IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 624: City and River

Tuesday 10 July 2007, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Gerhard Jaritz, Institut für Realienkunde, Universität Salzburg, Krems / Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Paper 624-aLjubljana and the Ljubljanica: Archaeological Finds from the River as a Clue for the History of a Medieval Town
(Language: English)
Tomaž Nabergoj, Narodni Muzej Slovenije, Ljubljana
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Economics - Trade, Military History
Paper 624-bRiver Control and City Domination: The City-State of Metz and Its Waterways at the End of the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Frédéric Ferber, Université de Nancy II
Index terms: Administration, Local History, Social History, Technology

Paper a: The National Museum of Slovenia has a collection of some 6000 objects from the river Ljubljanica. They originate from different periods from the Stone Age to the Modern Era, many of them from the Middle Ages. They all confirm the importance of the river as a communication route between the northern Adriatic, and the Balkans and Danubian area, respectively. In the High and Late Middle Ages traffic along Ljubljanica was especially significant for the town that arose in the 12th century as Laibach or Luwigana, following its predecessors from Prehistoric and Roman Ages. Medieval finds from the river such as tools, weapons, pottery and various other objects not only document everyday life but also shed light on topics that are not well represented in the historical sources.
Paper b: In a medieval city-state such as Metz, where patrician families start imposing their authority from the end of the 12th Century onwards, waterways control takes a crucial place. This paper aims at determining the various interests they find in river control and estimating the way they attempt to conciliate private and common interests. Beyond economical profits that derive from activities related to water (navigation, watermills, fisheries), waterways control remains an indissociable aspect of public authority. In spite of reticences and oppositions, it becomes a mighty means to dominate the city and its territories, through hydraulic plans and equipments, but also laws and extreme measures.
Paper c: The compilation of a database on river-related issues on the early Norwegian documents, namely the Regesta Norvegica has revealed starting points for further research on medieval Norwegian river towns. Interesting circumstances have arisen. In Norway, medieval towns and cities mostly rotated around the coast and the harbor dimensions. Thus there has been less research done on the development of towns founded on rivers and lakes. What is at stake in the river realities of these early towns in Norway? This research is at its very beginning, but very promising. Early Norwegian laws and archaeological and zooarchaeological finds related to rivers and lakes will be added to the database.