Medieval farming tools

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Brendan_the_lesser
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Medieval farming tools

Post by Brendan_the_lesser »

looking for books and articles on medieval farming tools, as well as weapons that were based on them (flails, Bills etc.) for a dissertation, can anyone help me out with some names or links? thanks in advance....
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Medicus Matt
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Post by Medicus Matt »

'Medieval' covers about 1000 years...care to be more specific?
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Brother Ranulf
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Post by Brother Ranulf »

Part of my research into 12th century England led me into a small piece of detective work, prompted by a statement in Alexander Neckham's "De nominibus utensilium". He included, among the tools required by a peasant farmer, a "sword".

This could not possibly mean a sword as we generally understand it; the word he used (gladius) is glossed into Anglo-Norman French as "glaive", with the meaning "sword, or a pole weapon with a long, single-edged, straight blade".

So, what agricultural tool was called a sword, had a long, straight blade with a single edge and was not a sword in the usual sense? Only by chance did I come across a website showing historic thatcher's tools, including a "sword" or "eaves knife", with exactly these characteristics. This short-handled tool was apparently sometimes mounted on a long shaft to produce the military "glaive" which was possibly used at Hastings, and which features in a very few 12th century illuminations.
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Post by guthrie »

The Luttrel Psalter has some ilustrations of ploughing and threshing. I think some of the pictures are available online, but there will be plenty of other pictures online, the problem is in finding them- Karen Larsdatter might have some, but I can't remember the url for her.

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Post by m300572 »

If you get on to the Council for British Archaeology website there is a link to the ADS - Medieval Archaeology is on line there so you can do a search through xcavations - its also host to BIAB (British and Irish Archaeological bibliography) which may give you a set of leads.
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Brendan_the_lesser
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Post by Brendan_the_lesser »

Thanks for the replys, and sorry for the lateness in mine.

Medicus Matt: i know its a broad span of time, but thats what i'm looking for, the trends throughout the period, means a lot of work, and makes it harder to get specific information, i might narrow it down to th 13-15 centuries, but i'll see how it goes.

thanks for the info on the British archaeology site, i'll have to check it out, i'm hoping to use artefacts as far as possible rather then documents, although i'll still need them.

Brother Ranulf: that is really interesting, and i'll certainly look into that, thanks very much.
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Post by Hobbitstomper »

A long straightish single handled blade, usually 18-24" is very common in agricultural communities throughout the world (bolo, machete, seax). In more temperate areas where the undergrowth is woodier they tend to be shorter and heavier (like a bill hook). In metal poor areas an axe is cheaper.

Shire archeology has a book about ancient tools which will give you an extreme of very little metal and poor quality metal at that.

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Post by m300572 »

i'm hoping to use artefacts as far as possible rather then documents, although i'll still need them.
Hence the need to look through excavation reports for examples of medieval implements (Medieval Archaeology publishes many excavations) and the Research REports, many of which are excavation reports. The BIAB should give you a goodly selection of other sources of illustrations of dated tools and implements from excavations.
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Brendan_the_lesser
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Post by Brendan_the_lesser »

again, thanks for posting, gonna be going to my lecturer with my ideas in a few weeks, at least i now have an idea of where to look before i go to him.

any more suggestions please post away...
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Post by Lord High Everything Esle »

Try this

http://www.luttrellpsalter.org.uk/index.html

Also I think the British Library has a facsimile edition

http://shop.bl.uk/mall/productpage.cfm/ ... 0712349340

they will also sell individual images for your use.
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