Établissements principaux/Main institutions : Historical Archaeology
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University
Projet en cours/Project in progress
The purpose of the project The Key to Uppåkra is to create an integrated database containing spatial and chronological information from the archaeological investigations at Uppåkra in Scania, connected to a visual collection of the artefacts for further research and public visualization of the extensive sources. Firstly, it will secure the quality of and access to the archaeological documentation from the site. In the project, eighteen years of very diverse archaeological investigations are synchronised into a coherent digital frame, by using Intrasis and GIS, translating digital data into visual format. Secondly, parallel to the temporal-spatial ordering, 28 000 artefacts will be photographed and made accessible on the Internet by the use of K-Samsök and Europeana, two commonly used facilities in museums. This opens up possibilities for research on societal change during the politically formative period for early Scandinavian states, based on a site with extremely long settlement continuity. The database will be internationally accessible to scholars, as well as the public, through open access. The mobilization for a database will be the launchpad for sustainable knowledge, with national and international impact. Uppåkra will be important for scholars occupied with questions on pre-urban societies and how they were established and transformed into towns, in their ecological, social and cultural context. As such, the Uppåkra database will have a global scope.
Karlsson Catarina, Förlorat järn — Det medeltida jordbrukets behov och förbrukning av järn och stål [Lost Iron – requirement and consumption of iron and steel in agriculture in medieval Sweden], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2015, (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet)
Lost Iron – requirement and consumption of iron and steel in agriculture in medieval Sweden This study aims at an estimation of the amount of iron required for agriculture during the Middle Ages in Sweden. To calculate this we need to know which implements were used, their weights and how they were subjected to wear. Research on wear has been very scarce but it is of great importance to measure how much iron that was needed to replace what was taken away by constant wear, i.e. on shares for ploughs and ards. To achieve this a new method was devised. The method is based on previous research by Grith Lerche, with additional analyses and calculations. The method presented and used is called Wear Calculation Method and consists of five steps. Step 1: Study of medieval agricultural implements, their shape and weight. Step 2: Metallurgical analysis of selected implements, to answer questions about materials and how they were processed. Step 3: Experimental Archaeology: Manufacture of replicas of the implements analyzed in step 2. Step 4: Experimental Archaeology: ard ploughing and haymaking with replicas of ard shares and scythes for the purpose of measuring wear. Step 5: Analysis of the wear experiment, results and calculations of consumption of iron and steel in medieval agriculture. The experimental part of the thesis focuses on ard shares and scythes, since the ard and the scythe were the main implements for ploughing and haymaking during the Middle Ages in Sweden. These experiments were carried out during two seasons at Östra Järvafältet, north of Stockholm, Sweden. I have measured wear on the ard shares in grams per kilometer. But more relevant and often more compatible with data from written sources is a measure of how many grams that are worn off per hectare or any other given unit of land. The wear is approximated at 100 grams of iron and steel per ploughed hectare (10 000 m2), in conditions similar to the situation when the replicas were used. I chose to do my analyses on two different spatial levels, the farm and the county. The results prove that ard ploughing means much heavier wear on the implements compared to haymaking. Generally you needed an annual addition of slightly over 1 kg of iron to plough the fields of a normal-sized farm in Uppland. Thus we may estimate the total amount of iron required in Uppland to replace the wear caused by ploughing to 8,4 ton a year. These results show that iron and steel production were of great importance for the High Medieval economic expansion and modernization, where increased iron production and consumption as well as simultaneous expansion of arable land were vital. Between the end of the first millennium and the mid-14th century, the population of Sweden approximately doubled in size, much like the rest of Europe. Iron was a most important third factor (in combination with an increased population and the cultivation of new land) in this expanding age, ca AD 1000–1300. Production and consumption of iron and steel increased sharply during this period and it reached every person, farm, meadow and field in the country. This is a sure sign of a very developed market and system for the distribution of iron and steel.
