Environment, Society and the Black Death

Environment, Society and the Black Death

An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Late-medieval Crisis in Sweden

eBook - 2015
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Casemate Publishing
In the mid-fourteenth century the Black Death ravaged Europe, leading to dramatic population drop and social upheavals. Recurring plague outbreaks together with social factors pushed Europe into a deep crisis that lasted for more than a century. The plague and the crisis, and in particular their short-term and long-term consequences for society, have been the matter of continuous debate. Most of the research so far has been based on the study of written sources, and the dominating perspective has been the one of economic history. A different approach is presented here by using evidence and techniques from archaeology and the natural sciences. Special focus is on environmental and social changes in the wake of the Black Death. Pollen and tree-ring data are used to gain new insights into farm abandonment and agricultural change, and to point to the important environmental and ecological consequences of the crisis. The archaeological record shows that the crisis was not only characterized by abandonment and decline, but also how families and households survived by swiftly developing new strategies during these uncertain times. Finally, stature and isotope studies are applied to human skeletons from medieval churchyards to reveal changes in health and living conditions during the crisis. The conclusions are put in wider perspective that highlights the close relationship between society and the environment and the historical importance of past epidemics.

David Brown Book Co
In the mid-fourteenth century the Black Death ravaged Europe, leading to dramatic population drop and social upheavals. Recurring plague outbreaks together with social factors pushed Europe into a deep crisis that lasted for more than a century. The plague and the crisis, and in particular their short-term and long-term consequences for society, have been the matter of continuous debate. Most of the research so far has been based on the study of written sources, and the dominating perspective has been the one of economic history. A different approach is presented here by using evidence and techniques from archaeology and the natural sciences. Special focus is on environmental and social changes in the wake of the Black Death. Pollen and tree-ring data are used to gain new insights into farm abandonment and agricultural change, and to point to the important environmental and ecological consequences of the crisis. The archaeological record shows that the crisis was not only characterized by abandonment and decline, but also how families and households survived by swiftly developing new strategies during these uncertain times. Finally, stature and isotope studies are applied to human skeletons from medieval churchyards to reveal changes in health and living conditions during the crisis. The conclusions are put in wider perspective that highlights the close relationship between society and the environment and the historical importance of past epidemics.
New approaches to the economic and societal consequences of the Black Death focusing on environmental and ecological factors to examine the crisis in Sweden

Book News
This study of the Black Death in the 14th century in Sweden demonstrates social and ecological change by employing non-written sources of evidence from archaeology and the natural sciences, such as human skeletons, tree rings, isotope data, pollen data, and the ruins of buildings. The first three chapters outline the benefits of taking an interdisciplinary approach and review what is known about the late-Medieval crisis triggered by the Black Death. The next part of the book presents archaeological evidence on agricultural change during the period and living conditions during the Black Death. The book’s final four chapters discuss epidemics in societal context. B&w historical photos and illustrations are included, along with color photos of sites, and color maps and graphs. Distributed in North America by Casemate Academic. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Publisher: Oxford :, Oxbow Books,, 2015
ISBN: 9781785700576
178570057X
9781785700569
1785700561
9781785700552
1785700553
1785700545
9781785700545
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Lageręas, Per

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