Globalization, trade, and material culture: Portugal’s role in the making of a multicultural Europe (1415–1806)

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In the Early Modern age, Portugal was among the first European countries to engage in overseas trade and colonial ventures. The influx of new people and things rapidly transformed it into a multicultural country in permanent contact with the rest of Europe and the wider world. While we possess a vast amount of knowledge describing the overseas contacts and acquisition of goods from historical documents, in recent years archaeological excavations have begun to reveal direct evidence of these interactions. This includes thousands of people and objects such as ceramics, ivory and stone artefacts produced in overseas territories in Africa, South America and Asia. They were exported in vast amounts to several European countries, and are frequently found in archaeological excavations. These commodities were in part responsible for changing European perceptions of the world, its dimensions and cultural plurality. They also rapidly left their mark on European goods production, leading to changes in aesthetics and the introduction of new forms. This paper will discuss some of these objects in terms of how they reflect an Early Modern globalized world, and their influence on European daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPost-Medieval Archaeology
Issue number1
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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