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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The town of Tornio, on the border of present-day Finland and Sweden, was founded in 1621, on the order of the King of Sweden, to replace the old medieval marketplace on the estuary of the Tornio river. It was the northernmost urban site in Europe at the time. The founding and early development of the town was part of the broader trade-political process in the emerging Kingdom of Sweden during the early modern age. The original town was a small, wooden trading-post-like place, settled mostly by peasants from the surrounding countryside. This chapter provides an overview of Tornio’s urban development in its first century of existence, and discusses the development of the built environment based on the results of archaeological studies conducted since the 1960s. Lastly, the chapter addresses the early urbanization process of the inhabitants by considering their relationships with artefacts during the early phases of the town.

Keywords: Tornio, Sweden, Finland, Gulf of Bothnia, urban, urbanization, trade, human–artefact relations, built environment, early modern age

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