Assembly Organisation and State Formation. A Case Study of Assembly Sites in Viking and Medieval Södermanland, Sweden

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Abstract

This is the first multi-disciplinary study of Swedish local thing (assembly) sites of the Viking Age through to the late Middle Ages. Previous studies ignored the larger body of evidence, producing models that are too generalising and often one-dimensional. A systematic overview of the location, features and landscape characteristics of things in the county of Södermanland enables exploration of wider questions, such as the development of the thing organisation and the beginnings of state formation in Sweden. This suggests late-Viking thing sites, mainly created in 11th century, are Christian sites, established by local magnates in response to the growing central power. The similarities and conformity of sites, together with a reorganisation of the defensive systems from inland lakes to coastal areas, suggest there was a sense of growing unity and unification within Sweden at this time
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-241
Number of pages37
Journal Journal of Medieval Archaeology
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Northern Europe, assembly sites, landscape, architecture, collective identities

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