Settlements and New Cultivations
|The research into place names is very helpful, when it comes to the determination of the period of the fixed settlements. That people started to settle down had to do with the new cultivation methods, which was introduced in connection with the increase of population. This demanded new settlements close to the new cultivation areas.
In the Viking Age permanent settlements became more common. In order to date the settlements the place names are very helpful, even though the names in some cases may be older than the settlements.
It is assumed that the settlements via the place names can be dated like this:
Pre Viking Age: -by, -hög, -stad, -löv, -inge og -lösa
During the Viking Age: -bjer, -åkra, -tofta og -lund
Viking Age/ Middle Ages: -torp/ -arp/ -rup
Middle Ages: -röd
The endings –inge, -lev, -löse, -um and –by are common in the western parts of Zealand towards the Roskilde inlet, but this is also the case in Scania and Halland. In many of these areas archaeologists have made great finds. Another ending, -tofta, is common in Scania and in Zealand, but also in Normandy and eastern England, where the ending is connected to the colonisation of the Vikings. Thus it is generally believed that these place names endings are from the Viking age. If you look closer at these areas you will find that they have probably been easy to cultivate, for instance the ending –tofta is often found near water, where the conditions for the draining of the earth have been good.
Bosættelser i Nordsjælland
The end of the Viking age in the 13th century is marked by new cultivations. This is an international phenomenon, which was connected to the general population increase. With the new cultivations came new settlements and these can also be traced in the place names, which allow us to follow the agricultural expansion.
The ending, -tofta, is common in Scania and in Zealand, but also in Normandy and eastern England, where the ending is connected to the colonisation of the Vikings. Thus it is generally believed that these place names endings are from the Viking age.
If you look closer at these areas you will find that they have probably been easy to cultivate, for instance the ending –tofta is often found near water, where the conditions for the draining of the earth have been good.
-tofta in Scania
-löv and -tofta in Scania
The ending –rup/torp could have something to do with the moving out to new towns. (However, this is not the case with all names ending in –torp, as this ending have been used in the early Viking age). The meaning of –torp has thus changed from time to time. The original meaning was probably “fence”, since then it has come to mean “meadow” and after that “new settlement”.
-arp in Scania
-arp in Scania
-rup in North Zealand
New Cultivations - New Settlements
With the new cultivations came new settlements and these can also be traced in the place names, which allow us to follow the agricultural expansion. The endings –holt/hult and –röd/ryd have clear connections to the new cultivations – holt/hult and röd/ryd is found in connection with cleared forest areas. These endings are common in northwestern Scania and in North Zealand.
-holt in Zealand
-hult in Scania
-rødbyer in North Zealand
-röd in Scania
Ryd in Småland
A Common Cultural Area
You could say that Zealand had two cultural areas; a southwestern area, which consisted of cultivated plains and a northeastern with forests.
Scania similarly had three cultural areas; one southern with plains, which had been cultivated early, one northern with forest areas and forest settlements and small woods, which have been named “national settlements”. In this area and in North Zealand new cultivation areas were created through the clearing of forest and in these areas the place name ending –röd/ryd is common. The cultivation pattern in northwestern Scania and in North Zealand was similar. It must be added that the contacts between Scania and Zealand was most intense between Helsingborg and Elsinore.
The place names can be traced to “the throat” (hals), by which they meant the narrowest part of the Sound. The people around the North Sound was called “halsinger” and both towns were called “halsingarnas borg” and “halsingarnas öre” (beach). The importance the area around “halsen” had for the contacts between Zealand and Scania was early attested by Adam of Bremen in his work “De hamburgska ärkebiskoparnas historia” (1070). He noted that you could “sail to Scania from many places in Zealand. The shortest distance is from Helsingborg, where the narrowest part of the Sound is called Halsen and where the population is called halsingar”.
One may establish from this that North Zealand and north western Scania very early were quite homogeneous
Three Cultural Areas
New Settlements in Zealand
Settlements in Scania