Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

'Food, Farming and Trade in Medieval Croatia: an archaeological perspective'

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Kelly Read (University of Oxford)


In the early 12th century, a succession crisis in the autonomous Kingdom of Croatia resulted in the crown passing to the Hungarian King. From then on Croatia became part of a wider socio-economic system, although still retaining some autonomy, until 16th century. During this time agricultural production had to content with periods of mass migration, plague, climate change, and war. Yet, during this time we see an explosion of trade, including a burgeoning cattle and wine market in the late Middle Ages. Very little is known about food and farming in Medieval Croatia, so the recovery of plant remains from recent archaeological excavations shows us how diverse the local agricultural system was; where field crops, gardens, orchards, pastures and forests were all used to produce a range of cereals, fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs. This talk will explore these themes and show some recent results from archaeobotanical work carried out in Croatia. 


Series Convenors: Rod Bailey, Erica Charters, Rob Iliffe, Catherine Jackson, John Lidwell-Durnin