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Culture as Colonialism: The Hanseatic League in Bergen and Turku

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Immonen, Visa 


The Hanseatic League dominated the Baltic Sea and much of the North Sea trade in the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. The influences of the Hansa on material culture have previously been examined as expressions of commerce but also a form of Hanseatic culture. In addition to cultural force, the Hanseatic League has even been characterised as a colonial power. In this article, the concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘colonialism’ are analysed using the towns of Bergen in Norway and Turku in Finland as case studies. What do the two terms mean? How does their conceptual history affect interpretations on the impact of German trade in the two Nordic towns? It is argued that even the notion of ‘Hanseatic culture’ is underpinned by modern colonialism.



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Archaeological Review from Cambridge: Archaeology & Colonialism

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Archaeological Review from Cambridge

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