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Arkeologi i Östergötland. Scener ur ett landskaps förhistoria. (Östergötland: Scenes from the Prehistory of a Swedish Province)
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
1999 (English)Book (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Archaeological investigations in recent years in the province of Östergötland have yielded a large contribution of source material and a good basis for the overall interpretation of the development of central districts. During the salvage operations of the last few years, it has been possible to trace the early history of Östergötland considerably further back in time than was previously known. With the discovery and investigation of some settlements dating from the early Mesolithic, the history of the province has become at one go a couple of thousand years older.

In Östergötland, it can be seen that certain parts of the province appear as having been more important than others from the middle Neolithic onwards. During the late Neolithic, an expansion took place with more extensive settlement and cultivation. Different central districts began to crystallise out and perhaps we see here the first move towards the chieftainship which can be more clearly discerned in the Bronze Age find material. At the same time as it early developed into an economically sound area of a special kind, Östergötland also became an area for contacts between regions. In this, the waterways certainly played a great part, with the coastal region in the east and Lake Vättern to the west and a system of watercourses between them. From the Bronze age onwards, there are signs of contacts via the Baltic with areas in modern Poland and eastern Germany and also with areas in the Baltic states. This is clear in several Östergötland localities, and house types, graves and pottery show clear contacts with the Lusatian culture. These elements fit into the interpretations of long-distance, cultural contacts during the Bronze age, which were probably maintained by an elite in society. The contact routes across the Baltic seem to have continued in a similar direction during the early iron age.

In Roman times and the Migration period, there are signs of extensive social changes, which may have taken place partly under the influence of imported ideas. In these changes, we may perhaps discern the beginning of a central power and a planned reconstruction. Changes during the late Roman Iron age and the Migration period may be interpreted as meaning that the power structures in society changed and that the hierarchical levels became more marked. The archaeological results of recent years have shown the presence of central power in the Linköping district during the late Iron Age. There are many signs indicating that the overall power in the province during the late Iron age was increasingly concentrated to the site of Linköping. The reasons for centralisation and power concentration may be interpreted differently, as a struggle between individuals and groups or as a joint action. It may have been an association of different competing families, brought about by dynastic bonds, which finally united the province as a territory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala , 1999. , 163 p.
, Occational papers in archaeology (OPIA), ISSN 1100-6358 ; 20
Keyword [en]
Östergötland, central districts, cultural contacts, political structures, graves, settlements, rescue excavations, Mesoltithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-39934ISBN: 91-506-1346-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-39934DiVA: diva2:67834
Available from: 2005-05-10 Created: 2005-05-10

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