Urban Encounters - Mobility, Migration and Networks in pre-modern Scandinavia

Project: Research

  • Museum of Copenhagen
  • Odense Bys Museer
  • Statens historiska Museum Arkeologerna
  • Bohusläns Museum
See relations at Aarhus University


The research- and public outreach project Urban Encounters – mobility, migration and networks in pre-modern Scandinavia explores new perspectives of research into pre-modern urbanism in northern Europe (1000-1700 AD). Urban Encounters is funded by the Velux foundation and is a collaboration between Museum of Copenhagen, Odense City Museums, The Nya Lödöse-project in Gothenburg (The National Historical Museums (SHMM) and their collaborators Bohusläns Museum, Museum of Gothenburg and RIO Gothenburg) and Center for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) at Aarhus University. The project runs over a period of 4 years starting 1st of January 2016.
Urban Encounters investigates the establishing and development of towns trough the vast material brought to light in the large excavations conducted in Odense, København and Nya Lödöse in the recent years. The size of the projects and the new scientific methods used during the excavations gives a unique possibility of comparative and contextualised analysis of the premodern urbanization. Through a broad understanding of the concepts migration, mobility and networks, Urban Encounters aim to explore ways to study urbanism through tracing different types of actors, meetings, practices and networks in the material culture and see how these affected the urban places. The multitude of encounters taking place in the towns is part of what makes towns and town life different from life in other places. To see the town as an instrument or catalyst for meetings between people gives a perspective which puts people, their motivations and experiences in focus. This is an aspect of the study of pre-modern urbanism which holds great potential but is in need of further attention.

The following research questions are central to the project:
• How can urbanization be seen in the material culture of the three towns?
• Is it possible to trace urban identities and life forms in the archeological record?
• How is the town as a meeting place expressed in the archaeological record?
• How has migration and peopling of the town contributed to the shaping of an urban identity and way of life?
The first three questions relate to the extensive archeological material from the three excavations while the fourth is putting the results into perspective according to resent research on migration and identity.
Effective start/end date01/01/201631/12/2019

    Research areas

  • Urban Archaeology, migration, networks, medieval, renaissance, Scandinavia, material culture, public outreach


Research outputs

ID: 129041449