IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1523: Urban Development in Scandinavia: The Example of Nyköping

Thursday 12 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Hilde Inntjore, Institutt for religion, filosofi og historie, Universitetet i Agder / Senter for middelalderstudier, Universitetet i Bergen
Paper 1523-aUrbanism in the Medieval Town of Nyköping
(Language: English)
Ann-Mari Hållans Stenholm, Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites
Paper 1523-bThe Urban Way: Interregionality in East Central Scandinavia
(Language: English)
Mathias Bäck, Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites
Paper 1523-cReevaluating Urban Development in Medieval Eastern Scandinavia
(Language: English)
Annika Nordström, National Heritage Board, Stockholm
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - General, Archaeology - Sites

One of the largest urban excavations in the last 40 years is conducted in the east Scandinavian town of Nyköping. It has so far generated crucial new knowledge on urban development in eastern – central Scandinavia. Exciting new datings offer ideal potential to discuss the growth of towns in the area from the Viking Age to the high middle Ages. Through the finds material, we can relate the town to both regional and interregional connections – even as far as the Black Sea. The contextual excavation method gives us a position to discuss the urban dynamics in detail.

Paper -a:
Urbanisation is the process that create urbanism; the very special way of living constituted by a concentration of people and functions in an urban milieu. We are analysing how urbanism is constituted in Nyköping during 1100-1300 and how it relate to the Scandinavian township in general? Urbanism is about patterns of daily life as well as spatial and social ways of organising and using the town. The physical expression of the medieval towns around the Baltic Sea during at least the 13-14th century was probably part of a well known ideal. The town-plan and the building-tradition was a manifestation of the very special juridical and economic privileges of the town. At the same time there are archaeological indications of a higher grade of individuality among the Swedish medieval towns.

Paper -b:
The amazingly early dating of Nyköping opens for interesting reflections on contacts in the earliest foundation of towns in east-central Scandinavia. We span the period from when Viking Age town of Birka disappears and towns like Sigtuna, and now Nyköping evolves.

Paper -c:
In this paper I want to address the early urbanization in eastern Scandinavia. Earlier research suggests that urbanization process in eastern Scandinavia was of a later date than in western and southern Scandinavia, with few exceptions like the Viking age town Birka and late Viking age town Sigtuna. The results from the excavation in Nyköping has shown that the plots (through dendrochronological analyses) dates back to late 11th century, which gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the questions about the early urban development in these parts of Scandinavia.