Oxford Archaeology’s sixth research seminar focused on the provisioning of medieval towns across England, including evidence relating to Carlisle, Oxford, Norwich, King’s Lynn and Colchester.

Using information from excavated urban sites and others in their hinterlands, it explored themes linked to a wide range of occupations and related products such as pottery, foodstuffs (with a particular emphasis on fish and fisheries), metals, charcoal, timber and salt. It also considered the use of animal by-products in medieval trades including wool, hides/leather and horn. Environments providing a range of resources and locations for production activities were examined, such as woodlands, heaths and marshes. More widely, the economic aspects of towns as production centres, consumers, markets and distributors were considered.

The live webinar, consisting of a series of talks and subsequent discussion led by a distinguished panel of experts, was held online on Thursday 12th January, the talks being as follows:

  • Ken Welsh (OA CEO): Introduction
  • Denise Druce & Ian Smith (OA North): Provisioning the backlands: recent work on animal bone and plant remains from Carlisle’s medieval Lanes
  • Rebecca Nicholson & Steve Teague (OA South): Provisioning town and gown: the contribution of animal and plant remains from recent excavations in medieval Oxford
  • Graeme Clarke & Paul Spoerry (OA East): Iron, charcoal, pottery, salt: urban provisioning from marginal rural landscapes in Eastern England

Click here to download summaries of the talks

The session was chaired by Dr Ben Jervis, with panellists including Prof. Chris Dyer, Dr Brian Ayers, Dr John Schofield and Dr Abby Antrobus.

Watch a video of the seminar here or click the link to watch it via YouTube.

Banner image: Dining scene from the Luttrell Psalter, c 1325-1335

                                             Fig seeds

                                                    Grape pips


                               Pig skull from Carlisle