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Handelsplats - stad - omland: symposium om det medeltida stadsväsendet i Mellansverige : Sigtuna 7-8 februari, 1979
Ansvarig organisation
1980 (Svenska)Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

ENGLISH SUMMARY

The first stage of the project The Medieval Town: Implications of Early Urbanization for Modem Planning, has focused on the towns around Lake Mälaren, occasionally deviating towards the north and south. The state of archaeology in these towns has been elucidated and analysed in several reports.

Considering the assembled picture developing as a result of the project work, we thought it important to initiate an interdisciplinary discussion of certain definite questions at a symposium in order to get a platform for future work of different kinds. The questions to be discussed were chosen on the basis of the experience gathered in the course of the project. It was required that they should allow the towns to be dealt with in a wider context as well as throw light on certain defined problems regarding the actual process of urbanization. At the discussions the consequences for archaeological and historical work were to be elucidated: which basic data are needed, how should The Ancient Monuments Act be applied, etc.

Three main topics were decided upon:

  • Trading centres -towns, particularly questions concerning possible functional and structural differences .
  • Town - country: that is, the problem of the hinterland.
  • The importance of ecclesiastical and secular "institutions" for urban development.

We invited Nordic specialists from different academic disciplines and professions to a symposium in Sigtuna, February 7-8, 1979 to discuss the three main subjects together with members of the reference group and the participants of the project. The discussions were first held in groups, followed by a plenary session. Two introductory speeches were made in each group. The programme and participants are presented in the appendixes. The present report publishes lectures, introductory speeches, and summaries of the discussions.

In an opening lecture, "The preservation of the cultural heritage and urban archaeology. Legislation, organization, prospects" (p. 5), Margareta Biörnstad, Head Keeper of Antiquities, outlined the present situation against its historical background. She pointed to the growth of an increased consciousness of the importance of urban archaeology and the practical results of this process. The application of The Ancient Monuments Act and the economic aspects were also discussed by her. The present project was presented by the director, Hans Andersson (p. 11). He gave an account of its plan and demarcations and summarized in broad outlines the state of archaeology in central Sweden. He also dwelt on the question of how to continue the work and one of his suggestions was regional investigations, which would give better possibilities for studying the hinterland than the present project.

In the group dealing with trading centres - towns the introductory lectures were given by professors Knut Helle, Bergen, and Staffan Helmfrid, Stockholm.

Helle discussed what meanings should be assigned to the concept of trading centre and possible ways of studying the relationship between trading centres and towns. He pointed to three aspects:

  • the relation between trading centres and towns can be studied as a development through time (the continuity problem)
  • the relation can be studied synchronically as a functional division between different types of contemporary centres and
  • the relation between the trading functions and other urbanizing functions.

Helle discussed mainly a statement based on the material of the project - that the growth of towns in the region of Lake Mälaren is strongly connected with the 13th century and the difficulty of establishing continuity in other than exceptional cases. Helle doubted this, not least with regard to the development in Norway and Denmark. On the other hand he agreed with the opinion of the project that it is necessary also to point to other than the strictly commercial functions as important for the growth of towns in the region of Lake Mälaren (their function as centres of the Crown and the Church).

Helmfrid gave a geographers views on how to approach the town as part of the regional functional system of society through the ages and its changes with and within this system. His points of departure were the views expressed by the German geographer Dietrich Denke at the symposium of urban archaeology in Göttingen in 1972.

The second group concentrated on the problem of the hinterland. The opening speakers, docents Åke Hyenstrand and Ulf Sporrong, discussed the Lake Malar valley from different aspects. Hyenstrand presented a model for a discussion concerned with explaining the changes leading to a society presupposing regional centres for its existence. He regarded the following factors as essential for this development:

  • an increase of energy through the elevation of the land
  • population growth and colonization
  • technical improvements in primary and secondary industries
  • iron manufacture and communications
  • the organization

Sporrong gave an account of studies concerning patterns of settlement in the surroundings of the towns of the Lake Mälaren region. The main lines of development he headed as follows:

a) Villages in the functional sense develop during the later part of the Iron Age.

b) Field systems and large scale spatial organization within the territory of the village belong to a somewhat later stage.

c) Parcelling of communal pieces of land takes place in the Early Middle Ages.

d) A reorganization of units in the central regions -along lines pointing towards the geometrically regular villages, occurs not later than the 13th century. These last two stages are roughly contemporary with the urbanization which in the opinion of the project takes place from the 13th century onwards.

The third group discussed the role played by institutions for the development of towns. The introductory speakers were Göran Dahlbäck, fil.dr, and Ingrid Nielsen, cand.mag. Dahlbäck was concerned with factors determining the location of the institutions within the town, to what extent their location can give information about the formative history of the town, the need of institutions for concentrations of population, their role in creating work opportunities and the transformation of the immediate hinterland.

On the basis of a number of Danish examples Nielsen showed how different institutions have influenced the development. Like Dahlbäck she discussed both ecclesiastical and secular institutions.

The concluding plenary discussion dealt mainly with

  • what gaps of knowledge could be detected
  • what consequences for archaeology could be drawn from the discussion and
  • the chances of collaboration both between different projects and lines of research and with corresponding work in the Nordic countries.

Translated by Birgitta Fryhnan

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet och Statens historiska museum , 1980. , s. 76
Serie
Rapport : Riksantikvarieämbetet och Statens historiska museer. Medeltidsstaden, ISSN 1101-7791 ; 18
Nyckelord [sv]
medeltidsstäder, arkeologi, medeltiden, städer, historia, handelsplatser, stadsväsen, Sverige, Dalarna, Närke, Södermanland, Uppland, Västmanland, Östergötland, Arboga, Enköping, Eskilstuna, Hedemora, Köping, Nyköping, Sigtuna, Stockholm, Strängnäs, Söderköping, Södertälje, Torshälla, Trosa, Uppsala, Västerås, Örebro
Nationell ämneskategori
Arkeologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:raa:diva-7112ISBN: 9171924450 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:raa-7112DiVA, id: diva2:1713780
Tillgänglig från: 2022-11-28 Skapad: 2022-11-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-11-28Bibliografiskt granskad

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