Completed research projects

From viking to white. Elite residences and urban development in West Zealand in the 6th-12th. century

PhD project completed by Trine Borake September 2016 - September 2019.

The project focuses on the societal upheavals that take place in the period 800-1100, and which are characterized by the transition from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages. Here one goes from a society characterized by many smaller kings and chiefs to a more centralized power that is consolidated in the state and royal power that we know today. The focal point of the project is a large-scale complex located on the west bank of Tissø. For a number of years, the National Museum has excavated several larger halls in changing phases, a market and craft area as well as traces of ritual acts. The character of the complex testifies that it has had a number of different functions in close interaction with the surrounding community and has had a large network with foreign countries.

The purpose of the project is to investigate the functions Tissø has had, which are the core of the site's existence and thus the needs and the demand the site has met locally as well as regionally. By extension, it is natural to ask where those features moved to and why, when the square ceased to exist around the middle of the 1000s. The project must thus describe factors that created dynamics in the development of society, as it unfolded in West Zealand between the Viking Age and the Middle Ages.

The project is enrolled at Aarhus University with Professor Søren Sindbæk as supervisor and is funded by Museum Vestsjælland with support from the Ministry of Culture's Research Foundation and Aarhus University. In addition, the Augustinus Foundation, the Etatsraad Bestles Memorial Scholarship and the Beckett Foundation have allocated funds for the project, which takes place in close collaboration with the National Museum.

The right atmosphere - material effects in the national association Bedre Byggeskiks arkitektur

PhD project completed by Pernille Henriette Wiil and completed November 2016

The National Association for Better Building Practice (1915-1965) was founded to raise the architectural quality in the Danish countryside. The National Association's legacy is marked by the notion of 'good craftsmanship in good materials' and by one of Danish architecture's most prominent values ​​'texture and simplicity'. The dissertation wants to concretize the significance of materials and texture, and therefore explores material and surface effects in Bedre Byggeskik's architecture and architecture program. This is done partly through analyzes of the association's texts, instructions and lectures and partly through analyzes of material and surface effects in three exemplary Better Building Practice houses.

Through an atmospheric theoretical perspective, the dissertation demonstrates that the surfaces, materials and textures of architecture have formative properties, as their radiance matches people's well-being and influences their attitude towards themselves and their surroundings. In continuation of this, it is documented how Bedre Byggeskik's aesthetic project was a public education project. The architecture and its materials were to create an environment in which atmospheres of restraint, diligence, care and order promoted that special states of mentality could thrive in the Danish population.

The project is written by Pernille Henriette Wiil in a collaboration between Museum Vestsjælland and Roskilde University with support from Region Zealand and Realdania.

Download the dissertation here>

The good experience - Of cultural heritage from the Viking Age and the Middle Ages in Central and West Zealand and elsewhere in Northern Europe

PhD project by Andreas Bonde Hansen. Completed August 2016

The dissertation uncovers history culture, experiences and dissemination trends in Viking and medieval attractions in Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

This is done with the strategic aim of presenting examples of cultural heritage experiences that can serve to develop the Central and West Zealand cultural heritage industry. The dissertation focuses on overall patterns of consumption, as well as on the essentials of the visitor's personal encounter with the cultural heritage. Thus, the dissertation presents a theoretical alternative to the dominant (typically critically constructivist) paradigm, as well as new knowledge about where the attractiveness of cultural heritage from the Viking Age and the Middle Ages lies - well, the attraction that 'goes deeper' than pedagogy and technology. Furthermore, the dissertation presents an overview of the 'attraction landscape', which among other things suggests that the attraction potential within Viking Age experiences, as these unfold in 2016, is overestimated by the museum and tourism industry. The dissertation also presents a new user group division, where feelings about concrete narratives and materialities in the cultural heritage experience are included in an unprecedented way. A number of examples of extremely successful cultural heritage experiences are presented in the dissertation under the phenomenon super-attractions - an attraction phenomenon that can be an inspiration for Central and West Zealand's attraction development. What experiences can be characterized as super-attractions holds a number of surprises.      

Ph.d. the project was a collaboration between When Denmark was created, Museum Vestsjælland, Ny Trelleborg / Slagelse Municipality and the Danish Agency for Culture.


Note: Danish only