Emergent Value: Archaeology and Inventories in Later Medieval England

Author(s): Ben Jervis

Year: 2013


Household inventories are an invaluable resource for identifying the range of objects which were present in the medieval home, but are not identified archaeologically. However, many items which are identified archaeologically are not regularly listed in these documents. Drawing on various relational approaches, it is my contention that rather than reflecting the inherent value of objects, inventories emerge as a set of relationships through which value was negotiated and maintained. I will sketch some preliminary thoughts on the role of inventories as Actor-Networks and their roles as actants with wider connections. I argue that inventories are the product of particular relationships and as such they effect the emergence of relative values. I will propose that inventories must be considered as active documents, rather than reflections of household contents, and that we must adopt interdisciplinary methodologies to historical material culture which are based on the interconnectedness of archaeological and historical sources.

Cite this Record

Emergent Value: Archaeology and Inventories in Later Medieval England. Ben Jervis. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428212)


Temporal Keywords
Late Medieval

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 326