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Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin

Archaeology, History and Memory

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Edited by Anne Haour

In Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.

Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.

Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale Owen-Crocker

An astonishing number of medieval garments survive, more-or-less complete. Here the authors present 100 items, ranging from homely to princely. The book’s wide-ranging introduction discusses the circumstances in which garments have survived to the present; sets and collections; constructional and decorative techniques; iconography; inscriptions on garments; style and fashion. Detailed descriptions and discussions explain technique and ornament, investigate alleged associations with famous people (many of them spurious) and demonstrate, even when there are no known associations, how a garment may reveal its own biography: a story that can include repair, remaking, recycling; burial, resurrection and veneration; accidental loss or deliberate deposition.
The authors both have many publications in the field of medieval studies, including previous collaborations on medieval textiles such as Medieval Textiles of the British Isles AD 450-1100: an Annotated Bibliography (2007), the Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles (2012) and online bibliographies.

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Edited by Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin and Mats Roslund

In Identity Formation and Diversity in the Early Medieval Baltic and Beyond, the Viking World in the East is made more heterogeneous. Baltic Finnic groups, Balts and Sami are integrated into the history dominated by Scandinavians and Slavs.
Interaction in the region between Eastern Middle Sweden, Finland, Estonia and North Western Russia is set against varied cultural expressions of identities. Ten scholars approach the topic from different angles, with case studies on the roots of diversity, burials with horses, Staraya Ladoga as a nodal point of long-distance routes, Rus’ warrior identities, early Eastern Christianity, interaction between the Baltic Finns and the Svear, the first phases of ar-Rus dominion, the distribution of Carolingian swords, and Dirhams in the Baltic region.
Contributors are Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Valter Lang, John Howard Lind, Marika Mägi, Mats Roslund, Søren Sindbaek, Anne Stalsberg, and Tuukka Talvio.

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Edited by Antonino de Francesco

The book aims rethinking the cultural history of Mediterranean nationalisms between 19th and 20th centuries by tracing their specific approach to antiquity in the forging of a national past.
By focusing on how national imaginaries dealt with this topic and how history and archaeology relied on antiquity, this collection of essays introduces a comparative approach presenting several cases studies concerning many regions including Spain, Italy and Slovenia as well as Albania, Greece and Turkey.
By adopting the perspective of a dialogue among all these Mediterranean political cultures, this book breaks significantly new ground, because it shifts attention on how Southern Europe nationalisms are an interconnected political and cultural experience, directly related to the intellectual examples of Northern Europe, but also developing its own particular trends.

Contributors are: Çiğdem Atakuman, Filippo Carlà, Francisco Garcia Alonso, Maja Gori, Eleni Stefanou, Rok Stergar, Katia Visconti.

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Edited by Nicholas S.M. Matheou, Theofili Kampianaki and Lorenzo M. Bondioli

From Constantinople to the Frontier: The City and the Cities provides twenty-five articles addressing the concept of centres and peripheries in the late antique and Byzantine worlds, focusing specifically on urban aspects of this paradigm. Spanning from the fourth to thirteenth centuries, and ranging from the later Roman empires to the early Caliphate and medieval New Rome, the chapters reveal the range of factors involved in the dialectic between City, cities, and frontier.
Including contributions on political, social, literary, and artistic history, and covering geographical areas throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean, this volume provides a kaleidoscopic view of how human actions and relationships worked with, within, and between urban spaces and the periphery, and how these spaces and relationships were themselves ideologically constructed and understood.
Contributors are Walter F. Beers, Lorenzo M. Bondioli, Christopher Bonura, Lynton Boshoff, Averil Cameron, Jeremiah Coogan, Robson Della Torre, Pavla Drapelova, Nicholas Evans, David Gyllenhaal, Franka Horvat, Theofili Kampianaki, Maximilian Lau, Valeria Flavia Lovato, Byron MacDougall, Nicholas S.M. Matheou, Daniel Neary, Jonas Nilsson, Cecilia Palombo, Maria Alessia Rossi, Roman Shliakhtin, Sarah C. Simmons, Andrew M. Small, Jakub Sypiański, Vincent Tremblay and Philipp Winterhager.

