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Fornlämningskategori:: Fornborg - en diskussion om terminologi, forskningstradition och variation med fokus på de gotländska höjdanläggningarna
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Category of ancient remains: : Hill fort - a discussion on terminology, tradition of research and variation in regards of the Gotlandic hill-monuments (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns the Gotlandic hill-forts (sw. fornborg) situated on a cliff or in an elevated position and which traditionally have been referred to as cliff-forts (sw. klintborg/höjdborg). The study derives from the notion that these monuments, diverse in size and shape, by archaeologists have been viewed and treated as a homogeneous category of ancient remains. The author’s key aim is to challenge this perception by identifying various subcategories from the 28 cliff-forts on the island.

Ever since the archaeological discipline initiated the study of cliff-forts in the late 1800s and more or less to present day, the interpretations have been almost solely dominated by explanations of the military and defendable nature of them. As a reaction towards this rather single handed view, research influenced by the so called post-processual archaeology in the 1990s and early 2000s emphasized on the mental and ritual aspects of these remains. Although these later studies stimulated a field of research which with few exceptions had been sleeping for some time, the author claims that neither one of the approaches could in a satisfactorily way portrait these complex monuments.

A midway between these schools is thus desirable, where the dissimilarities of the remains are considered.Based on the quite spare but existing local archaeological data, complemented by interregional records from Sweden mainland (Mälardalen and Östergötland), the author identifies and describes three separate types of remains within the material: Type 1) a fortified farmstead from the Migration period; Type 2) a defensive con-struction from the Roman Iron Age; and Type 3) a cultic enclosure from the Bronze Age/Early Iron Age.

When approaching a field of research with this amount of inherited pre-understandings it is vital to be aware of earlier works, and in a critical manner process them. An important step in this is to reflect upon which terms are used in the discourse. In particular, the phrases hill-fort/cliff-fort is rather unsuitable due to its connotation to fortification and other military issues. Furthermore, the author points out that there is a connection between the preconceptions of archaeological features and the later antiquarian recording of it, which in turn may affect the methodological approach if excavated, and indeed the subsequent interpretation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 97 p.
Keyword [sv]
Gotland, fornborg, klintborg, undergrupperingar, terminologi, forskningsarv
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154782OAI: diva2:422279
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-06-14 Created: 2011-06-11 Last updated: 2011-06-14Bibliographically approved

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