Silos and granery pits within medieval Europe. A typological study: the case of Miranduolo (Siena, Italy)
The process of storing food has always been a critical social and economic problem and, as such, a truly relevant issue for material culture. In early medieval times the control of resources like food supplies represented, in Western Europe, a real marker of economic power. During dark ages, food supplies were stored inside different structures, related to single dwellings; such structures were totally under the control of local elites except for small storages representing nuclear supplies. In Slavic Eastern Europe these cases were not exceptions: each dwelling was typically associated with a storing structure, be it a granary pit or a silo. The aim of this work is to present different examples of pits within western and eastern European contexts. Seven typologies were identified in the European literature. The present catalogue is based upon forty-four settlements ranging between the 6th and the 12th century, with a more detailed analysis on the settlement of Miranduolo (Siena).
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