Ros Jonas, 2009. Stad och gård. Sigtuna under sen vikingatid och tidig medeltid. (Town and house. Sigtuna during late Viking Age and Early Medieval period). Occasional Papers in Archaeology 45. 288 pp. 85 figs. Uppsala. ISBN 978-91-506-2084-9.


The study comprises mainly the Viking Age and the Early Medieval period. During the period of around 1000-1150, the towns of Sweden were Sigtuna, Gamla Lödöse and Visby, possibly including Skara as well. Birka may be said to have been a Viking town. Not much is known about the structures of the plots and the building techniques of the houses in the early Swedish towns. Later house types documented while still standing are described. The houses are named according to their function. Different building techniques are described.

The town of Sigtuna was founded around 980 AD and the starting-point for the study was excavations in Sigtuna, especially my own large excavation in the Urmakaren block. No less than 74 houses or parts of houses were excavated at the site. The houses and plots are published and the houses are divided into different types. One of the houses was the minting-house of King Olof Eriksson Skötkonung. Around 995 AD, Olof started the first Swedish coin production in Sweden, in Sigtuna. A summary is made of excavations carried out in Sigtuna. Older views on the town are reported and new ones are presented. The Sigtuna churches are discussed. Houses and plots from Sigtuna are compared with excavations carried out in various other towns. Why houses and plots differ between towns is discussed. The differences indicate the social structure of the towns. The towns were founded by the kings to support the social structure and to assist the elites in establishing and maintaining their positions.

Keywords: Viking Age, Middle Ages, Sigtuna, Town, Urban excavations, Plots, Houses, Building techniques, Social structure.

Jonas Ros, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Box 626, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden