Anebjerg – A rural farm from the 17th century: Considerations on Renaissance building traditions in Denmark and what can be expected beyond the Middle Ages

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Our knowledge of rural farms of the medieval period might seem limited, but our ignorance increases substantially as we reach the Renaissance. Until very recently this area of research was dominated by historians, and it was widely accepted that historical sources, in combination with the still-standing buildings from the period, provided ample information on this subject. However, historical sources concerning the appearance of the Renaissance farms are few, and recent archaeological excavations have proved written sources to be one thing – the Renaissance farmers’ willingness to do what written sources say they ought to do quite another. This article presents an excellent example of a large, fenced farm constructed entirely with hole-set posts. The farm has been dated
to the middle of the 17th century, when one would not expect to come upon several buildings with postholes, especially as the excavated artifacts draw an image of timbered buildings with bricks, red roof tiles and lead fitted windows. This excavation yielded a lot of information on the transition from medieval to Renaissance rural building methods, a transition which seems more dominated by practical considerations than by innovative architectural features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplexity and dynamics : Settlement and landscape from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance in the Nordic Countries (1700 BC–AD 1600)
EditorsMarie Ødegaard, Ingrid Ystgaard
Number of pages11
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherSidestone Press
Publication date14 Mar 2023
ISBN (Print)9789464270433, 9789464270426
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6427-044-0
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2023


  • rural settlement
  • farm structure
  • farmstead
  • post-medieval archaeology
  • material culture vs. written sources
  • timberbuild

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