I stadens skugga : den medeltida landsbygden som arkeologiskt forskningsfält
Sammanfattning: In this thesis focus is on two aims: 1) to investigate the emergence and establishment of medieval rural archaeology as an archaeological field of study, from the 1930’s up until today and 2) based on the results made in this study, to discuss generally how new subject areas are incorporated and maintained within the humanities. Thus, the scope of the thesis does not lie on the medieval period with its rural settlements and their inhabitants, but rather on their archaeological historiography during the 20th and 21st centuries. Sweden (Fosie) serves as a point of departure and together with examples from Germany (Hohenrode), Denmark (Store Valby) and Great Britain (Wharram Percy) the over decades changing practices and approaches are discussed and analyzed. Three conditions namely the technical, disciplinary and ideological constitute the theoretical foundations for the present study. In short, the technical conditions primarily relate to the fieldwork and the process of excavation at different times. The disciplinary conditions are defined as the study of those variables within the scientific sphere, and their internal relationship that have contributed to the formation of the field of medieval rural archaeology and its continued existence. In order to study these aspects the concept of boundary work has served as an inspiration. The ideological conditions focus on the interaction between archaeology and society, in my study mainly represented by discussions on the status of the medieval village in legislation. Based on theoretical discussions and analyses made in the empirical studies, it is argued that the emergence, establishment and upcoming changes of medieval rural archaeology as a field of study are best distinguished by identifying different promoting and constraining factors. These conclusions are followed by discussing how best characterize and describe different subject areas. Based on observations made, the metaphor of a web consisting out of different spatial and temporal levels and nodes is proposed. This model serves as a complement to a more traditional chronological scheme and, thus, it contributes to a more complete and deeper understanding of the structure of scientific fields. The argument is also that the models application is versatile to other disciplines.
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