

'Europeanization' 43

Starting Point 48

Part II Landscape and Settlements

Landscape and Sites 55

Dalby (Skinnerud) - the Landscape of Outland Use 61

Gunnarskog (Skramle) - a Mixed Landscape 97

Saxholmen - Myth and Reality 119

Edsholm - the History of a Bailiwick, Bailiffs, and Revolt 138

Different Landscapes and Dwellings 148

Part III Artefacts, People, and Space

Introducing the Method 153

Artefacts in Categories and on the Distribution Maps 159

From Handicraft to Popular Belief in Farmstead, Hamlet, and Castle 260

Structures, Strategies, and Changes 267

People, Households, and Spaces 271

Part IV In Other Parts of Europe

Comparing Everyday Life 277

Rural Settlements 283

Castles 307

Comparing Rural Settlements and Castles 327

In the Shadow of a European Cultural Heritage? 339

Part V Summing Up Human Practice

Everyday Life, Households, and the Social Collective 347

Everyday Life in Practice 349

New Behaviour, Old Habits 355

The Construction and Reproduction of Social Identities 358

Bibliography 361

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