The Medieval Globe
This paper explores the place of medieval Europe in what was an increasingly yet variably connected world. It spans a complex period extending from the highly globalised later Roman empire to the demographic crises of the fourteenth century –the Great Famine and the Black Death –prior to the European colonisation of the Americas. The module aims to 'decolonise' the traditional curriculum by highlighting the diverse experiences of people during this time. We will explore how globalisation theory may be applicable to medieval archaeology, and how material and ideological factors both shaped socio-economic change. We will consider the interaction between natural and anthropogenic environmental change, in the context of fluctuating demographic and settlement histories.
Equal weight will be given to archaeological, environmental and historical evidence. Key themes will include inter-regional communication, mobility, trade and cultural influence. Case studies from Europe will be considered alongside examples drawn from the Arctic, the Asian Steppe, East and West Africa and the Indian Ocean.
This is paper A24 of Part II of the Archaeology Tripos
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Image: The 14th century Great Mosque on Kilwa Kisiwani Island, Tanzania, is the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast. Its 16 domed and vaulted bays are unique. Photo by David Stanley
This material is intended for current students but will be interesting to prospective students. It is indicative only.