The Scandinavian hall building was a constructional and social innovation which emerged sometime in the Early Iron Age; most scholars agree that it occurred in the second half of the Roman Period. The thesis examines the ordering, control and utilisation of space expressed through the Scandinavian hall buildings c. 250 – 1050 CE. The power relations of the Scandinavian Iron Age society are in the thesis interpreted as expressed through the hall buildings and their placement in a both genuine and cognitive landscape. The buildings’ construction, the finds related to the buildings, and the mythological ideas of the buildings are related to power struggle and power negotiations in the Iron Age societies. A recurrent theme throughout the thesis is the reciprocity between the built environment and the agents therein, as well as a focus on the biography of the hall buildings. Other important aspects discussed is the strong connection between the hall and the dead, the use of space as a differentiating factor between social groups, and the hall as an arena for rituals, transformation and liminality, differentiation and negotiation.
Keywords: Hall, cultic buildings, Iron Age, mythology, power, spatial ordering, communication, landscape, biography, practice theory.