Story & Setting
I really like that your putting effort in this research! Thats what I was hoping for
And I created a thread about this some weeks ago too. There you can find additional information:
I think it's important to consider advances in agricultural practices since the middle ages. They didn't have any genetic engineering or pesticides back then, at least not nearly to an extent as we have now, so wouldn't it stand to reason that any farm fields you see would have crops a tad less majestic than you would find nowadays? Apples and corn wouldn't be nearly as shiny or richly colored as you would find in a modern grocery store, and there would be more genetic diversity leading to more varied colors, shapes, and sizes as opposed to the uniformity in produce we are accustomed to.
Why would apples and corn be less colored or shiny? There would be a lot of different breeds of the food we know today though, I definately agree. A little off topic, but the diversity also was bigger amongst the people, regarding archeology.
Actually pesticides are hardly needed if the soil and the plant is "healthy". Unfortunately this is not the case in modern agriculture with its excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. These kill most of the micro organisms and earthworms in the soil. This leads to a far reduced capacity of water and mineral storage and a far slower metabolism - giving way to parasites, soil erosion and leaching. So there are actually more long term penalties than short term gains on modern agriculture. Organic for the win
From what I've seen, I think you have to many spruce trees. The Norway spruce (picea abies) naturally grows only in the northern regions of Europe or in high altitudes. I'm no archeobotanist, but I don't think there were any spruce monocultures, so I think it should be rather uncommon to encounter this species.
Also, it might be interesting to include some agricultural crops that are rarely seen today, but might have been of great importance in the middle ages, like buckwheat, poppy or flax (linen).
At least around Stribrna Skalice there should be less trees because it was a mining region. I read about it in the last days and it said that they needed lots of timber back then. Not only for building cooking and heating. Mining required woods nearby or rivers for timber transport. For mine construction, getting ore with fire starting and of course the smelting process.
They know it better than me. Lets see what the do about it.
They have already said somewhere that they are aware of that spruce monocultures shouldn't be there. Forrests won't look like that in the final game. I guess they just don't have proper tree models right now.
Ahoj, doporučuji rozhodně prostudovat tohle: https://archive.org/details/PetriAndreaMatt00Matt pokud vím, vyšlo to i v českém překladu, ještě nedávno se nechalo koupit v levných knihách. Prosím hlavně se vyvarujte takových věcí jako brambory, kukuřice, kafe, absinty a podobný věci,co vám tu už někdo doporučoval. Taky lesy vypadaly trochu jinak - spíš doubravy a listnáče celkově než dnešní smrkový monokultury. Jestli by bylo potřeba ještě něco více detailně, doporučuji obrátit se na Laboratoř archeobotaniky a paleoekologie při Jihočeské univerzitě, která se dlouhodobě zabývá výzkumem vegetace v minulých obdobích http://lape.prf.jcu.cz/ jinak přeji moc úspěchů a kdyby byl s čímkoli problém, jako archeolog a historik jsem ochotná vyštrachat i další detaily
O bramborách a rajčatech jsem psal já. Asi jsem měl přidat /irony, aby to některé tolik neděsilo
Really good that they worry about vegetation,if they will make a lot of flowers,trees and other vegetation , which you can use,it will be great!
I'm sure people grown patatoes and tomatoes!
Apples(Hildegard of Bingen prescribed raw apples as a tonic for healthy people and cooked apples as the first treatment for any sickness.)
Valerian (Ancient physicians recommended valerian as a diuretic, antidote to poisons, for pain relief and as a decongestant. Hildegard of Bingen prescribed it as a tranquilizer and sleeping aid)
Its been said a lot of times but potatoes and tomatoes werent known in this time.
They came from South America and especially potatoes took long to be eaten by the people.
It took till the 18th century for potatoes to be grown in a more or less big scale
For healing plants and other stuff I've created the thread that I posted above, there are lots of plants that grew in that area in that specitic time
Maybe worth considering would be the choice of the acreage around the villages. These were directed by the transport paths and the transport length, depending on perishableness of the transported goods. Recorded in detail for the first time has, I think, a certain Thünges (or so) in 1800, known as the "Thüngschen Rings". But I am sure that was at all times careful to get as much crop loss on the plate.
Looks interesting. I had pretty much no idea how in depth this was getting (From a community perspective especially)
Now I am not sure (and too lazy to check back) what century the game is again, exactly. But most likely before 14th century, so: Potatoes and tomatoes were brought in to Europe not before the 16th century! So some of the plants are so common to us that we might think "oh they must have been there forever" but in fact they were brought in just a few centuries ago and the medieval people didn't even know them yet!
