BETWEEN TOPONYMY, TOPOGRAPHY AND TEMPORALITY: TOWARDS A PREDICATIVE MODEL FOR LOCALISING COURTYARD SITES
The courtyard sites, compounds mostly consisting of houses laid out around an open space and their functions are among the most debated features within Norwegian archaeology. In general, they occur from about 100 to 1000 A.D. Numerous hypotheses and theories have been proposed as to their functions, among others military, as they follow a relatively strict layout resembling barracks and camps, and legal functions as the number of houses sometimes correspond to the number of legal districts in a given area. This paper discusses the possibilities of localising courtyard sites in the landscape and determining functions by looking at factors such as toponyms (place names) and topography. Furthermore, differences in time and space will be discussed. Which changes in layout and between the different regions can be traced, and do these changes through time, and which common denominators are there across time and space?
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