Place names as a resource for evaluating Iron Age central place complexes in the coastal landscape of northern Trøndelag, Central Norway
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Original versionIn: Albris, S. F. (ed.). Placing Place Names in Norwegian Archaeology. Current Discussions and Future Perspectives, 117-140.
Archaeological research on Iron Age central place complexes in Norway has been limited so far compared to Denmark and Sweden, but especially little has been learnt about centres of power in the coastal landscape of northern Trøndelag in Central Norway, despite the fact that one of Scandinavia’s largest burial mounds, the Herlaugshaugen on the island of Leka, is situated there. As the archaeological material from this region consists mainly of grave finds, the evidence of place names might be of particular importance to identify and evaluate various components of central place complexes according to those patterns that have been observed in other places in Scandinavia. This article focusses on those two areas in coastal northern Trøndelag in which large burial mounds have been found – the surroundings of the Herlaugshaugen burial mound on the island of Leka, and the land bridge between Firth Folda and Lake Salvatnet at the mouth of the Namsen water system – and brings together archaeological and toponymic evidence and topographical analyses in order to assess whether they provide indications of central place complexes at these sites.