Christopher Gerrard and José Avelino Gutiérrez-González
This chapter explores medieval contact and trade between Britain and the Iberian Peninsula. For the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain, archaeological evidence includes coins, burials, badges, scallop shells, and souvenirs of bone, ivory, and jet as well as artistic influences on heraldry and artistic representation. The important heavy goods being transported were wool, cloth, metals, and bulk foodstuffs for which there is an emerging archaeology of production in Spain and Portugal. There was also minor trade in leather and salt as well as in foodstuffs like honey and wine, figs, and candied fruit. Pottery and tile exports from Spain are today the most telling indication of commercial contact and personal exchange but English embroideries and alabaster devotional panels are among the items of exchange which travelled south and have survived. Overall, Anglo-Iberian contact in the Middle Ages has left an oddly skewed signature in the archaeological record.
This chapter presents a selection of topics in French later medieval archaeology which are relevant to a British context, such as landscape archaeology, villages and agriculture, towns and building traditions, power and belief, and burial rites. The development of ‘preventive’ or developer-led archaeology has had a significant impact in France, not just on techniques such as large-scale stripping of rural sites and associated landscapes but also for the development of new themes such as bioarchaeology. In towns many studies now combine the study of buried structures with surviving buildings, textual sources and plan analysis. Themes such as power and belief, crafts and industry and funerary practices are summarized and may be compared against British perspectives. Among products exported to Britain were salt, stone from Caen which was cut to order and then shipped, and pottery.