Between China and the Viking North

Thanasis Gavos   Tuesday, 28 February 2017; 5:30-7:00pm
Byzantine, King's College

Between China and the Viking North: A group of 9th/10th-century Byzantine silverware as evidence of mediaeval cross-cultural interchange

A King’s College Centre for Hellenic Studies seminar.

Byzantine metalwork holds a special place among the crafted objects that provide evidence of long distance contacts in the medieval period. It could be highly susceptive to foreign traditions, and was often regarded and used by foreigners as a status commodity in its own right. This talk will examine a group of Byzantine silver vessels datable to the 9th/10th centuries from the perspective of cross-cultural interchange between the Byzantine empire and foreign polities. In particular, it will focus on the impact of the medieval Chinese material culture on Byzantine silverworking, and the export of the resulting Byzantine products from the centres of the empire to Bulgaria, Hungary, Gotland, and the region directly to the west of the Ural Mountains.

Natalija Ristovska is a D.Phil. student in archaeology, University of Oxford. Her research interests include various aspects of the Byzantine minor arts such as patronage, ownership and patterns of use; production centres and distribution patterns of medieval vessels, furnishings and jewellery made of or decorated with metal and glass; exchange in crafted goods and skilled artisans between the Byzantine empire and foreign polities, as well as the impact of such exchange on the production and tastes of the recipient societies.

This event is open to all and free to attend. No booking is required.

Please direct enquiries to [email protected].

Somerset House East Wing (SW-2.07)

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