Innovation and professionalisation of the medieval craftsmanship in the Southern region of the Baltic Sea

Handwerk - Innovation und ProfessionalisierungCraftsmanship - Innovation and professionalisation. In the history of the Baltic Sea regions the phase of rapid development of cities and the colonisation of the Southern midlands (Mecklenburg, Pommerania, Prussia and Livonia) with the help of Western (mainly German) settlers was significant. At its end emerged the intriguing “Hanse culture”, whose basic structures are a Western import or respectively a regional conversion within the framework of a general “Europeanisation”. Excepting only few (polish research), only little attention is given to older autochthonous conditions, although even under the circumstances of a massive culture and technology transfer the incorporation or reshaping of indigenous elements has to be expected.

Craftsmanship plays an integral part in this process; the interdisciplinary research of handcrafting activities is concentrated on the latter period of the 10th and 12th centuries, which are characterized by central locations and slavic hereditary and chieftain rule, as well as the late phase of “city-law” and the new agricultural structures. The project illuminated the entire conflict of traditions, transfer and innovations, in which the formation of a wide spectre of forms and possibilities for craftsmanship as well as the differentiation and stabilization of work and organisation structures was played out.

Further information can be found here.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Müller