[Source : http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/11435/]
Grabowski Radoslaw, Cereal husbandry and settlement : Expanding archaeobotanical perspectives on the southern Scandinavian Iron Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. K. Viklund, Umeå universitet)
The here presented PhD project explores the phenomenon of cereal cultivation during the Iron Age (c. 500 BC – AD 1100) in southern Scandinavia. The main body of the thesis consists of four articles. These were written with the aim to identify chronological, geographical, theoretical and methodological gaps in current research, to develop, apply and evaluate approaches to how new knowledge on Iron Age cereal cultivation can be attained, and to assess the interaction between archaeobotany and other specialisms currently used in settlement archaeology. The introduction section of the thesis also contains a historical overview of archaeobotanical research on cereal cultivation in southern Scandinavia. The first article is a compilation and summary of all available previously performed archaeobotanical investigations in southern Sweden. This data is compared and discussed in relation to similar publications in Denmark and smaller scale compilations previously published in Sweden. The main result of the study is an updated and enhanced understanding of the main developments in the investigation area and a deepened knowledge of local development chronologies and trajectories in different parts of southern Sweden. The second article is a methodological presentation of a multiproxy analysis combining plant macrofossil analysis, phosphate analysis, magnetic susceptibility analysis and measurement of soil organic matter by loss on ignition. The applicability of the method for identification and delineation of space functions on southern Scandinavian Iron Age sites is discussed and illustrated by two case studies from the Danish site of Gedved Vest. Particular focus is placed on exploration of the use of the functional analysis for assessment of taphonomic and operational contexts of carbonised plant macrofossil assemblages. The third article aims at presenting an Iron Age cereal cultivation history for east-central Jutland, an area identified at the outset of the project as under-represented in archaeobotanical studies. The article combines data from depth analyses of material from the sites of Gedved Vest and Kristinebjerg Øst (analysed with the methods and theory presented in the second article) with a compilation of previously performed archaeobotanical analyses from east-central Jutland. The main results of the study are that developments in the study area appear to follow a chronology similar to that previously observed on Funen rather than the rest of the peninsula. Rye cultivation is furthermore discussed as more dynamic and flexible than previously presented in Scandinavian archaeobotanical literature. The fourth and final article leaves archaeobotany as the main topic. It focuses instead on evaluating, theorising and expanding the multiproxy method presented in the second article by a thorough comparison of the botanical, geochemical and geophysical methods to other techniques of functional analysis currently used in archaeology. These techniques include studies of artefact distributions, assessments of spatial relations between settlement features, and studies of the structural details of dwellings and other constructions. The main result is that there is a correspondence between the functional indications provided by botanical, geochemical and geophysical methods and techniques used in mainstream archaeology. The comparison furthermore shows that a combination of the two data sets allows for more highly resolved functional interpretations than if they are used separately. The main conclusion of the PhD thesis, based on the discussions in all four articles, is that archaeobotanical questions commonly necessitate the assessment of non-botanical archaeological material. The comparison of archaeobotanical data to other segments of the archaeological record does, however, enable the use of the former as an archaeological resource for addressing non-botanical questions. The increased understanding of (mainly settlement) site dynamics resulting from this integration of methods allows archaeobotanists to address increasingly complex botanical questions. Increased and more structured integration between archaeobotany and other specialisms operating within the framework of settlement archaeology is therefore argued to be the preferred approach to performing both high quality archaeobotany and settlement archaeology.
Svensson Ola, Nämnda ting men glömda. Ortnamn, landskap och rättsutövning [Named but forgotten things: Place-names, landscape and justice], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2015, (dir. G. Byrman, S. Nyström, Linnéuniversitetet)
The dissertation describes the names related to justice and places in the landscape where justice was administered, applying an interdisciplinary perspective with place names as the chief source material. One aim is to collect and describe place names in Skåne designating or indirectly associated with meeting places and districts of the court, and to study the named places. The study covers many different periods, but especially the Middle Ages and the transition from the Late Iron Age to the Middle Ages. The analysis raises questions such as: Was there continuity in judicial sites between prehistoric and historic times? How old are the hundreds (härader)? Is there a spatial link between judicial sites and other central functions such as cult, markets, or rulers’ estates? The work is permeated by material-based onomastic research in combination with current perspectives in text research, historical geography, and archaeology. Nine case studies are conducted to describe the interaction between place, linguistic expression, and meaning. The study demonstrates the existence of a large corpus of names reflecting the early administration of justice. Most of the many field names which contain ting ‘court’ and galge ‘gallows’ can be related to the actual administration of justice. The medieval sites where courts assembled and people were executed stand out in particular, but in many cases these have prehistoric roots. Both unbroken continuity and the reuse of earlier places of assembly may be assumed. Close to sites with names indicating the administration of justice there are also landscape features with names that grant epic and mythical status to the locale. The special quality of these places was handed down, incorporated in larger narratives, based on changing ideas and circumstances in different periods. The landscape of the hundred courts (häradsting) is archaic, magnificent and mythical, and shared, qualities that contributed to the maintenance and legitimation of judicial practice. A division into a general, public judicial sphere and a more limited and exclusive sphere can be seen. In the medieval exercise of justice this division is manifested in two different judicial districts – härad and birk – but the phenomenon can be traced back to the Late Iron Age. The study also problematizes a traditional image of the names of the hundreds.
