Viking age urbanism in Scandinavia and the Danelaw : a consideration of Birka and York
This thesis examines the nature of Early Mediaeval trading and manufacturing settlements in Scandinavia, and in the Scandinavian-influenced area of England. Using previously unpublished material from the 1990-1995 excavations at Birka, in Sweden, resulting from the author's work on the excavation report from the Birka Project, it provides an analysis of the development, and character of this Viking Age settlement. This forms the basis for an assessment of the nature of various contemporary non-rural settlements in Scandinavia, and thus of the context of the settlement at Birka. The history and archaeology of the central places of the northern eastern Anglo-Saxon kingdoms are then considered, with an examination of York forming the core of the second part of the thesis. The physical and socio-economic transformation of these settlements at the end of the ninth century is discussed, and the resultant tenth century patterns compared with the political and socio-economic patterns revealed in the contemporary and earlier Scandinavian settlements. The thesis concludes with an examination of the similarities and differences between the Early Mediaeval settlements of Scandinavia and the Danelaw, and considers which can be recognised as 'towns'. It assesses the nature of the Scandinavian impact upon the development of urban settlements in the North and East of England, and the degree to which this elucidates the socio-politics of urban development within the Scandinavian world.