The paper discusses settlement development of the upper Nitra River basin during the period of the Middle Ages´ older phases, its chronological, spatial and ecoparametric analyses using the methods of the settlement archaeology, their interpretation and reconstruction of the processes of settlement and development of residential structure with regard to main historical trends in the central Danube area from the 6th up to the mid-13th century. In the processes of settlement a significant role was played by landscape parameters – altitude, morphology and type of relief. Most open settlements were established in the lowest hypsometric belts of the region, on the terraces of the Nitra and Nitrica Rivers and their tributaries, in the belts of potentially most fertile agricultural land, climactically just moderately warm, even with cool or cold winter, and humid. The beginning of the Slavonic settlement in the upper Nitra River basin as early as in the younger early-Slavonic and pre-Great Moravian period are represented by the seeds of three sites – situated in the vicinity of the present Partizánske, Diviaky nad Nitricou and Prievidza. After the collapse of Great Moravia the territories did not probably find themselves under the immediate military occupation by “ancient Magyar” tribes. In the 10th century the population responded to the new situation with a decentralisation of power, reconstruction of the existing and building of new fortifications, partially also with the shifts of population deeper into the mountains. During the 10th century up to the first third of the 11th cent., the territories were permanently connected to the Kingdom of Hungary. The older fortifications lost their significance and were abandoned or changed into the small family castles. The representatives of new power built for themselves new fortified headquarters, and as part of the Nitra appanage principality they were involved in numerous conflicts between the emerging new states – the Hungarian, Czech and Polish kingdoms, as well as intra-dynastic conflicts of the Arpads. The picture of the settlement of the upper Nitra River basin in the 12th – 13th cent., enriched by many new residential components, already gives, in broad outlines, the situation which has not significantly changed, in spite of certain local changes, up to the modern times, and makes up a core of the present residential net.