Towns under the Microscope: Revising Historical Narratives on the Development of Medieval Towns and their Markets in Northwestern Europe
This is an abstract from the "Mind the Gap: Exploring Uncharted Territories in Medieval European Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The central markets of medieval towns in Northwestern Europe, and more specifically the Low Countries, are considered to be the theatres of late medieval urban identity. They are often associated with the origins of these towns, or at least their glory as merchant towns in the past. In reality, these emblematic places exhibit complex biographies in which selected memories were attributed to them in different historical contexts.
Geoarchaeological methods, such as micromorphology and geochemistry, have a strong potential to contribute new datasets to the study of complex sites. They offer a way to bypass the constant re-evaluation of the same material and written evidence. However, only in the last decade have they become more common in the study of towns in the Low Countries and Scandinavia, important regions for early medieval urbanisation.
Through the combined application of geoarchaeological data and historical writings, we will revise a number of existing narratives on town and market formation. We aim to reconstruct their biographies in order to discuss how their development did not follow set, teleological patterns. On the contrary, this paper shows how different strategies by different actors shaped this space.
Cite this Record
Towns under the Microscope: Revising Historical Narratives on the Development of Medieval Towns and their Markets in Northwestern Europe. Dries Tys, Barbora Wouters. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451293)
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min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23862