‘Central Place’ aspects in Archaeology: A study of archaeological site in Uppåkra, Southern Sweden and Mahasthangarh, Northern Bangladesh

University essay from Lunds universitet/Arkeologi

Abstract: The aim of this paper was to understand the central place aspects of Mahasthangarh and Uppåkra according to analyze the definition of central place theory based on political, economical and religious aspects in archaeological perspective. Mahasthangarh is located in the Northern part of Bangladesh identified as Early Historic (c. 500 BC to 550 AD) to Medieval Period (c. 550 AD to 1200 AD) site in Bangladeshi context. Uppåkra is located in the Southern part of Sweden known as Iron Age (c. 500 BC to 1000 AD) site in the Scandinavian perspective. Central place theory is basically a geographical theory that seeks to explain the number, size and location of human settlement in the urban system and it defines archaeological sites with a combination of political, economical and religious functions. In this paper the central place theory was applied on these two different archaeological sites to pursue the relevant factors of central place issues in archaeological context. A large number of archaeological materials observed from both sites that indicate the central place aspects of Mahasthangarh and Uppåkra. On the other hand the historical sources of Mahasthangarh indicate the aspects of central place. The timeline of Uppåkra and Mahasthangarh was almost similar and both sites have varied functions. The goal was not to sustain the similarity or differences of these sites rather than the attempt was to understand the central place aspects in archaeological context. Methodologically the contextual analysis and comparative method was followed to understand the theoretical view of central place theory in Mahasthangarh and Uppåkra. As a result, the cultural materials, special features and historical information indicate that the both sites witnessed more than 1000 years human activities as central place with political, economical and religious functions in a long term perspective.

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