Viticulture in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the light of historical and archaeological evidence

Judith Bronstein, Elisabeth Yehuda, Edna J. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Archaeological remains of viticulture in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (AD 1099–1291) are quite rare, and those that are present are incomplete. In contrast, textual sources show extensive evidence of grape cultivation, wine production and wine consumption. Based on integration of archaeological and historical data, the focus of this article is on characteristics of Frankish grape cultivation and wine production in the East. By doing so, its goal is to offer new interpretation and identify new questions. Coming from the Christian West, the Latins brought with them a wine culture which differed from that in the area under Muslim rule. This new attitude towards wine expressed itself in the demand for large quantities of wine for nutritional, religious and therapeutic purposes, and consequently influenced vine growing and wine making in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Through the topic of viticulture, we aim to explore the extent to which Frankish society—as a migrant society—assimilated with, borrowed from, rejected and/or influenced its new environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-78
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is the result of a research project ‘Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095–1291’, funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant Number 1327/16). The project addresses the symbolic and cultural dimensions of food in exploring changing attitudes of the Crusaders and the Frankish population in the East towards the Holy Land and its indigenous inhabitants. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the generous assistance and advice received from Assaf Nativ and Ms. Elizabeth Dougherty in preparing this article, and many thanks to Smadar Gabrieli for her dedicated editing. We would also like to thank Yotam Tepper for discussing archaeological evidence of wine production techniques with EJS, and Rabei G. Khamisy for sharing information about the winepress in Mi’ilya. We would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Benjamin Z. Kedar and a second, anonymous, reviewer for their thorough reading and very insightful and helpful comments.

Funding Information:
This interpretation is supported by archaeological evidence. Restorable or partly restorable storage jars excavated in Crusader-period settlements allow the reconstruction of their volume. A complete storage jar from the Crusader town of Arsur has a height of 38 cm and an average diameter of 18 cm, allowing the reconstruction of its capacity to approximately 15.5 l (Figure 6). Similar, yet incomplete, examples show varying sizes, allowing for estimates of volume between 15 and 25 l.

Funding Information:
This study is the result of a research project ?Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095?1291?, funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant Number 1327/16). The project addresses the symbolic and cultural dimensions of food in exploring changing attitudes of the Crusaders and the Frankish population in the East towards the Holy Land and its indigenous inhabitants. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the generous assistance and advice received from Assaf Nativ and Ms. Elizabeth Dougherty in preparing this article, and many thanks to Smadar Gabrieli for her dedicated editing. We would also like to thank Yotam Tepper for discussing archaeological evidence of wine production techniques with EJS, and Rabei G. Khamisy for sharing information about the winepress in Mi?ilya. We would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Benjamin Z. Kedar and a second, anonymous, reviewer for their thorough reading and very insightful and helpful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2020.

Keywords

  • Crusades
  • Intercultural relations
  • Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • Viticulture
  • Wine
  • Winepresses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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