Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe

1st Edition

Edited by Eugene Costello, Eva Svensson


268 pages

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Hardback: 9780815380320
pub: 2018-03-13
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Transhumance is a form of pastoralism that has been practised around the world since animals were first domesticated. Such seasonal movements have formed an important aspect of many European farming systems for several thousand years, although they have declined markedly since the nineteenth century. Ethnographers and geographers have long been involved in recording transhumant practices, and in the last two decades archaeologists have started to add a new material dimension to the subject.

This volume brings together recent advances in the study of European transhumance during historical times, from Sweden to Spain, Romania to Ireland, and beyond that even Newfoundland. While the focus is on the archaeology of seasonal sites used by shepherds and cowherds, the contributions exhibit a high degree of interdisciplinarity. Documentary, cartographic, ethnographic and palaeoecological evidence all play a part in the examination of seasonal movement and settlement in medieval and post-medieval landscapes. Notwithstanding the obvious diversity across Europe in terms of livestock, distances travelled and socio-economic context, an extended introduction to the volume shows that cross-cutting themes are now emerging, including mobility, gendered herding, collective land-use, the agency of non-elite people and competition for grazing and markets.

The book will appeal not only to archaeologists, but to historians, geographers, ethnographers, palaeoecologists and anyone interested in rural lifeways across Europe.

Table of Contents

  1. Eugene Costello and Eva Svensson. Transhumant pastoralism in historic landscapes: beginning a European perspective.

  2. Susanne Pettersson. From written sources to archaeological remains: medieval shielings in Central Scandinavia.
  3. Eva Svensson. The Scandinavian shieling – in between innovation and tradition.
  4. Anatolijs Venovcevs and Barry Gaulton. Winter Housing: Archaeological Perspectives on Newfoundland's Non-Pastoral Transhumant Tradition.
  5. Piers Dixon. What do we really know about transhumance in medieval Scotland? A Review.
  6. Patrycja Kupiec and Karen Milek. Ethno-geoarchaeological study of seasonal occupation: Bhiliscleitir, the Isle of Lewis
  7. Eugene Costello. Morphology of transhumant settlements in post-medieval south Connemara: a case-study in adaptation
  8. Mark Gardiner. The Changing Character of Transhumance in Early and Later Medieval England
  9. Frédéric Surmely, Violaine Nicolas, Jay Franklin, Robert Linam, Manon Cabanis and Julien Le Junter. Seasonal Pastoral Settlement in the Middle Mountains of the Auvergne Region (France) during the Medieval and Modern Periods (Thirteenth-Eighteenth centuries).
  10. Sylvain Burri, Vanessa Py-Saragaglia, and Roxanne Cesarini. Moving Up and Down throughout the Seasons: Winter and Summer Grazing between Provence and Southern Alps (France) AD 1100-1500.
  11. Brigitte Andres. Alpine settlement remains in the Bernese Alps (Switzerland) in medieval and modern times: the visibility of alpine summer farming activities in the archaeological record.
  12. Anna Stagno. Short- and long-distance transhumant systems and common-lands in post-classical archaeology: case studies from southern Europe.
  13. Massimo Dada. Archaeology of mobility between Apennines and Apuan Alps: transhumance and seasonal agriculture in the mountains of northern Tuscany.
  14. Edoardo Vanni and Davide Cristoferi. The role of marginal landscape for understanding transhumance in Southern Tuscany (twelfth-twentieth century AD): a reverse perspective integrating ethnoarchaeological and historical approaches
  15. Margarita Fernandez-Mier & Catarina Tente. Transhumant herding systems in Iberia.
  16. José Antonio López-Sáez, Antonio Blanco-González, Daniel Abel-Schaad, Sandra Robles-López, Reyes Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, Sebastián Pérez-Díaz and Francisca Alba-Sánchez. Transhumance dynamics in the Gredos range (central Spain) during the last two millennia: environmental and socio-political vectors of change
  17. Robin Brigand, Olivier Weller, Felix Adrian Tencariu, Marius Alexianu, Andrei Asăndulesei. Ovine pastoralism and mobility systems in Romania

    An ethnoarchaeological approach.

About the Editors

Eugene Costello is a landscape archaeologist with interests in pastoralism, non-elite society and the archaeology of the Reformation. He received his BA (UCC) in 2011, MA (Sheffield) in 2012, and PhD (NUI) in 2016. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at University of Notre Dame, USA, for 2016–2017 and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Archaeology at National University of Ireland, Galway.

Eva Svensson is a historical archaeologist and professor in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Karlstad University, Sweden. Her main research interests include social and ecological approaches to forested landscapes in a long-term perspective, and subaltern environment and lifescapes in the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. She has published extensively on both topics in Swedish and English.

About the Series

Themes in Contemporary Archaeology

The EAA Monograph Series Themes in Contemporary Archaeology provides cutting edge perspectives on key areas of debate in current archaeological enquiry, with a particular emphasis on European archaeology. The series has a broad coverage, encompassing all periods and archaeological approaches, from theoretical debate to archaeological practice. The multi-author volumes are based on selected sessions from the annual conferences of the European Association of Archaeologists. Each volume undergoes strict peer-review, ensuring volumes of high quality that capture current debates in the field.

Series Editors: Kristian Kristiansen, Eszter Bánffy and Cyprian Broodbank.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology