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Society and economy in northern Italy in the early Medieval period (c. 6th- 11th centuries AD.): A zooarchaeological study

Baker, P; (2000) Society and economy in northern Italy in the early Medieval period (c. 6th- 11th centuries AD.): A zooarchaeological study. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The focus of this thesis pertains to the study of food production, distribution and consumption from c. AD 500-1100 on the basis of zooarchaeological remains from sites in Northern Italy. New faunal assemblages analysed by the author and an extensive review of published and unpublished data are used to question traditional theories regarding early Medieval animal use, subsistence and husbandry through the study of dietary diversity, procurement strategies and animal size and to contribute to the archaeological and historical debates regarding socio-economic organisation and environmental conditions in urban and rural areas. The research includes an extensive review of historic sources for animal use in the early Medieval period and the zooarchaeological analysis is based on detailed taphonomic assessment, rigorous quantitative techniques and qualitative assessment. The archaeology of the early Medieval period and of the sites in question is considered in detail. The availability of zooarchaeological assemblages from three sites, which include sieved assemblages and two of which have multiple occupations (5th-7th c. and gth- 1 Oth/lOth-11th c. AD,), allows a reassessment of traditional theories regarding the relative frequency of domestic animals, the role of wild resources, the nature of husbandry practices and the physical characteristics of early Medieval animals, through the synchronic and diachronic study of animal remains. The research has shown up areas of discord and agreement with historical sources and with previous theories regarding these aspects based on zooarchaeological data. The conflicting arguments based on archaeological and historical data regarding continuity and discontinuity in the early post-Roman period as well as the hypothesised revival at the end of the Early Medieval period are considered through the assessment of production and distribution of animal products.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Society and economy in northern Italy in the early Medieval period (c. 6th- 11th centuries AD.): A zooarchaeological study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116633
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