Schryver (2017 Congress)

James G. Schryver
(Department of Art History
University of Minnesota, Morris

“An Archaeology of the Military Orders in the Holy Land?”

Abstract of Paper
To be Presented at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
(Kalamazoo, 2017)

Session on “Military Orders and Crusades in Comparative Perspective
(The Levant, Spain, and the Baltic Region)”

Co-sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence and
the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Florida
Organized by Mildred Budny and Florin Curta
2017 Congress Program

Abstract of Paper

[Published on 15 March 2017]

The urban and military fortifications of the Military Orders form an essential component of any treatment of Crusader art and archaeology in the Holy Land. As research into both these subjects — especially in the last quarter century — has continued to increase our knowledge of the material culture of the Crusades, the truth of this statement has become even clearer.  We are now much better poised to answer questions about where Crusader material culture is located and what forms it takes.

What is less clear, however, is whether or not this same research allows us to separate out the art and archaeology of individual Military Orders as something distinct from that of the larger Crusader period.  In addition, questions remain about the relationship of the material culture that particular orders produced in the Holy Land to that produced in other areas.

The Teutonic Knights, with their broad field of operation, provide a perfect example.  As a result, we have yet to tackle three fundamental questions that this paper seeks to address:

  1. Is there an archaeology of the Military Orders in the Holy Land that is distinct from that of the larger Crusader enterprise?
  2. What does this archaeology look like?
  3. Is it also distinct from the archaeology of a particular Military Order as a whole?