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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 233: The Circulation of Commodities and Material Networks across Medieval Europe

Monday 3 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Mohamed Ouerfelli, Laboratoire d'archéologie médiévale et moderne en Méditerranée (LA3M - UMR 7298), Aix-Marseille Université
Paper 233-aSceattas and Saltmarshes: The Role of Lindsey in 6th-Century Economies in England
(Language: English)
Alex Harvey, York Museums Trust
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites, Local History, Numismatics
Paper 233-bMarble Stones for Merchants' Homes: Relief Sculptures from Medieval Venetian Palace Façades
(Language: English)
Ella Sophie Beaucamp, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Index terms: Architecture - Secular, Art History - Decorative Arts, Art History - Sculpture, Social History
Paper 233-cEntangling the Afterlife: Reuse and Circulation of Textiles and 'Converted' Objects in Late Medieval Florence,13th-15th Centuries
(Language: English)
Valentina Costantini, Departamento de Historia Universal, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
Index terms: Art History - General, Social History

Paper -a:
Of all 110 counties of England, it is Lincolnshire that has the highest percentage of 6th- and 7th-century sceat coin finds. 405, to be exact, compared to South Yorkshire, in second place, at only 238. Why is this? This paper seeks to explore the role of Lincolnshire - the old Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Lindsey - in the developing North Sea trade economy between the years 500-700. Between England, The Netherlands, and Denmark: wics and emporia were growing more and more wealthy, circulating international trade items and a transferable silver-based currency. What role did Lindsey play in all this? A petty kingdom with minimal historical evidence, often seen as a 'liminal' zone due to its geography. The aim is to shed light on the importance of marsh and coastal wash territories in this age of maritime trade, and specifically the contradictory presence of Lindsey as a wealthy kingdom obscured by later documentary sources.

Paper -b:
For the IMC, I wish to explore the theme of networks and entanglements through five medieval palaces, their façades and their inhabitants in 13th-century Venice. In what ways are the commercial networks of these families and their engagement in cross-cultural trade reflected in the marble decoration of their homes? The encounters of Venetian merchants with places, peoples, and objects of trade are reflected not only in the orientalising imagery of the reliefs but also in their materiality. Made of imported Greek marble they should be understood as an artistic product of the families business success and as a visual component of the cities merchant culture.

Paper -c:
In premodern societies objects lived multiple lives: from used parchments to bricks, from clothes to furnishing, almost nothing was thrown away. Using a sample of testaments from an ongoing Advanced ERC project, this paper will analyze the donation and reuse of panni, female garments, furniture in late medieval Florence. Particularly, I will focus on two ways of circulation: 1) a secular transmission where objects were donated to women of the family (including famulae, servants, lovers occasionally); 2) and a radical resignification of fabrics and feminine clothes donated to the church by lay families and converted into liturgical garments and altar cloths. In the first case, women usually acted at the very centre of networks of gender solidarities as both beneficiaries of bequests and donors. Pious donations and commissions, on the other hand, imply a more radical redefinition of the objects from a secular use to a new, religious purpose. In both cases, while circulating, the objects transferred and entangled their previous lives to the new owners' and to the new spaces that hosted them. Most of these objects are now lost: this paper follows their journeys through the surviving documents, while analysing the social distributions of donations at the end of the Middle Ages.