Problems of Han Administration

Ancestral Rites, Weights and Measures, and the Means of Protest

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Michael Loewe

Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.

Viewing Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology

VeHinnei Rachel – Essays in Honor of Rachel Hachlili

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Edited by Ann Killebrew and Gabriele Faßbeck

In honor of eminent archaeologist and historian of ancient Jewish art, Rachel Hachlili, friends and colleagues offer contributions in this festschrift which span the world of ancient Judaism both in Palestine and the Diaspora. Hachlili's distinctive research interests: synagogues, burial sites, and Jewish iconography receive particular attention in the volume. Archaeologists and historians present new material evidence from Galilee, Jerusalem, and Transjordan, contributing to the honoree’s fields of scholarly study. Fresh analyses of ancient Jewish art, essays on architecture, historical geography, and research history complete the volume and make it an enticing kaleidoscope of the vibrant field of scholarship that owes so much to Rachel.

Avar-Age Polearms and Edged Weapons

Classification, Typology, Chronology and Technology

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Gergely Csiky

In Avar-Age Polearms and Edged Weapons, Gergely Csiky offers a presentation of close combat weapons of a nomadic population that migrated from Inner Asia to East-Central Europe. During the late 6th – early 7th centuries, the Avars led successful military campaigns against the Balkan realms of the Byzantine Empire, facilitated by their cavalry’s use of stirrups for the first time in Europe.
Besides the classification, manufacturing techniques, fittings, suspension, distribution, and chronology of polearms and edged weapons known from Avar-age burials, a special emphasis is laid on the origins and cultural contacts of these weapons, among them the first edged weapons with curved blades: the sabres. The social significance and, function of these artefacts is discussed in order to place them in nomadic warfare.

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Edited by Larissa Tracy and Kelly DeVries

The spectacle of the wounded body figured prominently in the Middle Ages, from images of Christ’s wounds on the cross, to the ripped and torn bodies of tortured saints who miraculously heal through divine intervention, to graphic accounts of battlefield and tournament wounds—evidence of which survives in the archaeological record—and literary episodes of fatal (or not so fatal) wounds. This volume offers a comprehensive look at the complexity of wounding and wound repair in medieval literature and culture, bringing together essays from a wide range of sources and disciplines including arms and armaments, military history, medical history, literature, art history, hagiography, and archaeology across medieval and early modern Europe.
Contributors are Stephen Atkinson, Debby Banham, Albrecht Classen, Joshua Easterling, Charlene M. Eska, Carmel Ferragud, M.R. Geldof, Elina Gertsman, Barbara A. Goodman, Máire Johnson, Rachel E. Kellett, Ilana Krug, Virginia Langum, Michael Livingston, Iain A. MacInnes, Timothy May, Vibeke Olson, Salvador Ryan, William Sayers, Patricia Skinner, Alicia Spencer-Hall, Wendy J. Turner, Christine Voth, and Robert C. Woosnam-Savage.

The Harp and the Constitution

Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin

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Edited by Joanne Parker

‘Celtic’ and ‘Gothic’: both words refer today to both ancient tribes and modern styles. ‘Celtic’ is associated with harp music, native knitwear, and spirituality; ‘Gothic’ with medieval cathedrals, rock bands, and horror fiction. The eleven essays collected together here chart some of the curious and unexpected ways in which the Celts and the Goths were appropriated and reinvented in Britain and other European countries through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries – becoming not just mythologised races, but lending their names to abstract principles and entire value systems.

Contributed by experts in literature, archaeology, history, and Celtic studies, the essays range from broad surveys to specific case-studies, and together demonstrate the complicated interplay that has always existed between ‘Celticism’ and ‘Gothicism’.

Contributors are: John Collis, Robert DeMaria, Jr., Tom Duggett, Tim Fulford, Nick Groom, Amy Hale, Ronald Hutton, Joep Leerssen, Dafydd Moore, Joanne Parker, Juan Miguel Zarandona.