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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Accommodating Assemblies, as Evidenced at the 6th–11th-Century AD Royal Residence at Lake Tissø, Denmark

Accommodating Assemblies, as Evidenced at the 6th–11th-Century AD Royal Residence at Lake Tissø, Denmark

Chapter:
(p.148) 7 Accommodating Assemblies, as Evidenced at the 6th–11th-Century AD Royal Residence at Lake Tissø, Denmark
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

Lars Jørgensen

Lone Gebauer Thomsen

Anne Nørgård Jørgensen

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0007

In the 6th and 7th centuries, large elite residences were established in Scandinavia. They differ from the earlier chieftain residences in size and apparent multi-functionality with respect to politics, religion, law and trade. Classic sites include Old Lejre and Tissø in Denmark, and Old Uppsala in Sweden. The growing dominions of the emerging petty-kings at this time presuppose control and cohesion in society, which is evidenced, among other things, by regular assemblies in which the population participated. Some of the larger accumulations of pit houses are here interpreted as assembly sites. Support for this interpretation is sought through analogy with church towns from the medieval and renaissance periods in northern Scandinavia. The pit house is thus interpreted as temporary accommodation for families or persons participating in different kinds of assemblies. Large assemblies emerged in the 6th century probably as a result of the elite’s increasing demand for control and communication.

Keywords:   elite residences, Old Lejre, Tissø, Old Uppsala, petty-kings, pit houses, church towns, control and communication

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