Rundkvist, Martin. 2011. Mead-halls of the Eastern Geats. Elite Settlements and Political Geography AD 375-1000 in Östergötland, Sweden. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien (KVHAA), Handlingar, Antikvariska serien 49. Stockholm 2011. 165 pp. ISBN 978-91-7402-405-0.
The Swedish province of Östergötland has long been recognised as one of the 1st millennium’s political hot spots. Splendid single finds, though never before surveyed comprehensively, offer a rough idea of where elite settlements might be sought. But not one of the ostentatious manorial buildings where the era’s elite lived has been identified in the field. This book aims at beginning to remedy this regional absence of mead-halls, being an investigation of the internal political geography of Östergötland during the period AD 375-1000. Good candidate sites are identified in nine out of c. 155 parishes. Apparently they were occupied only rather briefly by magnates, and there is little sign of continuity anywhere.
Archaeology, Early Medieval, Sweden, Östergötland, Viking, elite, political geography
And here’s how happy I was back on 6 March 2003 when the first volume of my PhD thesis was delivered from the printers: