Enlightening the Dark Ages: Early Medieval Archaeology in Italy

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Discovering the cultural heritage of Medieval Europe through archaeology

On this archaeology course, you will explore what we can learn about the past through material culture. It focuses on the history of Medieval Europe, from the end of the Roman Empire in the West. This was a time of huge cultural, social, and environmental change.

The course covers a wide range of topics. You’ll explore the significance of changes in medieval food and health, the spread of Christianity in Europe, and migration patterns and social structures.

You will gain a sensibility for cultural heritage, focused on artefacts of material culture discovered on archaeological sites. These objects can help us understand the complexities of the late Roman Empire, by now under regular attack from Barbarian tribes.

Through material culture, we can understand how people lived, worshipped, and worked, as the new Germanic kingdoms and culture of Medieval Europe emerged.

You will also learn about the technical side of historical archaeology, covering the latest archaeological tools and techniques.

Explore the history of climate change in the early Middle Ages

This historical archaeology course also considers the history of climate change. We are clearly coming closer to the brink of climate catastrophe in the 21st century. What can we learn about how people in the Early Middle Ages reacted to climate change during their times? More broadly, you’ll consider what the history of Europe can tell us about the present.

This medieval archaeology course is delivered by the University of Padova, a research leader in the field. The University of Padova team has dug some of the most culturally significant Italian archaeological sites.

This course is suitable for anyone interested in historical archaeology, Medieval Europe, cultural heritage, or the history of climate change.

It would benefit those preparing to study archaeology or who want to explore new archaeological methodologies.