Dominating the Landscape – the emblematic Setting of Borgring and the Viking Age Ring Fortresses of Denmark

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Abstract

This study explores the underlying reasons behind the construction and topographical location of the Viking Age ring fortress, Borgring near Køge, and the impact it had on the society on a regional scale. A key question is whether this manifestation of power is also expressing a disruption of the existing power structure in the region. The evidence from Borgring will be compared to the other four ring fortresses as well as other fortifications and large structures of the Viking Age in Denmark. In the end we will propose a new theory explaining that the Viking Age ring fortresses along with other monumental structures dated to the reign of King Harald Bluetooth (ca. AD 958-AD 986/987) represent a symbolic manifestation of a new order of society instigated by the conversion of the King in AD 963. More than being military strongholds the shape, the size and the positioning of the structures in the landscape were premeditated to impress both locals and travellers following important roads throughout the realm and to remind them of the King´s presence and his power based on a new ideology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Journal of Archaeology
Volume9
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
ISSN2166-2290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020

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