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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Sarah Semple

Sanmark, A. & Semple, S. J. (2008). Places of Assembly: New Discoveries in Sweden and England. Fornvännen 103(4): 245-259.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper reviews recent field results from Sweden and England demonstrating
that currently held perceptions of assembly-sites as archaic and cultic are only
partially accurate. Evidence has emerged for the purposeful creation of assembly
locations in the fourth to eleventh centuries AD as one of the many processes of
kingdom formation. In common with other modes of expression such as burial,
the creation of assembly sites was often undertaken by adopting or reusing
ancient locations marked by palimpsests of prehistoric remains. However, as evidence
from Sweden demonstrates, meeting-places could also be created de novo,
and newly monumentalised by the addition of standing stones, inscribed stones
and mounds.