Analysing Medieval Urban Space; a methodology

Marlous L. Craane

Department of Social Cultural Sciences, Tilburg University and Centre for Urban History, Antwerp University. or

Cite this as: Craane, M.L. 2007 Analysing Medieval Urban Space; a methodology, Internet Archaeology 21.


This article has been written in reaction to recent developments in medieval history and archaeology, to study not only the buildings in a town but also the spaces that hold them together. It discusses a more objective and interdisciplinary approach for analysing urban morphology and use of space. It proposes a 'new' methodology by combining town plan analysis and space syntax. This methodology was trialled on the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. By comparing the results of this 'new' methodology with the results of previous, more conventional, research, this article shows that space syntax can be applied successfully to medieval urban contexts. It does this by demonstrating a strong correlation between medieval economic spaces and the most integrated spaces, just as is found in the study of modern urban environments. It thus provides a strong basis for the use of this technique in future research of medieval urban environments.

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