Negotiating the North: Meeting-Places in the Middle Ages in the North Sea Zone, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Negotiating the North

Meeting-Places in the Middle Ages in the North Sea Zone, 1st Edition

By Sarah Semple, Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler


369 pages | 65 Color Illus. | 116 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367493110
pub: 2020-07-01
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This book brings together the cumulative results of a three-year project focused on the assemblies and administrative systems of Scandinavia, Britain and the North Atlantic islands in the 1st and 2nd millennia ad. In this volume we integrate a wide range of historical, cartographic, archaeological, field-based and onomastic data pertaining to early medieval and medieval administrative practices, geographies and places of assembly in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland and eastern England. This transnational perspective has enabled a new understanding of the development of power structures in early medieval northern Europe and the maturation of these systems in later centuries under royal control.

In a series of richly illustrated chapters, we explore the emergence and development of mechanisms for consensus. We begin with a historiographical exploration of assembly research that sets the intellectual agenda for the chapters that follow. We then examine the emergence and development of the thing in Scandinavia and its export to the lands colonised by the Norse. We consider more broadly how assembly practices may have developed at a local level, yet played a significant role in the consolidation, and at times regulation, of elite power structures. Presenting a fresh perspective on the agency and power of the thing and cognate types of local and regional assembly, this interdisciplinary volume provides an invaluable in-depth insight into the people, places, laws and consensual structures that shaped the early medieval and medieval kingdoms of northern Europe.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Research Histories 3. Methods and Approaches 4. Lawthings and Inauguration Sites in Scandinavia 5. Landscapes of Law in Norway 6. Colonisation and Control: The Export of Assembly Systems to New Territories 7. Assembly and Trade in Iceland and Beyond 8. The Thing in the North: Emergence, Development, Valorisation, Demise 9.Conclusion

About the Authors/Editor

Sarah Semple is Head of the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, UK.

Alexandra Sanmark is Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the Institute for Northern Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK.

Frode Iversen is Professor in Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.

Natascha Mehler is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, Vienna University, Austria.

About the Series

The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monographs

The Society has published a series of monographs for more than 50 years. Our list includes synthetic edited volumes on specific themes such as the archaeology of the 11th century and maritime societies of the Viking and medieval world. We also publish excavation monographs on all medieval site types from cemeteries and burials, rural settlement, towns, industry, religious and monastic sites, to manors and moat. Accounts of some of medieval archaeology's most iconic excavations can be found here.

All the publications are fully refereed with the aim of publishing at the highest academic level reports on sites of national and international importance, and of encouraging the widest debate. The series’ objectives are to cover the broadest chronological and geographical range and to assemble a series of volumes which reflect the changing intellectual and technical scope of the discipline.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Medieval
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology