Trading Hubs or Political Centres of Power? Maritime Focal Sites in Early Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In all early complex societies we find places that have had a special function of somekind, apart from being agrarian or fishing communities (in some cases with noagrarian/fishing activity at all). Normally we call themCentral Places, and the defi-nition is that these places had some function or significance exceeding the partic-ular site or settlement, hence some kind of ‘power’ over a wider area, a hinterland(cf Brink 1996, 237). In Sweden, especially eastern Sweden, we know of, from theearly medieval period (adc1100–1300), some royal strongholds or farms, often calledSwhusabyar, being part of abona regalia(see eg Brink 2000). From the Scandinavianprehistoric period (hence beforeadc1100) we can deduce some other focal sites in thelandscape, the most notable settlements containing the element -tuna(see eg Brink1996, 263–264; Hellberg 1985).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaritime Societies of the Viking and Medieval World
PublisherThe Society for Medieval Archaeology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print) 9781909662797
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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