Material culture and domestic life in seventeenth century Venetian Alps
Abstract: This article discusses the material culture and domestic life of an Alpine area in the Republic of Venice, namely the Asiago Plateau. By exploiting a rich variety of notarial documentation, we obtain an interesting picture of mountain dwellings, domestic environments, and domestic life in the second half of the seventeenth century. We argue that the material civilisations in mountain regions were much less barbaric, backward, and homogeneous than previously believed. Relations between households were numerous and frequent, as were the economic exchanges between the uplands and the lowlands. This favoured the rise of a composite, layered society, mirrored by a complex, multifaceted material culture. However, although differences between rich and poor households’ material possessions are easy to spot from a quantitative point of view, from a qualitative perspective, the divergence is less evident.