This paper presents an overview of methodological and theoretical advances in the geoarchaeological study of towns in north-west Europe, c. ad 750-1450. The interpretations based on these new results are anchored within a theoretical framework of ‘Biographies of Place’. This framework offers a strong fit with geoarchaeological methods, and through five themes related to urbanism this paper shows a perspective that bridges geoarchaeology and historical context, and allows researchers to challenge accepted narratives that have to a large degree been reliant on the same sets of material evidence. By illustrating the potential of these geoarchaeological methods and showcasing their specific contributions, this paper aims to show not only that, but also how, different geoarchaeological methods can most fruitfully be built into research designs of North European medieval towns. This high-definition approach allows us to come a step closer to a more detailed picture of early medieval and Viking Age urban communities.