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New Home, New Herds: Cuman Integration and Animal Husbandry in Medieval Hungary from an Archaeozoological Perspective by Kyra Lyublyanovics. 338 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 383 2017 Archaeolingua Central European Archaeological Heritage Series 10. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784917524. £55.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917531. £16.00 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £55.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The Cumans, a people that inhabited the steppe zone in the medieval period and actively shaped the fate of the region from the Black Sea to the Carpathian Basin, have been primarily known to history as nomadic, mounted warriors. Some of them arrived in the Hungarian Kingdom in the mid-thirteenth century as a group of refugees fleeing the invading Mongol army and asked for asylum. In the course of three centuries they settled down in the kingdom, converted to Christianity, and were integrated into medieval Hungarian society.

This study collects all available information, historical, ethnographic and archaeological alike, on the animal husbandry aspect of the complex development of the Cuman population in medieval Hungary. Although this medieval minority has been in the focus of scholarly interest in the past decades, no attempt has been made so far to study their herds using interdisciplinary methods. The research of faunal assemblages through archaeozoological methods has the potential to reveal direct, and by other means, unavailable information on animal keeping practices, although this source of evidence often escapes scholarly attention in Central and Eastern Europe. This book combines a primary scientific dataset with historical information and interprets them within the framework of settlement history in order to investigate the manifold integration process of a medieval community.
Medieval Rural Settlements in the Syrian Coastal Region (12th and 13th Centuries) by Balázs Major. xvi+270 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 205 2016 Archaeolingua Central European Archaeological Heritage Series 9. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912048. £52.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912055. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £52.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This book is the result of more than a dozen years of research in the field of the hitherto unstudied medieval settlement pattern of the Syrian coastal region in the 12th and 13th centuries. The conclusions presented in this work were reached with the combined use of several source types including medieval documents, travellers’ accounts, former research, map evidence, toponymy, archive and satellite photographs, oral sources and extensive archaeological field surveys accompanied by documentation between the years 2000 and 2015. After enumerating the historical events that influenced the settlement pattern of the coast, its centres, including the towns and castles (with special regard to the smaller fortifications of the countryside that seem to have been a Frankish introduction to the area) are analysed. Following the detailed examination of the written sources and the architectural material preserved at these lesser sites, a closer look at the villages and their environment aims to draw a general picture on the density of settlements and their basic characteristics. The book also discusses communication lines and provides an assessment of the medieval population that inhabited the region in the 12th and 13th centuries. The text is accompanied by a collection of maps, plan drawings, tables and illustrations on a selected number of sites visited during the field surveys.

Reviews:

'...Major supplies a goldmine of photographs, diagrams and archaeological drawings, all of which stand as testimony to the rigour of his and his team’s research and which will doubtlessly be invaluable resources for future historians.
Overall, this is an impressive and hardworking text, of high value. It is only to be hoped that the current horrendous situation in Syria might resolve itself swiftly so that Major can continue this ground-breaking work.'
– Nicholas Morton (Medieval Archaeology, 2017)
Hoards, Grave Goods, Jewellery Objects in hoards and in burial contexts during the Mongol invasion of Central-Eastern Europe by Mária Vargha. vi+95 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 187 2015 Archaeolingua Central European Archaeological Heritage Series . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784912024. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784912031. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £30.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

This monograph examines one specific hoard horizon, which is connected to the Mongol invasion of Hungary (1241-42). With this catastrophic event, the historical context is both well-known and much discussed by contemporaries and modern scholars. This opportunity to examine material connected to a sole event, but across a broad spectrum of geographical space and social class, is unique for hoard horizons in Hungary, and, for that matter, in Europe. Though this study focuses on hoards connected to the Mongol invasion, it is also relevant beyond this specific context. The work addresses issues concerning hoard finds and material culture, and examines how finds are related when found in different contexts (a hoard, grave, or settlement feature), thus the questions raised and conclusions reached are important for other medieval hoard finds. By comparing hoards related to a single historical event to a contemporaneous site – containing a village, a church, and a cemetery – assessments can be made regarding how hoards reflect social issues such as stratification, wealth, status, and fashion.
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