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Toponyms are place-names, which can reveal the historical use or function of a site.


The etymological origin of toponyms is not always clear, thus the interpretation of toponyms is often a hypothetical issue. Nevertheless, toponyms are important indicators, as historical landscape elements can be anticipated on the basis of meaningfully constituted place-names. In a maritime context this has been demonstrated in Denmark with the snekke epithet frequently found in coastal place names.[1] The snekke was a longship associated to the Danish leding (maritime levy) organisation. The historical character of an entire coastal landscape can be reconstructed on the basis of toponyms.[2][3]

  1. B. Holmberg, 'Maritime Place-Names', in: O. Crumlin-Pedersen (ed.), Aspects of Maritime Scandinavia AD 200-1200 (Roskilde, 1991), pp.233-240
  2. C. Westerdahl, The maritime cultural landscape, in: The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21.1, 1992, pp. 9-11.
  3. T. Lemm & S. Kalmring, 'The Flensburg inlet in the Viking Age - a neglected maritime cultural landscape', in: B. V. Eriksen, A. Abegg-Wigg, R. Bleile & U. Ickerodt (eds.), Interation without borders (Schleswig, 2017), pp. 631-648.