Tomatoes: definitely not before 1530 (probably around 1540 via Italy to Northern Europe)
Potatoes: As a food, "discovered" in the 18th century, introduced in Prussia by Frederick the Great as folk and troops food.
Most grains (varieties of grasses) were known, especially the millet as a widespread staple food. Emmer, spelled, oats, rye, and especially barley (for beer! ) Were cultivated for several thousand years.
Corn, however, came only in 1520 through Spain to Europe (origin South America)
Peppers as a vegetable plant / pot plant is likely to have only gained in importance in 1540, as a spice negotiated Portuguese and Venetians already before 1500 so. Just as corn was peppers, known as "Capsicum" 1515 in Spain
grown on a large scale.
Tomaten : definitiv nicht vor 1530 (vermutlich um 1540 über Italien nach Nordeuropa)
Kartoffeln : Als Nahrungsmittel erst im 18. Jh. "entdeckt", in Preußen durch Friedrich den Großen als Volks- und Truppennahrungsmittel eingeführt.
Die meisten Getreidesorten (Züchtungen aus Süßgräsern) waren bekannt, vor allem die Rispenhirse als weit verbreitetes Grundnahrungsmittel. Emmer, Dinkel, Hafer, Roggen und vor allem Gerste (für Bier !!! ) wurden seit mehreren tausend Jahren angebaut.
Mais hingegen gelangte erst um 1520 über Spanien nach Europa (Ursprung Südamerika)
Paprika als Gemüsepflanze/Topfpflanze dürfte erst um 1540 an Bedeutung gewonnen haben, als Gewürz handelten Portugiesen und Venezianer bereits vor 1500 damit. Ebenso wie Mais wurde Paprika, bekannt als "Spanischer Pfeffer", um 1515 in Spanien in größerem Stil angebaut.
What should also be considered, the game moves in around 1400, so about 50 years after the great plague, and in a climate rather cool spell of bad weather. There were crop failures and the greatly reduced population could certainly not all cultivated in the 12th to 14th century farming areas. Large areas lay fallow and overgrown, villages had been completely abandoned. With a little imagination you can imagine this scenario well, the prevalent fear of a new plague and strangers that these "brought about" ....
Was auch bedacht werden sollte, das Spiel bewegt sich in der Zeit um 1400, also etwa 50 Jahre nach der großen Pest und in einer klimatisch eher kühlen Schlechtwetterperiode. Es gab Missernten und die stark reduzierte Bevölkerung konnte sicher nicht mehr alle im 12. bis 14. Jahrhundert kultivierten Flächen bewirtschaften. Große Flächen lagen brach und verwilderten, Dörfer waren komplett aufgegeben worden. Mit etwas Phantasie kann man sich dieses Szenario gut vorstellen, auch die herrschende Angst vor einer neuen Pest und Fremden, die diese "überbrachten"....
thats better than my loacl supermarlet today
I like your idea very much, having abadoned villages and a athmosphere of fear. Everything your said is right, but as a nasty guy I have two little points:
Climate: Around 1400 the weather was comperatively warm, not cold. Not as warm as 100-200 years back, but the so called "little iceage" was only in its very early days.
Please have a look at this: climatic change incl. medieval times
Crop failure: It is one of the very common prejudices against the middle ages, that people were all poor and hungry. I now, that you didn't mean that, but someone could misunderstand that. Surely there were local crop failures and the danger of having not enough to eat in the winter for poor people. But catastrophical famines were rare in that time period. The last big famines in Middle Europe were 1315-17 as far as i know.
There might be local differences, of course.
In the Oposite, food was relatively cheap and the nutrion of the people was comperatively good. For instance: Around 1400 they eat procentual more meat than now and nearly 10 times more than in the 19th cent.! (Hans Jürgen Teuteberg, Günter Wiegelmann, Nahrungsgewohnheiten in der Industrialisierung des 19. Jahrhunderts, LIT Verlag Münster, 1995, ISBN 3825822737)
The abadoned villages were presumerably caused (in the majority) by the "Spätmittelalterliche Agrarkrise" (late medieval agrarian crisis). Short summary: The prices for food were so low and the wages/income so high, that many many farmers were ruined.
The plague: We have to check if the plague ever reached the area where the game is settled. Most people died in the south-west of Europe. But a athmosphere of fear was likely there and a good cause for xenophobia.
Please have a look at this: Spätmittelalterliche Agrarkrise
The plague got to Denmark... so I would be very surprised if it didn't get to this area...
But the plague helped raise the living standard for the peasants. Less peasants = higher wages (better conditions)
You are right,
but please have a look at this:
I have painfully learned not to take anything I beleve to know for granted. I have to reemphasize, that I have no deeper insights of the local occurrences in Bohemia! That might be a job for a local historian.
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