Marijke van der Veen, born in Delft, the Netherlands, in 1952. Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield. Professor of Archeology at the University of Leicester.
Fellow (1 September 2011 – 30 June 2012)
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CONSUMPTION IN NORTH WEST EUROPE 1-1500 AD
This project assesses the impact of major societal change (e.g. Roman conquest, Saxon migrations, fluctuations in long-distance trade) on agriculture and food consumption in NW Europe during the Roman and medieval periods (ca. AD 1-1500). The botanical remains of food plants recovered from archaeological excavations are taken as the primary data. Using a large temporal framework I plan to collate and synthesise this crucial scientific evidence and chart the changes over eight chronological phases within this broad period. Results to date highlight that the Roman period is instrumental in increasing dietary breadth (introduction of many new fruits and herbs) and resulted in the introduction of horticulture, while the early medieval period and the Anglo-Saxon migrations had a significant impact on agriculture (major changes in the range of staple crops and how these were cultivated). Together these food introductions had a lasting impact on European consumption patterns, society and regional patterns of food production.