Mette is currently a PhD researcher in the ERC project Rural Riches, The bottom-up development of Post-Roman Northwestern Europe (450-640).
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Mette is currently a PhD researcher in the ERC project Rural Riches, The bottom-up development of Post-Roman Northwestern Europe (450-640). This project analyses the importance of the rural population as consumers with access to global trade networks to the post-Roman economic development in northwestern Europe. In this project, Mette researches the different aspects of the Merovingian exchange system.
She studies the material culture of the rural population and the nature of the exchange systems through which they had access to objects with very diverse origins (local, regional, supra-regional, international). This analysis is mainly based on beads deposited in graves, that were both produced locally but also obtained from areas as far away as India. Making innovative use of object distribution maps with the help of GIS (in contrast to traditional presence/absence maps), enables her to analyse the contexts in which beads circulated and the extent of their prevalence in rural communities. Recent scientific research on glass vessels and beads has contributed considerably to our understanding of the movement of finished objects and to some extent raw materials.
Mette also investigates regional variability in the availability of objects and aim to define the exchange mechanisms in place, as well as create models to demonstrate which agents and networks may have been involved.
Mette obtained a (R)MA (cum laude) in early medieval archaeology from Leiden University in 2016. Her thesis concerned an in-depth study of the use and exchange of amber in the Merovingian period in northwestern Europe. During her studies she also researched the exchange of Mediterranean-produced beads (millefiori beads, reticella beads, amethyst beads and meerschaum (sepiolith) beads) in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.
Her research interests cover both the economic and social aspects of early medieval exchange and the significance of bead-studies to uncover socio-economic developments and (global) trade networks in the Merovingian period. Mette and her husband also own a company called De Oudheidsfabriek that aims to inspire the Dutch public with archeology.
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