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Tracking the path of the Agricultural Revolution from England to Continental Europe: changes in pig husbandry from the Late Medieval to Early Modern period as a marker of socio-economic transformation

Tracking the path of the Agricultural Revolution from England to Continental Europe: changes in pig husbandry from the Late Medieval to Early Modern period as a marker of socio-economic transformation

Objective

The phenomenon known as the English Agricultural Revolution (18th century) brought significant technological changes in farming practices, such as breed improvements and adoption of more efficient breeding strategies, which are not only the foundation of modern food production systems, but also fundamentally changed human life and shaped our current relationship with animals. This project will use pigs, one of the most common domestic animals, often associated with cultural choices and social status, as a proxy to investigate A) how changes in pig management, which originated and developed in England, spread to Continental Europe and B) the way in which pig husbandry practices were influenced by, and adapted to, the changing economy and society that characterized the transition between the Late Medieval and Early Modern period (1400-1800 AD). This will be done by comparing data from England, where the Agricultural Revolution began, and Bavaria in southern Germany, chosen due to a strong tradition of pig husbandry during the Medieval period and a lack of studies on this topic, making it the ideal ground for investigation. This project will identify the reasons, timing and geographic variation in the response of pig husbandry practices to socio-political changes including the progressive intensification of production, changes in pig size and shape, the generation of intensive sty-keeping feeding regimes and the introduction of new pig stock. To achieve this, the project will undertake a thorough investigation of pig body size and shape; combine biometrical data with Geometric Morphometric analysis to establish if genetically different stock was introduced; complement the zooarchaeological data with stable isotopes analysis to investigate changes in the way pigs were managed; and strive to understand the chronological and geographic variability in the consequences of the transition from the Medieval period to the early Modern age, precursor of the contemporary world.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN

Address

Geschwister Scholl Platz 1
80539 Muenchen

Germany

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 162 806,40

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842612

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 April 2020

  • End date

    31 March 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 162 806,40

  • EU contribution

    € 162 806,40

Coordinated by:

LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN

Germany