(Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria)

Outline: During the excavation at Lower Austria’s Tulln town square (Tulln Hauptplatz) in the years 2007 till 2008, we have been able to recover an almost completely preserved medieval market square. The material is offering us the opportunity to explore the relationship in-between the functionality of the historic town square and the development of Tulln becoming a medieval city.

Abstract: The long-running excavations in the center of the Lower Austrian town of Tulln an der Donau had its peak in the large-scale excavations in the years 2005 – 2008. In these 4 years, 40,000 m² of the medieval city were investigated. In addition to a suburban area of the medieval town near the city wall and a whole quarter of the medieval settlement, almost the entire marketplace of the city was uncovered. The excavation at Tulln main square looked at the marketplace buildings and surfaces of the square.

The market is a constitutive criterion for the definition of a settlement as a city in all the theories and research on the medieval city. Here the market is not only a place of exchange, but can and does also serve as a production site. It also has different functions in the city, be it as a daily or weekly market or trans-regionally as fair or exhibition.

The Archaeology of the market is completely determined by other factors, for rarely, we succeed in the city to capture a whole square, usually only small parts are examined. To it, the Tulln Hauptplatz project provides an ideal source for the study of the archeology of the medieval market and its function in the city.

On Tulln Hauptplatz, the history of the site from 11th Century, the construction of the market place in the 13th Century and its architectural and functional changes up to the early modern period can be traced.

This source material is a good basis for cross-cutting issues: How is the construction of the market linked with the medieval urban development? Reflects the establishment of the market place full possession of the municipal law of the medieval city?

Keywords: Medieval Market Square, Tulln Hauptplatz, Market and City Development in Medieval Town