Author Archives: Rainer Schreg

About Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

Various links from our facebook group

I just collected the links from recent posts in our facebook-group.

Obviously the plague is for most colleagues here the most interesting aspect. However, I would like to emphasize, that we intend to understand the 14th century crisis within a wider context of social, economic and environmental history. – I would be glad, if we could have more contributions also for this broader perspective. It is not necessary to have elaborated scientific articles here. Short references / links to recent publications, own research or conferences may help to have the BlackDeath Network as a plattform of interdisciplinary exchange.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Environmental damages in 14th century Southwest Germany

An interesting new study proves extreme  gullying in a landscape in Southwestern Germany.  By now there have been little indications that 1342 St. Magdalen’s flood had impact also on settlement landscapes in Southwest Germany.

Today this landscape – the southwestern Schönbuch natural park north of Tübingen – is completely forrested, but it must have been a rather open landscape vulnerable to erosion in the 14th century. In neighbouring settlements there are various indication for rural industries. There need for firing wood may have been an important factor for deforestation and environmental risk. A blog-post at Archaeologik discusses the archaeological evidence of settlement activity.

Documents from the town of  Esslingen, less than 30 km northwest of the gullies indicate that in fact rains in summer 1342 also affected the Neckar region (http://archaeologik.blogspot.de/2013/01/bodenerosion-1342-ein-rechtsstreit-in.html).

erosion gully in the southwestern Schönbuch forest northwest of Tübingen. Todya the landscape is completely forrested with little traces of medieval settlement.
(Foto: R. Schreg, 2013)

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Lepra in the Middle Ages

A new genetic study dealing with Lepra:
V. J. Schuenemann, P. Singh, T. A. Mendum, B. Krause-Kyora, G. Jäger et al., Genome-Wide Comparison of Medieval and Modern Mycobacterium leprae. Science (online 13.6.2013)

There have been several media reports in Germany. E.g. FAZ (19.6.2013)

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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y.p. genomes

Just a notice of two posts at Contagions, dealing with recent papers on y.p. genomes:

and at Bones don’t lie:

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Another Black Death Burial Site in London

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Effects of 1342 rainfalls at the Neckar river, southwest Germany

Written, archaeological, and geographical sources show the heavy effects of the rainfalls in summer 1342. The mostly refer to the river Main, the middle Rhine, Elbe, and Weser.  A charter from the town of Esslingen situated at the river Neckar, dated 9th of September 1342 documents a court ruling. The local Augustinian monastery sued  against Kaisheim abbey, which owned a nearby vineyard. Soil was flooded into the Augustinian monastery. The document shows that the rainfalls in summer 1342 also affected the Neckar valley.

 

 

The town of Esslingen depicted by Andreas Kieser. The wineyard ist situated below the castle
(HStA Stuttgart H 107/15 Bd 7 Bl. 22, via Wikimedia Commons)

 

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Late medieval apotropaic devices

The medievalists.net refers to a Master thesis from the University of Louisville dealing with c.

  • Lena Mackenzie Gimbel, Bawdy badges and the Black Death: late medieval apotropaic devices against the spread of the plague. MA thesis (Louisville 2010) – pdf from Louisville university.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Current debates about sustainability – and the 14th century crisis

The German Leibniz-Gemeinschaft and theFederal Ministry of Education and Research initiated a program of public discussion on sustainability at various research museums (humans culture sustainability). The 4th and last of the Museumsgespräche 2012 “Mensch Kultur Nachhaltigkeit” at the RGZM in Mainz is dedicated to the handling of soil and water in past and present.

Discutants are Prof. Dr. Hans-Rudolf Bork (Kiel unisversity), Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Frede (Gießen university) and myself; moderation by Axel Weiß (SWR). On November, 27.th 2012 at 19PM there will be a livestream at http://www.zukunftsprojekt-erde.de/mitmachen/museum-digital/museumsgespraeche-2012-mensch-kultur-nachhaltigkeit/museumsgespraeche-2012-livestream.html. Discussion however will be in German.

The 14th century will probably one topic among others as it seems to be a very interestig case study for sustainability assessment.

