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Medeltid i centrum: europeisering, historieskrivning och kulturarvsbruk i norrländska kulturmiljöer
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Archaeology and Sami Studies.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to shed light upon three related research areas with the medieval period at their core: medieval Europeanization, the historiography of medieval places, the importance of the cultural environment and medieval period for the present day. By these means several current research angles are integrated within medieval research, the history of science and cultural heritage research. Six investigations of medieval central places in Ångermanland and Medelpad in northern Sweden are used to exemplify these issues. The use of hermeneutic theory emphasises the relationship between the present day community, the individual and the interpretation of history.

The sites presented in the thesis represent the entire medieval period from the 11th Century to the start of the 16th Century. Two of them – Kvissle chapel and “Skelettåkern” (=The Skeleton Field) in Björned – functioned as private Christian churches or graveyards; two were important harbours – Sankt Olofshamn (=Saint Olof’s Harbour) and Kyrkesviken (=Church bay); two functioned as military castles or fortifications – Styresholm/ ”Pukeborg” and Bjärtrå stronghold. In addition to these, four medieval stone parish churches have been examined: the old church at Alnö in Medelpad, and the churches of Torsåker, Boteå and Grundsunda in Ångermanland.

The Europeanization of Norrland is discussed with reference to aspects such as religious transition and parish formation, monetarization and changes in household structure, trade specialization and administrative territorialization. Central places have played an important role in this process.

Historiography illuminates how, and in which contexts, knowledge and understanding of history and medieval central places has developed and been communicated. This includes the use of place names and the oral narration of history, authorship and scientific research into local history. A number of primary school teachers, adult education college (‘folk high school’) teachers and priests were particularly important for the growth of local historical research around the turn of the 20th century.

The use of cultural heritage is illustrated with a discussion of how the medieval cultural environments in Ångermanland and Medelpad have been interpreted and used in recent years. This includes aspects such as signposting, teaching and research activities, mass media attention, amateur history plays and similar performances, and the formation of various types of society.

These three aspects of Norrland’s medieval period, together with the use of a cultural heritage perspective, form a broader holistic picture of the social role of scientific research and the cultural environment, where local interest in history is important for regional development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Arkeologi och samiska studier , 2006. , 360 p.
Studia archaeologica Universitatis Umensis, ISSN 1100-7028 ; 20Kungl. Skytteanska samfundets handlingar: Acta Regiae Societatis Skytteanae, ISSN 0560-2416 ; 59
Keyword [en]
Archaeology, medieval, central places, Norrland, Ångermanland, Medelpad, hermeneutics, Europeanization, historiography, local history research, cultural heritage, use of history, cultural environment, regional development
Keyword [sv]
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-924ISBN: 91-7264-202-5OAI: diva2:145068
Public defence
2006-11-25, Lilla hörsalen, KBC-huset, Umeå, 12:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-11-10 Created: 2006-11-10 Last updated: 2009-12-03Bibliographically approved

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