Favourable conditions for the development of towns in northern central Lithuania occurred only as late as the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, some settlements developed into small towns of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was at this time that a mixed urbanistic system with a radial street network and a rectangular market square formed. The absolute majority of 16th to 18th-century buildings in the towns of the Šiauliai Crown Estate, just as in most of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, were built of timber. Only from the early 17th century did the construction begin of brick buildings intended for religious or public purposes (such as the town hall in Joniškis). A more distinct separation between the development of towns can be made on the basis of the specific features of finds. These are finds related to trade, handicrafts and business: coins and hoards of coins, certain types of pottery, tiles, and work tools related to specific handicrafts, products and materials.
Archaeological excavations at one of Klaipėda Old Town’s blocks near Kurpių Street provided valuable and unique materials for investigating the development of urbanism in the 16th-17th centuries, the activities, and way of life of the residents. The article presents the results of these investigations and considers some aspects of the town residents’ lifestyle. Mid-16th – second half of the 17th century building construction and interior furnishings, plot layouts, and development of the block’s habitation are analysed. Interpretations are offered based on the archaeological material regarding the activites and lifestyle of the plots’ owners. Results of the newest palaeobotanical and zooarchaeological research are presented in the article. The latter data, along with published historical sources, suggest certain conclusions regarding 16th-17th century Klaipėda townspeople’s diet.
With the breakdown of the USSR the daily life in the rural areas of Lithuania went through radical changes. The entire system of collective farming was replaced by another system, based on the right to private property. Lithuania´s collective farms and land were divided and distributed among the former members and private farms were emerging all over the country. In this article I look at the situation from a farm level. By using material from my fieldwork in a Lithuanian village I shall present how the Small Farmers here cope in spite the lack of resources. In the first place I will offer some background information for the distribution of land which took place in the early 1990s. I argue that the distribution of land left many villagers with so scarce resources that they could only be individual farmers by expanding the resources of the farms through co-operation. In the second place I will look at the co-operative economical system they have employed in order to make ends meet. I will argue that only the people who lack re-sources within their household employed strategies of reciprocity, whereas people who have sufficient re-sources by themselves do not engage in this system. Thereby there is a correlation between property rights and property relations. Bourdieu has classified these two kinds of sale as a ‘village/market dichotomy’. The article is based on my fieldwork in a Southwest Lithuanian village in 2004.