22 set 2016

International Conference

Archaeology of Social Inequality in Early Medieval Europe. A Tribute to Chris Wickham

IX Conference on Medieval Archaeology in Northern Iberia

Vitoria-Gasteiz, 22th-23th September 2016

The aim of this conference is to discuss the theoretical challenges posed by the study of social and political inequality in early medieval societies in Western Europe. It will focus mainly on archaeology of rural communities. Traditional approaches have defined them as poor and unstable, in the framework of a self-sufficient economy that prioritized animal husbandry over agriculture. However, available archaeological evidence has upended that picture in recent years. It is also unfolding both the relevance of peasant agency and the true complexity of those small worlds. All these novelties are currently being discussed in the light of a research agenda centred on the emergence of villages, the formation of local elites, the creation of socio-political networks and the state, intensification of agrarian production and the role of identities and other strategies in the legitimation of social inequalities.


Thursday 22th September 2016, Salon de Grados, Faculty of Arts

9.15 Presentation

Session I. Archaeology of the State

9.30 Sonia Gutiérrez Lloret (Universidad de Alicante), “Revisiting al-Andalus” o cómo leer la desigualdad en los registros materiales de la otra alta Edad Media Europea

10.15 Andrew Reynolds (University College London), A case for the role of local stability in the formation of large-scale polities

11.00 Coffee Break

11.30 Julio Escalona Monge (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid), Towards an archaeology of state formation in North-western Iberia

Session 2. Social inequality and Social complexity

12.15 Robin Beck (University of Michigan), Maize, Mounds, and Cosmos: Durable Inequality in the Mississippian World (AD 1000-1250)

13.00 Lunch

15.00 Anne Nissen Jaubert (Université Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne), Small worlds and networks of power

15.45 Giovanna Bianchi (Università degli Studi di Siena), Local players, external players, in the same territorial scenario: some case studies for early medieval Tuscany

16.30 Coffee break

17.00 Sauro Gelichi (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia), Pottery as inequality? Systems of production and distribution in the Northern Italian rural societies during the Early Middle Ages

17.45 Catarina Tente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Evidence for social status in tenth century AD settlements of central-northern Portugal

Friday 23th September 2016, Salon de Grados, Faculty of Arts

Session 3. Local Societies

9.00 Dries Tys (Brussels Free University), Social dynamics of the peasants from the salt marshes in Flanders in the context of the rise to power of a European warlord

9.45 Francesca Grassi (UPV-EHU), Craft production and social complexity in Early Medieval Castile

10.30 Iñaki Martín Viso (University of Salamanca), Pequeños mundos desiguales. Las dinámicas sociales de las comunidades rurales leonesas en el siglo X

11.15 Coffee Break

11.45 Alfonso Vigil-Escalera (University of Salamanca), The slave in the peasant household: an archaeological crux

12.30 Juan Antonio Quirós (UPV-EHU), Nucleation and and social complexity in northern Iberia in Early Medieval period

13.15 Chris Wickham (University of Oxford), Conclusions

Faculty of Arts, University of the Basque Country
Salón de Grados

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