Donnerstag, 11. April 2013

Farmsteads in early medieval Germany – architecture and organisation

The recent volume of the Spanish journal 'Arqueología de la Arquitectura' 9, 2012 is devoted to early medieval rural architecture: Archaeology of Architecture and Household Archeology in early medieval Europe, edited by J.A. Quirós. There are contributions not only to the Iberian peninsula, but also to France (by Édith Peytreman) and to Great Britain (by Mark Gardiner).

Early medieval house plans from
Northwestern Germany
(redrawn by R. Schreg)
In an English article I tried to provide a short characteristic of buildings and settlement organisation of early medieval settlements in Germany. The article gives an outline of research history and identifies some recent trends and future perspectives of research.
The article "Farmsteads in early medieval Germany – architecture and organisation" is available per open access at the journal's homepage (or at

In Germany early medieval rural settlements are known from a rising number of excavated sites. Rural architecture was a wooden architecture. Only churches were built in stone. A farmstead consisted of several buildings: the main house and several economic buildings as pit houses and storages. Before the 1980s, when large scale excavations became more and more common, there was little awareness of changes in rural settlement history. The formation of still existing villages was only late in the Middle Ages. However, even today it is difficult to understand the changes in rural architecture as there are distinct regional differences. Probably the 5th century on the one hand and the period of village formation between the 10th and 13th centuries on the other hand were the most innovative periods.

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