McLeod, Shane. The Beginning of Scandinavian Settlement in England. The Viking ‘Great Army’ and Early Settlers, c. 865-900
Turnhout: Brepols, 2014. Pp. xv, 319, 8 figures, 6 maps, 3 tables. EUR 80.00. ISBN: 978-2-503-54556-1.
Reviewed by P. Holm, Trinity College Dublin
Historians, archaeologists, and philologists have debated the character and extent of Scandinavian settlement like hardly any other phenomenon in Anglo-Saxon England, and more than seventy years after the publication of F.M. Stenton’s ground-breaking Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1943) agreement on the main issues seems far away. McLeod therefore does all parties a great service by assembling and reviewing a good deal of the pieces that make up the puzzle. He boldly imagines some new pieces to make a full picture emerge. Many readers will value McLeod’s book for its up-to-date review, while the model suggested may encourage further research. Continuer la lecture de McLeod, Shane. The Beginning of Scandinavian Settlement in England. The Viking ‘Great Army’ and Early Settlers, c. 865-90
Jessen Mads, The sacred space in a time of religious change: Material and conceptual interaction in ritual environments during the Christianization of South Scandinavia, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (Université d’Aarhus)
Fried Alexandra, The Swedish Madonnas : a comparative study of wooden sculptures of the Virgin and Child between 1250 and 1350, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. P. Lindley, D. Ekserdjian, Université de Leicester)
Helmbrecht Michaela, Wirkmächtige Kommunikationsmedien : Menschenbilder der Vendel- und Wikingerzeit und ihre Kontexte, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. B. Hårdh, Université de Lund)
Eilersgaard Christensen Lisbeth, Stednavne som kilde til yngre jernalders centralpladser, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. B. Holmberg, Université de Copenhague)
Characteristic place-names with possible relevance for religion, social status, defence etc. often occur together, forming a relatively uniform pattern in certain parts of Sweden. These uniform patterns, so- called onomastic environments, occur most frequently in the central Swedish region and they have been interpreted as an expression of the social organisation in the areas in question. Onomastic environments are presumed to provide circumstantial linguistic evidence for the structures that have been designated by archaeologists as central-place complexes. The characteristic onomastic environments do not seem to appear in Southern Scandinavia, in spite of the fact that archaeological central-place complexes do occur here. A Swedish place-name scholar has put forward the hypothesis that changes in settlement structure disturbed the old place-name structures in Southern Scandinavia but that traces of onomastic environments can still be found, if both settlement names and field-names are taken into consideration in the analyses. The aim of the dissertation is to test this hypothesis by means of an analysis of the place-name material within selected regions in Denmark. As a basis for the study a catalogue of keywords has been compiled which consists of both Swedish and Danish name-elements in which interest in the structure of society and centrality is foremost in publications devoted to the theory of onomastic environments and other selected literature. The catalogue contains 84 keywords with varying relevance for central-places. The name material has been analysed in eight areas which have been selected on the basis of six sal-names, one tune-name and a name of the type Odinsvi. In each area the names with keywords or other relevance for central-places have been selected for detailed interpretation. The value of the testimony of this material for centrality in the Late Iron Age is then assessed. The archaeological material from the Late Iron Age is also described briefly so that the collected relevance of the testimony for centrality for each area can be assessed on the basis of both types of source. The analyses show that in the selected areas no evidence can be demonstrated that can be interpreted as the existence of such onomastic environments. In the majority of the areas, however, there is one name, in addition to the name which led to the selection of the area, that can be accorded relevance for centrality. At a few places there are more such names. Regional peculiarities in respect to naming may be a partial cause of the differing dissemination of repeated patterns in the onomastic material between (Central) Sweden and Denmark respectively. The theoretical approach to the onomastic material is also of great significance for the result of the analyses. There is a considerable body of onomastic material with relevance for the structure of society and centrality in Denmark but the value of its testimony for the organisational structure of its central-place complexes would not seem to be confirmed.
