In this book, Volodymyr Koloda and Serhiy Gorbanenko discuss the important role of agriculture in the socio-economic development of the Khazar Khaganate and its influence on neighboring peoples. Drawing on the methods of the natural sciences (such as palaeobotany, archeozoology, soil science, palaeoclimatology), the volume focuses on how agriculture became the basis of the economy of the Khazarian populace. Comparative analysis suggests a significant influence of the agricultural traditions of the Saltiv population on the neighboring tribes of the Eastern Slavs, such as Severians mentioned in the annals (the Romny culture of Left-Bank Ukraine) and Slavs on the Don (the Borshevo culture).
Editor: Therese Martin
The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Cultural Interchange—expanded beyond the special issue of Medieval Encounters from which it was drawn—centers on the magnificent treasury of San Isidoro de León to address wider questions about the meanings of cross-cultural luxury goods in royal-ecclesiastical settings during the central Middle Ages. Now fully open access and with an updated introduction to ongoing research, an additional chapter, composite bibliographies, and indices, this multidisciplinary volume opens fresh ways into the investigation of medieval objects and textiles through historical, art historical, and technical analyses. Carbon-14 dating, iconography, and social history are among the methods applied to material and textual evidence, together shining new light on the display of rulership in medieval Iberia.
In the historiography of trade in the Middle Ages, there is a wide current of theoretical consideration referring to the ways contemporaries perceived trade. The present work pays specific attention to how trade functioned within the range of the influence of the Ottonian Empire and Byzantium, from the 10th to 12th centuries. This book attempts to verify these concepts in the extensive available source. The manner of circulation of goods and the phenomenon of accumulating goods is a significant product of the present book, demonstrating how imperial influences that perceived through the prism of generative centres on the peripheries of Europe. This volume is the English translation of Handel interregionalny od X do XII wieku. Europa Środkowa, Środkowo-Wschodnia, Półwysep Skandynawski i Półwysep Bałkański. Studium Porównawcze (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika,Torun 2016).

Abstract

Excavations at three urban sites, Harlaa, Harar, and Ganda Harla, in eastern Ethiopia have recovered substantial assemblages of faunal remains. These, the first to be analysed from Islamic contexts in the country, were studied to reconstruct animal economies, and to assess if it was possible to identify Islamic conversion or the presence of Muslims in archaeological contexts through examining butchery practices and diet via the species present. Differences in animal economies between the sites in, for example, management strategies, use of animals for traction, and presence of imported marine fish, infers the development of different traditions. However, conversion to Islam was evident, and although issues of non-observance, mixed communities, and dietary eclecticism have to be acknowledged, the appearance of a similar range of butchery techniques suggests these were linked with the appearance of Muslim traders, and subsequent spread of Islam.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Salvage excavations in the 1970s uncovered a sizeable commoner occupation at Great Zimbabwe, as well as evidence for the early construction of an elite stonewalled enclosure. As a result of these excavations, we can revise somewhat the chronology of Great Zimbabwe. The most important changes are the extension of Period IVa, lasting from AD 1285±10 to 1395±10, and the appearance of P, P/Q and Q-coursed walling in Period IVa. The small Nemanwa palace was built in P/Q and first dates to Period IVa, as does the Outer Perimeter Wall, and both were linked to the growth of the Zimbabwe state. Period IVb represents the floruit of Great Zimbabwe, while Period IVc encompasses the occupation after the political elite moved north to become the well-known Mutapa dynasty. After the move north, the Mutapa established a masungiro ritual centre at Great Zimbabwe, perhaps to maintain territorial rights in the face of Torwa expansion.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Excavations at Old Dongola in 2018/2019 led to the discovery of a quarter of wattle-and-daub houses located outside the town walls. The houses, dated to the 17th − 18th century, are arranged in compounds and visibly differ from other dwellings. This paper aims to identify the functional and social organisation of domestic space, based primarily on the analysis of access and activity areas. It sheds light on the relations of private and public space as well as gender divisions. The paper also addresses the question of the identity of dwellers and the social structure of the town in the Funj period.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

South Africa is one of the best-studied regions in terms of Stone Age research in the last few decades. Considerable progress has been made, especially for the Middle Stone Age (MSA). Recently the late Pleistocene Later Stone Age (LSA) has come back into focus. However, there are still large understudied areas such as northeastern South Africa. Here we present the first data from an archaeological site containing late Pleistocene occupations associated with the Robberg techno-complex in this region. Iron Pig rock shelter provides a well-dated sequence spanning from >16000 cal BP to <9000 cal BP. A lithic analysis of the Robberg occupations of the lowermost layers 5 and 6 provided here implies gradual temporal shifts in technology indicating short-term changing traditions. A comparative review of other LSA sites in the wider region suggests considerable research gaps and the necessity of intensified work in this area.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

With exception of Maluma (1979) and Musambachime (2016, 2017), there have been no archaeometallurgical publications on the technology and culture of iron production in Zambia. This paper presents archaeological and archaeometallurgical evidence of a technology of iron production in Chongwe in terms of spatial organization, the process of metal production (either a three-stage process involving smelting in relatively tall furnaces, refining in miniature (vintengwe) furnaces, and smithing on a hearth or a two-stage process involving smelting and smithing), furnace air supply mechanisms, liquid slag handling techniques, variation in the geochemistry of ore and clay, and the nature of the final smelting products. Archaeological field data collection techniques included ethnoarchaeological interviews, (furnace) excavation, surface collections, and surface walkover surveys, while laboratory analytical techniques included optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and x-ray fluorescence (XRF). New field evidence indicates that iron production in Chongwe in the previous two centuries was secluded from respective pre-modern settlements for socio-cultural and technical reasons. There are no settlement remains in and around Chongwe smelting sites. Also, most of the archaeological data in Chongwe are supportive of the two-stage process that did not involve iron refining in vintengwe furnaces. There were no iron refining sites in Chongwe. Archaeological evidence also strongly points to the use of natural air supply mechanism for the smelting furnaces because proximal ends of tuyères inter alia were not trumpeted. All smelting sites were systematically located on termite mounds. There were three to four smelting furnaces located on the western side of a termite mound. The presence of tuyère mould slags and thin and elongated slag microstructures strongly indicates that liquid slag was tapped outside the furnace apparently through tuyères and was left to cool quickly. Presence of primary wüstite and iron particles in the slags strongly suggests the production of iron as the final smelting product in Chongwe. The results are compared with the archaeology, chemistry, and mineralogy of iron production from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the Lake Tanganyika-Nyasa Corridor. The presence of three to four smelting furnaces per termite mound makes iron production in Chongwe a unique technology in the Corridor.

In: Journal of African Archaeology
An Exploration of the Link between Royal Image and Co-Rule during the Reign of Senwosret III and Amenemhet III
In Visualizing Coregency, Lisa Saladino Haney explores the practice of co-rule during Egypt’s 12th Dynasty and the role of royal statuary in expressing the dynamics of shared power. Though many have discussed coregencies, few have examined how such a concept was expressed visually. Haney presents both a comprehensive accounting of the evidence for coregency during the 12th Dynasty and a detailed analysis of the full corpus of royal statuary attributed to Senwosret III and Amenemhet III. This study demonstrates that by the reign of Senwosret III the central government had developed a wide-ranging visual, textual, and religious program that included a number of distinctive portrait types designed to convey the central political and cultural messages of the dynasty.
In: Visualizing Coregency