Transhumance is a form of pastoralism that has been practised around the world since animals were first domesticated. Such seasonal movements have formed an important aspect of many European farming systems for several thousand years, although they have declined markedly since the nineteenth century. Ethnographers and geographers have long been involved in recording transhumant practices, and in the last two decades archaeologists have started to add a new material dimension to the subject.

This volume brings together recent advances in the study of European transhumance during historical times, from Sweden to Spain, Romania to Ireland, and beyond that even Newfoundland. While the focus is on the archaeology of seasonal sites used by shepherds and cowherds, the contributions exhibit a high degree of interdisciplinarity. Documentary, cartographic, ethnographic and palaeoecological evidence all play a part in the examination of seasonal movement and settlement in medieval and post-medieval landscapes. Notwithstanding the obvious diversity across Europe in terms of livestock, distances travelled and socio-economic context, an extended introduction to the volume shows that cross-cutting themes are now emerging, including mobility, gendered herding, collective land-use, the agency of non-elite people and competition for grazing and markets.

The book will appeal not only to archaeologists, but to historians, geographers, ethnographers, palaeoecologists and anyone interested in rural lifeways across Europe.

chapter 1|13 pages

Transhumant pastoralism in historic landscapes

Beginning a European perspective
ByEugene Costello, Eva Svensson

chapter 2|13 pages

The Scandinavian shieling – between innovation and tradition

ByEva Svensson

chapter 4|15 pages

Winter housing

Archaeological perspectives on Newfoundland’s non-pastoral transhumant tradition
ByAnatolijs Venovcevs, Barry C. Gaulton

chapter 5|15 pages

What do we really know about transhumance in medieval Scotland?

ByPiers Dixon

chapter 6|18 pages

Ethno-geoarchaeological study of seasonal occupation

Bhiliscleitir, the Isle of Lewis
ByPatrycja Kupiec, Karen Milek

chapter 7|15 pages

Morphology of transhumant settlements in post-medieval South Connemara

A case study in adaptation
ByEugene Costello

chapter 9|13 pages

Seasonal pastoral settlement in the lower mountains of the Auvergne region (France) during the medieval and modern periods (thirteenth–eighteenth centuries)

ByFrédéric Surmely, Violaine Nicolas, Jay D. Franklin, Robert Linam, Manon Cabanis, Julien Le Junter

chapter 10|19 pages

Moving up and down throughout the seasons

Winter and summer grazing between Provence and the southern Alps (France) ad 1100–1500
BySylvain Burri, Vanessa Py-Saragaglia, Roxanne Cesarini

chapter 11|15 pages

Alpine settlement remains in the Bernese Alps (Switzerland) in medieval and modern times

The visibility of alpine summer farming activities in the archaeological record
ByBrigitte Andres

chapter 12|16 pages

Short- and long-distance transhumant systems and the commons in post-classical archaeology

Case studies from southern Europe
ByAnna Maria Stagno

chapter 13|10 pages

Transhumance in the mountains of northern Tuscany (Italy)

ByMassimo Dadà

chapter 14|21 pages

The role of marginal landscapes in understanding transhumance in southern Tuscany (twelfth–twentieth centuries ad)

A reverse perspective integrating ethnoarchaeological and historical approaches
ByEdoardo Vanni, Davide Cristoferi

chapter 15|14 pages

Transhumant herding systems in Iberia

ByMargarita Fernández Mier, Catarina Tente

chapter 16|12 pages

Transhumance dynamics in the Gredos Range (central Spain) during the last two millennia

Environmental and socio-political vectors of change
ByJosé Antonio López-Sáez, Antonio Blanco-González, Daniel Abel-Schaad, Sandra Robles-López, Reyes Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger, Sebastián Pérez-Díaz, Francisca Alba-Sánchez

chapter 17|19 pages

Ovine pastoralism and mobility systems in Romania

An ethnoarchaeological approach
ByRobin Brigand, Olivier Weller, Felix Adrian Tencariu, Marius Alexianu, Andrei Asăndulesei