Karakteristiske stednavne med mulig relevans for samfundsforhold som religion, status, forsvar osv. optræder i flere tilfælde sammen efter et relativt ensartet mønster i nogle dele af Sverige. Disse ensartede mønstrer, såkaldte navnemiljøer, optræder hyppigst i det mellemsvenske område, og de tolkes som udtryk for samfundsorganisationen i de pågældende områder. Navnemiljøerne formodes at være sproglige indicier på strukturer, der i arkæologien betegnes som centralpladskomplekser. De karakteristiske navnemiljøer forekommer tilsyneladende ikke i det sydskandinaviske område, til trods for at arkæologiske centralpladskomplekser optræder her. En svensk navneforsker har fremsat den hypotese, at bebyggelsesmæssige omstruktureringer har forstyrret de gamle stednavnestrukturer i Sydskandinavien, men at der kan findes reminiscenser af navnemiljøer, såfremt både bebyggelses- og marknavne inddrages i analyserne. Afhandlingens formål er at afprøve denne hypotese gennem analyser af stednavnematerialet inden for udvalgte undersøgelsesområder i Danmark. Som basis for analyserne er der udarbejdet et katalog af søgeord, der består af både svenske og danske navneled, som i navnemiljøteoretiske publikationer eller anden udvalgt litteratur tillægges interesse for samfundsstruktur og centralitet. Kataloget rummer 84 søgeord med varierende centralpladsrelevans. Navnematerialet er analyseret i otte udvalgte områder, som er udpeget på basis af seks sal-navne, et tune-navn og et navn af typen Odinsvi. I hvert område er navne med søgeord eller centralpladsrelevans i øvrigt udvalgt og tolket. Materialets udsagnsværdi for centralitet i yngre jernalder er herefter vurderet. Det arkæologiske materiale fra yngre jernalder er desuden skitseret, således at det samlede centralpladsrelaterede udtryk for hvert område kan vurderes ud fra begge kildetyper. Analyserne viser, at der i de udvalgte områder ikke kan påvises mønstre, der kan tolkes som navnemiljøer. I hovedparten af områderne er der dog ét navn, udover navnet som området er udpeget efter, der kan tillægges centralpladsrelevans. Enkelte steder er der flere. Navne med relevans for religion og forsvar er hyppigst forekommende, men udsagnsværdien er i nogle tilfælde vanskelig at fastlægge. Regionale særtræk i forbindelse med navngivning kan være en delvis årsag til forskellig udbredelse af gentagne mønstre i hhv. det (mellem)svenske og det danske navnemateriale, og den teoretiske tilgang ved tolkningen af materialet er også af væsentlig betydning for det analyserede resultat. Der er et stort navnemateriale med relevans for samfundsstruktur og centralitet i Danmark, men dets udsagnsværdi for centralpladskompleksernes organisatoriske struktur synes ikke bekræftet.
Dverstorp Nils, Skrivaren och skriften – om skrift- och handskriftsproduktion i Vadstena kloster, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. K. G. Johansson, L.-E. Edlund, Université d’Oslo)
Skriften i middelalderen var i begynnelsen under sterk innflytelse fra den latinske skrifttradisjonen. Da man begynte å skrive på sitt eget språk frigjorde man seg sakte fra denne tradisjonen.
I sin avhandling studerer Dverstorp den skriftlige variasjonen i et utvalg håndskrifter fra et slik perspektiv. Variasjon i og forandring av skriftens grafiske utformning står i fokus. De håndskrifter som undersøkes er produsert i Vadstena kloster i Sverige, som ble grunnlagt av den hellige Birgitta på slutten av 1300-tallet.
Avhandlingen viser hvordan skriften gjennomgikk små forandringer, noe som i sin tur gjør det mulig å si noe om hvordan håndskriftene ble produsert og om deres datering og skrivere. Dette gjør at vi får ny kunnskap ikke bare om de håndskrifter som undersøkes men også om håndskriftsproduksjonen i Vadstena kloster fra et større perspektiv.
