Lectures/Feb 23, 2017

Between China and the Viking North

Between China and the Viking North lead image

Between China and the Viking North: A Group of 9th/10th-century Byzantine Silverware as Evidence of Mediaeval Cross-cultural Interchange, lecture by Natalija Ristovska (University of Oxford), King’s College London, February 28, 2017, 5:30–7:00 pm

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.