Akademisk avhandling för avläggande av filosofie doktorsexamen i arkeologi vid Stockholms universitet som offentligen kommer att försvaras torsdagen den 25 mars 2010 kl. 13 i Föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5.




Stockholm has, for over a thousand years, been stamped by its situation on the water. Proximity to water has influenced strategy and defence, commerce, water transport, communications and the extraction of resources. All this has left its physical traces that tell of the town’s development and history in the form of shipwrecks, island farmsteads, harbours, fisheries, bridges and public baths. To compile this material, for the first time, is the main aim of this thesis. A more specific aim is also especially to analyse and interpret the large number of shipwrecks that have been found by investigations in the city. Among the approximately 150 ship discoveries, made in Stockholm from 1863 to the present day, most have been found when digging on land.

In the thesis an attempt is made to link together the shipwrecks with the historic description of boats in Stockholm, in order to increase the insight into the city’s maritime development. The question which arises, is whether it is possible to compare, on the one side, the largely destroyed wreck and, on the other side, the historic representation with all the artistic freedom, simplifications and angles which are available in order to identify the boat and perhaps, with and including that, to decide their type from archaeological material.

The Stockholm archaeological material shows quite clearly that the local and regional transport with small vessels was of the greatest importance for the city’s subsistence. Stockholm was very strongly dependent upon a wide contact net with the country around and with the transport of the Gulf of Bothnia. The collection has shown, as well, that from an archaeological viewpoint it is important to use as many supporting sciences as possible in order to interpret the material.