Bianchi Marco, Runor som resurs, Vikingatida skriftkultur i Uppland och Södermanland [Runes as a resource : Viking Age written culture in Uppland and Södermanland], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. Williams, A.-M. Karlsson, Université d’Uppsala)
The Viking Age rune-carvers and their readers used runes as a semiotic resource to convey and structure the messages on rune-stones. An analysis of the ways in which this resource is used together with other resources gives us a deeper insight into the relationship between writers and readers and into the written culture in which the rune-stones were produced.The present study treats runic carvings as multimodal texts in which different semiotic modes produce meaning by visual and verbal means. The roles played by runes in such texts are studied from three different perspectives. The empirical study in chapter 3 investigates how the verbal messages of the inscriptions interrelate with ornamental compositions. The most important convention found is that runic inscriptions usually start in the lower left part of the ornamental band in which they are inscribed. A second result is that there is a certain correlation between the visual and syntactic structure of runic texts. In chapter 4, Södermanlandic inscriptions employing more than one writing system are investigated. These carvings can be tied to a context of high social ambition in which at least two different, socially stratified discourses are expressed by means of the runes as a visual semiotic mode. Chapter 5 is devoted to non-lexical inscriptions, showing that such carvings are indeed runic texts despite their lack of verbal message.Different types of readers can use runic resources in different ways. Firstly, runes carry meaning independent of any verbal message, giving them significance even to illiterate readers. Secondly, literate readers can appreciate certain conventions of runic composition and, thirdly, one and the same runic text can be part of different discourses and hence be aimed at different kinds of readers.
Åkestam Mia, Bebådelsebilder : Om bildbruk under medeltiden, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. M. Rossholm Lagerlöf, M. Kempff Östlind, Université de Stockholm)
This thesis investigates the Annunciation motif and the use of images in a medieval socio-cultural context. There are almost 400 medieval images of the Annunciation from the period 1150–1550 in Sweden today. It is found in murals, baptismal fonts, paintings, wooden sculpture, stone reliefs, liturgical vessels, textile works and altarpieces. The aim of the thesis is to present this rich and varied material, and also to relate the images to the milieus where they were used and viewed as objects of cult, and to elucidate the historical situation in which they were used for communicative purposes. It is argued that an “image-culture” perspective and a long-term investigation can reveal other aspects than a specific study, and that it is fruitful to equally emphasize the rhetoric of the image, the beholders part and the historical context. Hence the picture analysis is based on semiotics and rhetoric analysis of pictures and reception theory. With this point of departure the thesis addresses iconographic problems and shows that text as a source and explanation of historical image can be insufficient. The study shows that the figures’ gestures and body language, their contenace, is crucial for our understanding, and remains the most important mark of identification. The motif can be identified even with an angel without wings. The meaning of this universal picture could then be enlarged with specific attributes and symbols with a purpose to emphasize specific ideas. In context this elucidates bishopric, monastic as well as worldly use of imagery. The image context includes motifs from classical antiquity, references to the pious Christian worshiper, as well as symbolic staging of the Gospels and Christian faith. More expected is the biblical history. The motif can also be displayed alone, and thus it can be regarded as a sign. An important outcome is that the Annunciation not is used in legendary suites or in narratives of the Virgin Mary. Hence, the relationship between image and text is not uncomplicated. The thesis shows that people in the Middle Ages were fully aware of the use of pictures and skilfully used the rhetoric of the image.
Niblaeus Erik Gunnar, German influence on religious practice in Scandinavia, c. 1050-1150, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. J.L. Nelson, King’s College London)
The thesis is concerned with the later stages of Christianisation of Scandinavia, following the missionary period, when the church was consolidated and given secure foundations for worship and pastoral care, including the building and equipment of thousands of local churches, and the creation of a lasting diocesan structure. It argues that the German influence during this period, while often taken for granted, deserves to be investigated in more detail, and has been underplayed in recent scholarship. It is divided into five chapters, the first three more general in scope, concerned with the whole of Scandinavia, the last two more specific studies organised according to geographical area. Chapter one is introductory. Chapter two considers in general and comparative terms the importance of liturgy and books in the process of Scandinavian Christianisation. Chapter three is a consideration of the German interest in Scandinavia as it developed from the eleventh to the twelfth century, first in secular terms, second in religious terms, including a discussion of the clergy with German affiliations who held office in Scandinavia. It also includes an investigation of the clerical ideals of the principal narrative primary source to the period, Adam of Bremen’s History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen. Chapters four and five deal with questions of the introduction of German liturgy and German books into the churches of Denmark and Sweden respectively.