This chapter provides an outline of the scholarly problems that the Avaldsnes Royal Manor Project was designed to address, the central theme explored being the political institutions and processes in the first millennium AD. The research plan was developed during the 2007–9 pilot project phase, and was adjusted and supplemented during the 2011–12 excavations and the research and publication phase in the subsequent years. The first of the research plan’s two sections, the results of which are presented in the present volume, deals with Avaldsnes, Kormt, and the Karmsund Strait. The research plan included a series of selected themes, taking as a point of departure the rich and varied research strand on so-called central places. The central-place approach informed the choice of objectives for the 2011–12 excavations at Avaldsnes alongside a corresponding excavation and sampling strategy. Relevant specialists were invited to join the project. The second section of the research plan addresses the first-millennium history of political institutions and processes in the south-western coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The first results from this research are presented in this volume’s final chapter, which discusses Avaldsnes in a western Scandinavian context. The preliminary results presented in that chapter will be further developed in the next volume from this project.