Bebyggelse i förändring : Uppland från slutet av yngre bronsålder till tidig medeltid

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: This dissertation discusses settlements from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the Early Middle Ages in eastern Middle Sweden, especially the Mälar valley area, with a focus on Uppland. Chronologically, the emphasis is in the Early Iron Age. A large number of the settlements were discovered during investigations in the late 80s and early 90s. Many settlements were, located on arable land, which means that the degree of preservation varies. An important limitation, which influences our interpretation, is that only parts of the settlements have been investigated.The discussion is divided into four main themes on different levels of interpretation. The first theme is the construction and function of the houses. Variations in construction, function and size are the basis for a proposal of a house chronology for Uppland and the Mälar valley area. The houses are characterised by a three aisled construction, which lasted almost the whole of the discussed time period. On a more detailed level, there was a large variation, which indicates that the local needs were given much importance.The second theme is the structure, variation and main tendencies of the settlement. During the larger part of the period discussed here, the settlements were characterised by scattered settlement sites, which developed in the Roman Iron Age into a successively more concentrated settlement distribution.The third theme is the change in settlements based on systems of agriculture and social differentiation, and how these changes influenced the settlement pattern. Such changes are e.g. the emergence of fairly stable settlements and agricultural systems, and the transition from an agriculture dominated by cattle to one based on cultivation.The fourth theme discusses the settlement development based on settlement sites and grave fields. Chronologically, the settlement sites thus constitute a complement to the grave-fields. The investigations indicate a high density of settlements at the end of the Early Iron Age in the central agricultural areas. During the Late Iron Age, no such expansion can be seen in these areas, to the extent of a faint decrease in some instances. Thus, both in a synchronic and diachronic perspective the population must have been decisively larger than what was previously thought. Consequently, the visible graves on the grave-fields must have been constructed for a small part of the population, and variations in the grave frequency must also be considered.

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