Olaf Olsen Memorial Lecture: The Urban-Rural Dynamics in the Medieval North. Re-evaluating the Patterns of Communication and Consumption

By Professor Visa Immonen, University of Turku.

18.03.2018 | Jon Bendixen

Dato tor 25 okt
Tid 14:00 16:00
Sted Lecture Hall (4206-139), Moesgaard Campus

The Northern European zone, where agrarian communities met wilderness economies formed a dynamic network of social interactions and economic opportunities. Especially the new developments in urban and rural archaeology of the medieval period in Finland have shown the limits of previous analyses on medieval consumption and its change. Consequently, I re-evaluate scholarly assumptions on how urban areas functioned as centres for the introduction of novel commodities, and the differences in urban and rural material cultures. The recent archaeological work has shown that the spectrum of imported objects in farmhouses were as rich and manifold as in towns. Farmers were actively engaged in commercial activities, and for instance, owned trade ships which they sailed major towns in the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Moreover, the social and trade networks linking urban centres and rural heartlands with wilderness economies formed a productive, supportive framework for this northern economy. In this commercial and material setting, the social model based on the ideas of imitation and urban mercantile class as its vehicle do not suffice in my presentation. I attempt to sketch out another model to capture this social and economic complexity.

Seminar, Arts, Arkæologi, Materials, Culture and Heritage