Disaster recovery? New archaeological evidence from eastern England for the impact of the ‘calamitous’ 14th century

Lewis, Carenza (2016) Disaster recovery? New archaeological evidence from eastern England for the impact of the ‘calamitous’ 14th century. Antiquity, 90 (351). pp. 777-797. ISSN 0003-598X

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Abstract

The Black Death swept across Europe and Asia in the fourteenth century, killing millions and devastating communities.
Recent re-evaluations of source data, the discovery of new plague cemeteries and advances in genotyping have caused scholars to reconsider the extent of the devastation and to revise estimated mortality rates upwards.
But what was the true impact of this catastrophic episode? Systematic test-pitting can reveal changes in medieval demography that can be both quantified and mapped at a range of scales. Comparing the relative amounts of high medieval (copious) to late medieval (much scarcer) pottery suggests that the pottery-using population across eastern England was around 45% lower in the centuries after the Black Death than before, and such comparison identifies exactly where this contraction was the most and least severely felt.

Keywords:Archaeology, History, England, medieval, pottery, Black Death, plague, test-pit, depopulation, NotOAChecked
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:18907
Deposited On:02 Oct 2015 12:28

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