Links

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Introduction – Linda Ehrsam Voigts

I am retired academic who works primarily with Latin and vernacular medical texts from late medieval England. With Patricia Kurtz I am responsible for Scientific and Medical Writings in Old and Middle English (eVK2), a database on 10,000 texts and prologues searchable from the website of the History of Medicine Division of the (U.S.) National Library of Medicine, and through the Resources link at the home page of the Medieval Academy of America. We have also provided an electronic version of Thorndike and Kibre, Incipits of Medieval Scientific Writings in Latin (eTK) on those websites.
see http://cctr1.umkc.edu/search
At present I am studying, with Ann Payne of the British Library, an English-language household compendium (including university medical treatises) datable to the reign of Henry VII. The section of recipes for members of the royal family contains many recipes, both prophylactic and therapeutic, against the plague.

Linda Ehrsam Voigts

Curators’ Professor of English Emerita
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City, MO y4110

VOIGTSL@UMKC.EDU

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Plague or rather climate?

Audun Dybdahl: Climate and demographic crises in Norway in medieval and early modern times. The Holocene 22 (10), 2012, 1159-1167
doi:10.1177/0959683612441843
http://hol.sagepub.com/content/22/10/1159

The paper claims that the role of the climate for the late medieval crisis in Norway (and more general) has been underestimated.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

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Rainer Schreg – archaeologist

My research interests are in the environmental and social history of past cultural and ecological changes especially within rural cultural landscapes.  Whereas most of my studies deal with villages in medieval Germany, I am also involved in field projects  in Neolithic chert extraction at the Southern Germany, on the medieval landscape in southwestern Crimea and on pre-Columbian and colonial sites in Panama, lower Central America. All these research project highlight specific situations of human-environment interaction.  Periods of fast change are especially informative for a reconstruction of the complex interaction of different drivers.

The 14th century is such an instructive situation of cultural change. It is however no situation of collapse. At least it is no collapse nor from a European or national perspective nor from a rather long-term perspective. The situation may be quite different if we focus on the level of families or small settlements. The 14th c. is an outstanding example, when dealing with an archaeology of crises as it highlights many heuristic problems.

In two articles I dealt with some theoretical aspects:

  • R. Schreg, Die Krisen des späten Mittelalters: Perspektiven, Potentiale und Probleme archäologischer Krisenforschung. In: F. Daim/D. Gronenborn/R. Schreg (Hrsg.), Strategien zum Überleben. RGZM-Tagungen 11 (Mainz 2011)  197-214 (academia.edu).
  • R. Schreg, Feeding the village – Reflections on the ecology and resilience of medieval rural economy. In: J. Klápště (Hrsg.), Processing, Storage, Distribution of Food – Food in Medieval Rural Environment. Ruralia 8 (Turnhout: Brepols 2011) 301-320.

Besides these rather theoretical reconsiderations my interest in the 14th century comes from two ongoing projects on medieval settlement formation: (1) the abandoned settlement of Würzbach in the Black forest and (2) a detailed study of three villages at the Stubersheimer Alb (part of the Suabian Alb north of Ulm).

As I am mainly engaged in medieval archaeology (or even historical archaeology in its European definition) I am especially interested in the interrelation of artefactual, written and pictorial evidence and on interdisciplinary research bringing together sciences and humanities.

I am working at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, a time-honoured archaeological research institute covering all periods from the palaeolithic up to the early modern period. I also teach at the Universities of Mainz and Tübingen.

Currently I am also experimenting with an archaeological blog http://archaeologik.blogspot.de, dealing with various topics mainly from critical and environmental archaeology.
For more information on my person see: http://web.rgzm.de/493.html and http://rgzm.academia.edu/RainerSchreg

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

More Posts - Website

Remapping the Black Death in the Age of Genomics and GIS

127th annual meeting of the American Historical Association, January 2013 at New Orleans

http://aha.confex.com/aha/2013/webprogram/Session7774.html with abstracts of the papers

http://contagions.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/aha-2013-the-power-of-cartography-remapping-the-black-death-in-the-age-of-genomics-and-gis/

Remapping the Black Death in the Age of Genomics and GIS will be an important topic, as many maps showing the spread of the Black Death still use 19th c.’s data collection, which often do not refer to the sources properly. And in many cases they just seem to use evidence of pogroms as a real evidence for the Black Death.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist researcher at Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz - lecturer at Tübingen university

More Posts - Website