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The archaeology of the military orders: the material culture of holy war

Pluskowski, A. ORCID: (2018) The archaeology of the military orders: the material culture of holy war. Medieval Archaeology, 62 (1). pp. 105-134. ISSN 0076-6097

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00766097.2018.1451590


This paper reviews the current state of research into the archaeology of the military orders. It contrasts the advances made by historians and archaeologists, with the latter continuing to focus on the particularism of individual sites, with an emphasis on architectural analyses. Historians have contributed new insights by adopting a supranational approach. This paper argues that archaeologists can build on this by adopting a more problem-oriented, comparative approach. Drawing on examples from frontier and heartland territories, archaeological approaches are subdivided into material investment, material identity and cultural landscapes, to place sites of the military orders within a long-term, multi-scalar contexts. This contributes to a broader social and economic understanding of the orders, who contributed significantly to urbanisation, rural development and trade, and invested in material expressions of their authority and ideology. The paper concludes that more holistic, inter-regional approaches will move the archaeological study of the military orders forward.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:76372
Publisher:Maney Publishing


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