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PhD Project: Urban Elite Culture – A Survey and Methodological Study of Aristocracy and Civic Elites in Trading Towns of the Southwestern Baltic (12th–14th c.)

Projekter: ProjektForskning

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This PhD project investigates the significance, representation and interplay of the aristocracy and leading civic groups in trading towns of the southwestern Baltic to obtain a deeper understanding of the complexity of urban social structures during the 12th to 14th centuries. The thesis is a comparative study between Northern Germany and Denmark. It focuses on the socio-historical conditions and dynamics in two selected case study towns: Stralsund (Pomerania, Germany) and Næstved (Zealand, Denmark). Moreover, the dissertation provides a methodological discussion of social differentiation in the archaeological record of towns. This work discusses and answers the following research questions:

- What significance did the aristocracy have for the case study towns? What were the aristocracy’s scopes of action and interactions in/with the urban communes? What characteristics and forms of representation distinguished civic elites from other town dwellers?
- How can urban elite culture be characterised?
- How can elite groups in towns be identified and differentiated methodologically?
Effektiv start/slut dato01/09/201723/12/2020

ID: 147126120