My house, my rules: an archaeological analysis of peasant agency in Early Medieval domestic contexts from Central-East Portugal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyses early medieval contexts from Castelo de Vide (Alto Alentejo, Portugal). Territory of the former Lusitania province exhibits new forms of settlements, changes in production scale and in ideological systems, which are perceptible in the material evidence of the post-Roman period. Households are crucial to perceive these changes, and thus, the archaeological analysis of the container and its content allows for a theoretical reflection on the activities, behaviours, and transformations axes of these peasant communities between the 5th and 8th centuries. We will be comparing the results from recent excavations carried out on two farmsteads, Tapada das Guaritas I and Tapada da Freiras, which present extensive household assemblages. We will be considering how each individual household was organized, which activities were carried out inside and outside (in yards and enclosures) and the association with immediate outside areas where gravesites are usually located, a complex issue of early medieval peasant communities in Western Iberia. We will be focusing on the relationships between farmsteads, engage in comparative studies with other excavated spaces in the region, and reflect on ethno-archaeological models that will place the emphasis on peasant communities. Our end goal is to defend the existence of a strong autonomy in everyday peasant life, balanced against the impact of external powers that affect the development and transformations of rural landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Ruralia XIV Conference - Viseu, Portugal
Duration: 13 Sep 202119 Sep 2021

Conference

ConferenceThe Ruralia XIV Conference
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityViseu
Period13/09/2119/09/21

Keywords

  • Household archaeology
  • Early Middle Ages
  • Domestic contexts

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