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Rågångar, gränshallar och ägoområden: rekonstruktion av fastighetsstruktur och bebyggelseutveckling i mellersta Småland under äldre medeltid
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
1999 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Boundaries, boundary markers and property domains : reconstruction of property structure and settlement development in central Småland during the Early Middle Ages (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation treats settlement development in central Province Småland during the period AD 1050-1350. The choice of study area was dictatedby a wish to find an alternative regional geographical perspective to aboveall eastern Central Sweden.

Thetransition from prehistoric to medieval agriculture is mirrored in theproperty domains of the settlement areas. Large property domains apparentlyrepresent an older form of production with thralls, serfs and other subjects as labour force, while smallproperty domains signify household-based family farms.

Through information in charters about stewards (brytar), freed thralls, high purchase sums etc. it can beshown that there was a considerable number of large estates withsubservient crofts in Småland as late as the end of the thirteenth century. There is also an obviouslink between the medieval large estates and the central domains of thecommons of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (skogelag).

It is shown that younger property domains throughout were smaller thanolder ones. Large ownership territories were an expression of large-scalefarming based on more or less enslaved labour while the smaller units represented single-household farms. Avillagization of large estates occurred during the second half of thefourteenth and the fifteenth centuries.

The explanation for the settlement development and the agrarianexpansion during the Early Middle Ages should be sought in a complex of legal and institutional innovations. One such occurrence was the establishmentof a systematized tenant institution and of basic taxes tied to the land. Apparently the family farm was superior tothe large estates both for the landowners and for the tillers, a fact thatexplains the high acceptance of the agro-technical innovations which helpedincrease both agricultural production and productivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University , 1999. , 268 p.
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 101
Keyword [en]
Early Middle Ages, boundaries, property domain, family farm, large estate, commons
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64515ISBN: 91-7153-702-3OAI: diva2:458003
Public defence
1999-10-22, 10:15
Available from: 2011-11-21 Created: 2011-11-21 Last updated: 2011-11-21Bibliographically approved

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