Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Rural Riches (Rural Riches. The bottom-up development of Post-Roman Northwestern Europe (450-640))
Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2020-08-31
This project analyses the importance of the rural population as consumers with access to global trade networks to the post-Roman economic development in northwestern Europe.
It is of great importance to analyse the early economic development of this region because it became ever more important in the economic development of Europe as a whole in the Middle Ages and the Modern Period. With this ambitious archaeological project we aim to contribute substantially to the age-old debate on the origins of the European economy and to a general debate on the role of the mass of the population in economic processes in the past. Moreover, while analysing a non-modern economy we are confronted with the, according to modern standards, non-economic aspects of economic practices, such as cultural values, ritual demands and religious influences. In this way this research contributes to modern economic thinking in which recently a growing interest has developed in the behavioural aspects of economic aspects, pluriform economic thinking or in short ‘non-economic economics’.
The overall objective of the project is to create new models on the early post-Roman economic development of (northwestern) Europe in which there is a special place for the agency of subaltern groups (the rural population, crafts people) based on models of economic development which include culturally specific values, social dimensions and Christian religious values. An important product of the project will also be a large database on the archaeology and history of Merovingian Northern Gaul which will be a very welcomed instrument for future research into this formative period in European history.