University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education From Civilisation To Barbarism? Western Britain in the Early Middle Ages Tutor: Dr Kirsten Jarrett Week Seven: Trade and Technology
How might changing exchange networks have affected technologies - and how might this have affected identities? • Economic (systems and) exchange: • Trade / exchange & distribution of materials & products • Technological exchange: skills / knowledge transference • Cultural exchange: shared ideas → adoption of styles • (visual ‘code’ / ‘message’ embedding beliefs & identities) • or / and shared styles → changing ideas or ‘meanings’
How might the following have affected technologies - and identities? • Withdrawal of the Roman state / military • Restricted trade / exchange with the Continent & Mediterranean • Transformation of established transportation systems / network ‘nodes’ (e.g. closure of roads, abandonment of towns) • Development of localised and regional power & • civil war
Building technologies: stone → timber – changing skills & materials and / or stylistic influence? • Metalworking technologies: continuity of some styles, particular to needs of Western Britain? Recycling of materials • Ceramic technologies: contraction of regional industries (changing superstructure – and markets?). Gradual stylistic & technological changes? • Food / drink technologies: diet (ingredients, cooking techniques & associated material culture) may be closely related to social identities. Late C5 importation: supply drives or responds to particular ‘tastes’?
What might we learn from metalwork? Style (not necessarily or directly) ≠ ‘ethnic’ or cultural identity Techniques & Composition: exchange networks & cultural influence • Clothing / personal adornment • (e.g. brooches, pins, hobnails) • Building / manufacturing techniques / styles • (e.g. nails & tools) • Warfare / subsistence / leisure (e.g. weapons, knives)
Metalworking Bowl furnace
Copper alloy casting Techniques: • Lead model • ‘Cere Perdue’ (Lost Wax) Peripatetic? Metalworking moulds and crucible, Dinas Powys
Champlevé: Cells cast or carved in surface of Field and filled with glass paste, then fired Millefiori Enamel
What might we learn from ceramics? Techniques – comparable to prehistoric: Handmade (coil-built or ‘pinched’), ‘clamp-fired’ (lower temperatures – softer fabrics: less durable) Composition: ‘tempers’ & ‘inclusions’ Mostly local clays (stream-bank / dug) – but some wider distributions Finish: e.g. ‘grass marked’
‘Grass-Tempered’ Pottery ‘British’: C5-6? Anglo-Saxon: C5+
Diet and cooking techniques • (vessel forms & food / soot residues) • Leisure & social / political networks / identities (food / drink in creating / maintaining social ties & obligations) • (p. 13 Booklet) • Building technologies (daub / fired clay: walls & ovens)
C4+ Ceramic styles C4+: increasingly ‘Roman’ in Cornwall? Hand-made pottery: C5 ‘devolution’ of ‘Roman’ styles & influence of Germanic?? C4+ (across west) samian seems to remain ‘fashionable’ – continued high status associations?
c. AD 475-550 Phocean Red Slipped Ware Imported ceramics:Mediterranean Amphorae: Late C5-6 Biv/ LRA 3 N Afr. North African Red Slipped Ware Bii / LRA 1 (Syria)
‘D Ware’: C6-7 Bordeux Imported ceramics:Continental (deriveesigiltee pateochretienne – DSPA) ‘E Ware’: C6-7 Gaulish / Frankish
Trade Routes East to eastern Britain: Late C6-C7+ Mediterranean & East to Western Britain: late C5 – mid C6
Trading sites Bantham, Devon