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Books, books.

Books. Aren’t they always nice to have? To leaf through? Can one have too many books? Well, the obvious answer to this is both yes and no. So in case you are currently tending more towards the no, here are two books that might be interesting for you:

If you’re interested in braiding, Noemi Speiser’s book “Manual of Braiding” has been reprinted last year and is available via Haupt Verlag. It costs 39.90 € in Germany for the hardcover book. If you follow the link, the “Leseprobe” tag lets you have a look into the book.

If you are interested in medieval metalworking, there’s a new book out, published in French, on copper and copper-alloy workplaces discovered in Saint-Julien in Douai. The book is called “Travailler le cuivre à Douai au XIIIe siècle. Histoire et archéologie d’un atelier de proximité”, by Lise Saussus (dir.), together with Nicolas Thomas, Marisa Pirson and Benjamin Jagou. Douai et Louvain-la-Neuve, 2019. Here’s the abstract, in French and English:

De 1983 à 1987, une fouille archéologique rue Saint-Julien à Douai révèle un atelier et ses quelques milliers de déchets témoignant d’un travail du cuivre et de ses alliages au XIIIe siècle. Cette publication examine l’unité de production à la lumière des sources archéologiques, mais aussi de sources écrites et archéométriques. Elle présente le cadre de la découverte à l’échelle de la ville jusqu’à celle de la parcelle en s’intéressant à l’intégration des métiers du cuivre dans le tissu urbain. L’étude de la stratigraphie et des structures composant cet atelier dans un vaste espace de près de 1 000 m² précède l’analyse du mobilier métallurgique, des techniques variées, en particulier celles des réparations de vaisselle, mais aussi des alliages mis en œuvre. Enrichie par l’examen du travail du fer, associé à celui du cuivre, et d’une partie de la vaisselle en céramique consommée sur le site, l’étude illustre un de ces ateliers de proximité qui ont subsisté à côté des grands centres de production tels ceux de la vallée de la Meuse. Voué à l’entretien des vaisselles, enclin à répondre à des commandes variées, ce type d’ateliers actifs aux échelles locales, celles de la ville et de ses alentours, profite de la circulation des productions de masse mises sur le marché à une échelle globale.

From 1983 to 1987, an archaeological excavation along the rue Saint-Julien in Douai revealed a workshop and its several thousand pieces of waste, testifying to the work of copper and its alloys during the 13th century. In this book, the workplace is examined in the light of archaeological sources, but also of written and archaeometric sources. It presents the framework of the discovery from the global scale of the city to the particular plot by focusing on the integration of the metalworking professions into the urban fabric. The study of the stratigraphy and structures composing this workshop in a vast space of nearly 1,000 m² precedes the analysis of the metallurgical finds, of the various techniques, in particular those of cooking and table utensil’s repairs, but also of the alloys used. Enriched by the examination of the ironwork associated with the copperwork, and part of the ceramic tableware consumed on the site, the study illustrates one of these local workshops that have survived alongside major production centres, such as those in the Meuse valley. Dedicated to the maintenance of crockery, inclined to respond to various demands, this type of workshop, active at the local level of the city and its surroundings, benefits from the circulation of mass productions placed on the market on a global scale.

The book has 277 pages and costs 30€ plus shipping costs; you can order it (and inquire about shipping costs) at either or

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