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Novgorod has probably the most comprehensive collection of excavated wooden objects and structures from any site in the world. The town and its material culture were completely dominated by wood. Equally important, the preservation of this material has been excellent due to benign anaerobic waterlogged conditions. This book describes various aspects of the use of wood in medieval Novgorod in twenty-five chapters written by the world's leading authorities on this material. It provides fascinating detail on the way wooden material was used in structures such as buildings, streets, yards, fences; industrial activity, for example spinning and weaving, footwear production; transport, such as skis, sleighs or boats; household objects, for example containers, furniture, combs, toys and games; musical instruments; accountancy and commerce (tally sticks, tribute seals); and ritual and decoration. Most of the objects discussed date from the 10th century AD to the 15th, but the book includes comparisons to ethnographic evidence from more recent periods. Importantly, many of the chapters are written by Russian authors, bringing their work to the English audience for the first time.A bibliography of previously published material and extensive illustration make this volume a necessary addition to any serious archaeological research library shelf and the wealth of information provided about everyday life in this important medieval centre of commerce will be a great interest to medievalists and historians of Russia.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Novgorod
The use of wood in civil engineering
The buildings of Novgorod
Hunting and fishing equipment
Wood use in spinning and weaving
Mirror and wax tablet frames
Toys and models
Chess pieces and gaming boards
Decorative carved wooden objects
Wood use in ritual contexts
Accounting, tags and credit tallies
Wood use in medieval Novgorod
Bibliography of Novgorod Wood
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edited by Mark Brisbane and Jon HatherReview:
A tremendous introduction to wood use in medieval Novgorod. It is a tribute to the authors and editors of this volume that it leaves the reader wanting more'. (Nicola Trzaska-Nartowski Journal of Wetland Archaeology, Vol. 8, 2008)
A very useful and accomplished review of wood use in medieval Novgorod.' (John Oxley Antiquity, Vol. 83, 2009)
The volume gives an excellent overview of the types of wooden objects and buildings discovered in Novgorod up to ca. 1999... presents extremely valuable comparative material for medieval archaeology elsewhere in Europe, where organic finds are neither as abundant nor as well preserved as in Novgorod.' (G. R. Parpulov Speculum, vol 85, No. 3, 2010)
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