Reference : A cross-craft approach of ceramic, glass and iron in the early middle ages. The resou...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
A cross-craft approach of ceramic, glass and iron in the early middle ages. The resources of workshops from southern Belgium
Van Wersch, Line mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Archéologie médiévale et post-médiévale >]
Van Haperen, Martine []
Pagès, Gaspard []
EAA Congress
24 August to the 30 August
[en] In northwestern Europe, the early Middle Ages correspond to a deep social and economic
change. Currently, the elite is seen as the leader of the economy and the main driver of
change but the role of artisans deserves to be reassessed, particularly through its
material remains. Pyrotechnologies that have left few written traces, have long been
neglected. Until Henning's work , there was no systematic analysis of the archaeological
sources. Little attention is still paid to where artisans obtained their resources, the
techniques they used, to their networks and to the social and physical landscapes in
which they operated.
During the early Middle Ages, ceramics, glass and iron also underwent profound
transformations. The production places moved from the agglomerations and rural
settlements to the aristocratic domains, monasteries and emporia. At the same time,
major technical changes took place that fundamentally altered the modus operandi of
these crafts. The factors involved in these transformations are still largely unknown.
Crossed-craft interactions and artisan networks could very well have been key triggers of
We propose to approach these crafts and their interactions using their respective
“chaînes opératoires”, identifying potential opportunities for cooperation, sharing of
resources and innovation. These models will then be combined with the locations of raw
materials and those of the secondary workshops discovered in Belgium, the heart of the
Merovingian and Carolingian Empire.

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