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

  • Jens Molter Ulriksen Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Maja Kildetoft Schultz Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Morten Fischer Mortensen The National Museum of Denmark,
Keywords: Viking Age; Ring fortress; Conversion; Power structure; Roads; Transport corridors

Abstract

This study explores the underlying reasons behind the construction and topographical location of the Viking Age ring fortress, Borgring 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 the Viking Age ring fortresses along with other monumental structures dated to the reign of King Harald Bluetooth (c. AD 958 – AD 986/987) represent a manifestation of a new order of society instigated by the conversion of the King in AD 963. 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.

Author Biographies

Jens Molter Ulriksen, Museum Southeast Denmark

Head of Archaeological Research, Ph.D.

Maja Kildetoft Schultz, Museum Southeast Denmark

Curator

Morten Fischer Mortensen, The National Museum of Denmark,

Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, Senior Researcher, PhD

References

The article is an output from the Borgring Project 2016-2018 - investigation of the 5th Viking Age ring fortress of Denmark.

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Published
2020-06-30
Section
Research Article