The Archaeology of Medieval Novgorod in Context: A Study of Centre/Periphery Relations.

Mark A. Brisbane, Nikolaj A. Makarov and Evgenij N. Nosov (eds).

Hardback. c.350p, b/w illus and accompanying CD with supporting data (Oxbow Books 2011)

Novgorod is one of the most intensively and continuously studied urban sites in northern Europe. The excellent preservation of organic and inorganic material in its anaerobic soils, including the structural remains of streets, properties and buildings, has made it possible to study entire quarters of the town as well as the activities of its inhabitants. With deposits up to 8 m deep in places and with well-dated sequences from the early to mid-10th century, its importance to the study of both medieval Russia and the development of Europe cannot be over emphasised. This publication series presents some of the recent results obtained from international, multidisciplinary projects into the origins and development of the medieval town and its hinterland. Previous volumes have concerned the pottery (2006) and wood use (2007); a forthcoming volume will publish research into animals. The Archaeology of Medieval Novgorod in Context includes papers on aspects of the environmental and technological context of the relationship between urban centre and rural hinterland. It begins by examining the environmental context for the settlement pattern that developed from the 9th to 15th centuries and examining the role that various natural resources had in contributing to that pattern. After a general paper on the natural environment based on a recent palynological study, it presents data from three study areas (the first in the Byeloozero area to the northeast of Novgorod; the second in the immediate hinterland of Novgorod and the third within Novgorod itself). It considers what, where and how certain natural resources were exploited during the medieval period in these areas. Where possible, it also attempts to explain the processes by which these resources were produced as commodities (via craft production, centralised workshops, household production, specialised settlements, etc.) and place the evidence from the three other volumes on ceramics, wood use and zooarchaeology into a wider context, concentrating on the exploitation, manufacture and consumption of these and other materials. Whilst not definitive, the collection aims to be a starting point for attempting to put Novgorod into a wider context of the medieval world. 

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