Sand is a small 10th-century fortified settlement at a river bend of the Thaya River, situated at an old North-South trading route at the present day boundary between Austria and the Czech Republic. The occupation lasted only about 30 years from its construction until its violent destruction, probably by the Hungarians. Thus the age of the archaeozoological finds is well constrained; they indicate that its inhabitants were high status consumers with access to the best food quality. Bones of domesticated and wild species, mainly food waste, reveal fascinating insights into the organisation of the site, regional contacts, and the exploitation of natural resources. The biological material represents extremely valuable traces of the medieval reality, especially because written sources are absent.
Over the course of the 10th and early 11th century, the royal court in Ottonian Germany required vast quantities of high quality food. Numerous scholars have shown that many of these supplies were provided by ecclesiastical institutions.What remains obscure, however, are the administrative mechanisms used by the Ottonian kings to assure that specific ecclesiastical institutions maintained their lands so as to provide these supplies to the royal court. This paper addresses this substantial lacuna in the historiography through an examination of the ongoing efforts of the Ottonian kings to oversee the proper maintenance of church lands through the continuation of the Carolingian system of requiring royal licenses for the exchange, sale, or grant of any property held by ecclesiastical institutions, both within the German kingdom and in northern Italy.
The account book of the Auersperg (Turjak) castle from the years 1514 and 1515 is one of rare sources revealing alimentary habits in the late Middle Ages Carniola (now central Slovenia). It contains everyday expenses necessary for normal functioning of the castle household. The major part of these expenses was related to food. The notes of the Auersperg housekeeper contain information on purchased items: name and quantity of the local and imported edibles as well as the date of the acquisition; an interesting aspect is also the absence of some expected alimentary articles. The source provides us with direct as well as indirect information on alimentary habits in a castle household in the late Middle Ages Carniola and will be compared to another source from approximately the same period – the well-known Paolo Santonino’s accounts of his travel through Carniola and Styria in the 1480s.
The Bailiffs’s Castles in Sweden were centers for taxation where taxes where collected from the surrounding areas to consume in the castles and to be shipped to Stockholm. Food production and consumption patterns are studied in the Bailiffs’s Castles of Raseborg in Finland and Kastelholm in the Åland islands during the medieval and renaissance period. The osteological material from the two castles was analysed to shed light on the dietary practises. Special emphasis was put on identifying traces of butchery and their anatomical distribution on the bone material to link them to the actual processed pieces of meat. The bailiffs’s account books from Kastelholm have also records of the different social classes of people who dined at the castle.