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Northern Emporium

  • The archaeology of network urbanism in Viking-age Ribe

Northern Emporium: The Archaeology of Network Urbanism in Ribe

The Northern Emporium project aims to explore the evolution and dynamics of the earliest urban network in Scandinavia and the transition to the maritime-based network society in the Viking Age. It issues from new, significantly improved data based on a comprehensive, stratigraphic excavation of settlement and workshop layers in a central part of the earliest Ribe, one of the richest archaeological sites of the North Sea trading world, which emerged in the eighth century CE.

Urbanism, commercialization and globalization

The general culture-historical aim of the project is to shed light on urbanism as a network dynamic, and the significance of events, conflicts and flows on economic and cultural processes.  This will be done through a High-Definition archaeology, which will clarify the change of the site and its connections as well as the possible dynamics behind these, cf. the approach propagated by the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), reflecting its status as one of the three field-archaeological focus projects of the centre.

The analytical aims of the project focus on the interrelationships between processes and actors in urbanization, the scope and organization of commercial exchange, and the dynamics and impact of global flows. A combination of detailed data on context and chronology with a programme of scientific analysis on find materials aims to determine how – and to what extent – urban networks catalysed societal and environmental expansions and crises in the Nordic world on the threshold to the Viking Age.

High-definition excavation and dynamic documentation

The excavation will cover two plots and adjacent street-front in order to elucidate questions regarding the nature and the development of the settlement.  The project will apply a combination of consequent stratigraphic excavation and integration of High-Definition methods from the natural sciences (e.g. geochemical element analysis, dirt DNA, proteomics, micromorphology), in order to yield new knowledge about culture-historical problems. Furthermore, the documentation of the excavations will seek to implement dynamic digital methods and on-site recording.

The Northern Emporium project is an archaeological research project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (Semper Ardens Fellowship). The project is affiliated to Centre of Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) at Aarhus University and carried out in close collaboration with Museum of Southwest Jutland.

News

2021.05.28 |

Crossing the Maelstrom: New Departures in Viking Archaeology

New publication by Julie Lund (University of Oslo) and Professor MSO and Deputy Director of UrbNet Søren M. Sindbæk.

2021.04.30 |

Uncovering Metal Crafts Of The Viking Age

Vikings are often associated with scenes of boats and fiercely-pitched battles. But new research, published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, shows they also had other, calmer skills. The paper details advances in the cast metalwork of objects from Ribe, Denmark.

2021.04.20 |

Viking metalwork craft and expertise evolved from 8th to 9th century

The evolution of metalwork expertise and craftsmanship developed by Viking craftspeople in Denmark in the 8th and 9th centuries has been detailed in a study published in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

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