The social and economic role of freshwater fish in medieval England: a zooarchaeological approach.
This project aims to clarify the dynamics behind the exploitation of freshwater fish in medieval England from the Norman Conquest until the start of the Early Modern Period, at the end of the 15th century. It will investigate the extent to which freshwater fish represented a luxury food item, the origin and nature of the areas of catchment and the evolution of patterns of freshwater fish consumption throughout the medieval period. From c.1000 AD onward freshwater fish, such as eel, bream, perch, pike, roach and tench, becomes much less represented in archaeological sites, and mainly associated with high status sites, both religious and secular. Documentary evidence attests to the high value attached to freshwater fish; large pikes and breams were often offered as gifts to reinforce social bonds among lords and town folks or as upper class rewards and also recommended by medieval recipe books for special occasions. The construction of fishponds associated with high status sites also increased in this period. Fishing from these ponds, rivers, estuaries and natural ponds was restricted and infringements were severely punished. This made freshwater fish a symbol of social privilege.
Historical research has investigated the cultural role attributed by the aristocracy to freshwater fish but archaeological evidence concerning which species and in which context was considered to be a luxury is scanty. The selections of species, size, catching method and source could have been key factors in the evaluation of the fish and, on these, archaeology can provide an important contribution.
The project combines the study of the faunal remains with a range of documentary sources and other archaeological evidence (pottery, grave goods, iconography), which will be important in order to investigate the cultural perceptions of freshwater fish for the period. Several zooarchaeological analyses will be used to identify species frequency, butchery methods and size differences between sites and geographic areas, which can all provide information about the origin of the catch. The collected evidence will be compared with sites from the Netherlands, which has climatic, geographic and cultural similarities with England.
The project will contribute to our understanding of the nature of medieval society and be mainly of value to archaeologists and historians. The contribution of freshwater resources to diet, mobility, market and social stratification will be clarified beyond what is now known almost exclusively through written sources.
2014-2015 MSc Osteoarchaeology , University of Sheffield (UK). Passed with Distinction (Weighted mean grade 79.6; Dissertation: 85).
2011-2012 1st Level University Master Degree in Bioarchaeology, Paleopathology and Forensic Anthropology, Universities of Bologna, Milano Statale and Pisa (IT).
2004-2010 Undergraduate Degree in Science in Cultural Heritage (specialisation: Archaeology), University of Trento (IT). Final grade: 110/110.
|Publications and conference presentations||
November 2013 ʻThe faunal remains at the Neolithic settlement of Lugo di Grezzana (Verona)ʼ in: ʻPrehistory and Protohistory of Veneto 2013ʼ; XLVIII IPP meeting, 5th-9th November.
April 2012 ʻHuman remainsʼ in: ʻThe old medieval church of San Daniele in Tombola, Colfosco. Archaeological survey 2010ʼ, Comune di Susegna, 18th April.
Maccarinelli, A., Marconi, S. and A. Pedrotti. 2015. I resti faunistici dell’insediamento del Neolitico antico di Lugo di Grezzana (Verona). In: Leonardi, G. and V. Tiné (eds.) Preistoria e Protostoria del Veneto, Studi di Preistoria e Protostoria 2, pp. 605-609. Firenze: Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria.
Maccarinelli, A. and C. Pangrazzi. 2012. The anthropological and paleopathological analysis of the human remains, in: Possenti, E. (ed.) The old medieval church of San Daniele in Tombola, Colfosco. Archaeological surveys 2010, pp. 83-100. Trieste: Editreg.
Maccarinelli, A. 2012. Denti e patologie dentarie, in: Possenti, E. (ed.) The old medieval church of San Daniele in Tombola, Colfosco. Archaeological surveys 2010, pp. 93-98. Trieste: Editreg
|Awards and Scholarships||
White Rose College of Arts & Humanities, including Doctoral Academy maintenance award.
On CampUS Placement (100h) award, University of Sheffield (UK) “The improvement of the fish bones reference collection at the Zooarchaeology Laboratory”
15-16/09/2016 Organizer, teacher. Human and animal remains: a comparative approach - short course in osteology for archaeological research, University of Sheffield (UK).
02/10/2015, 23/10/2015 Demonstrator. AAP661 Archaeozoology module for postgraduate students (taught master courses), University of Sheffield (UK).
07/09/2015-11/09/2015 Teacher and Demonstrator. Understanding Zooarchaeology I and II - basic and advanced zooarchaeology short course. I delivered a lecture/practical entitled "Fish remains in their archaeological context", and a case study entitled "Specimens preparation for the reference collection", University of Sheffield (UK).
26/01/2015-30/01/2015 Demonstrator and Speaker. Understanding Zooarchaeology I and II - basic and advanced zooarchaeology short course, I presented a case study entitled "Specimens preparation for the reference collection", University of Sheffield (UK).
07/04/2014-09/04/2014 Demonstrator. Understanding Zooarchaeology I - basic zooarchaeology short course, University of Sheffield (UK).