Archives de catégorie : Monde viking (VIIIe-XIe siècle) / The Viking World (8th-11th c.)

McGuire Erin-Lee Halstad, Manifestations of identity in burial

McGuire Erin-Lee Halstad, Manifestations of identity in burial : evidence from Viking-Age graves in the North Atlantic diaspora,Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir.  C. Batey, Université de Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

In the early Middle Ages, when settlers began to leave Scandinavia to find new homes for themselves and their families, they began a process that impacted their lives dramatically. Research on modern population movements has demonstrated that migration-induced stresses change the lives of immigrants, and shape how they adapt to their new homes. Migration affects societies and people in a number of ways: it changes family and household organisation; gender relations and roles shift; and general social and cultural structures are altered through the integration of different practices and beliefs. While the identification of the societal changes caused by migration has been the focus of research in a number of fields, it has yet to be directly addressed in archaeology. This thesis seeks to examine the ways in which various social identities were displayed through funerary rituals and the associated material culture in the Norse North Atlantic, and to identify how these changed through the course of migration. The analysis is conducted by comparing burial data collected from two regions of Norway, representing the homeland of the migrants, and Scotland and Iceland, representing two critical destination points. Approximately 500 graves are catalogued and assessed using multivariate statistics. Six case studies, selected from the study areas, are used for comparative purposes. The analysis of the overall data-set and the case study sites indicates that there are key differences between the homeland and the communities of the Viking diaspora. Moreover, the results indicate that the circumstances of migration, such as location, resource availability, and the presence of a local population, results in society changing in different, yet significant, ways: gendered burial practices are altered; new manifestations of traditional rites appear; and migrant identities emerge.

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Monikander Anne, Våld och vatten, Våtmarkskult vid Skedemosse under järnåldern

Monikander Anne, Våld och vatten, Våtmarkskult vid Skedemosse under järnåldern, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. I. Jansson, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis examines the wetland sacrifices that were performed in Northern Europe in the Iron Age. Skedemosse on central Öland is the largest wetland sacrifice in Sweden and was the site of a cult which sacrificed animals and humans. Between the late second century and well into the fifth century the place was also used for large sacrifices of military equipment. New radiocarbon dates has shown that the place functioned as a ritual place from the Pre Roman Iron Age and into the Late Viking Age.Both in the Iron Age and later wetlands seem to have been both venerated and feared and the thesis discusses why this came to be, and how it can be seen in the archaeological material.A smaller part of the sacrificial site of Skedemosse was selected for a closer study and it was possible to establish several depositions which appear to have been treated slightly different from each other.The investigations of the animal sacrifices have focused on the horses as they are the most common animal. The horse was an important mythological animal in the Iron Age and they were equally important in the cult. The horses in Skedemosse were eaten in ritual meals, and it is possible that some of them took part in ritual races along the ridge east of the former lake. Such races were called skeið and the name Skedemosse may be derived from this word.Skedemosse is also rare because the remains of ca 38 people have been found in it. Some of these people have suffered a violent death. They are compared to other bog bodies from northern Europe and the follow a similar pattern to those; In the Pre Roman Iron Age mainly women and children were sacrificed and after the first century AD mainly men ended up in the lake.

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Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made

Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made: a study of ‘Viking’ fortifications in the British Isles, AD793-1066, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Birmingham)

Résumé/abstract :

The study of Viking fortifications is a neglected subject which could reveal much to archaeologists about the Viking way of life. The popular representation of these Scandinavian seafarers is often as drunken, bloodthirsty heathens who rampaged across Britain leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Excavations at Coppergate, York and Dublin however, show that the Vikings developed craft and industry wherever they settled, bringing Britain back into trade routes lost since the collapse of the Roman Empire. These glimpses of domestic life show a very different picture of the Vikings to that portrayed in popular culture. Fortifications provide a compromise to these views, as they are relatively safe, militarised locations where an army in hostile territory can undertake both military and ‘domestic’ activities. This study investigates the historiography of the Vikings and suspected fortification sites in Britain, aiming to understand the processes behind which archaeological sites have been designated as ‘Viking’ in the past. The thesis will also consider the study of Viking fortifications in an international context and attempt to identify future avenues of research that might be taken in an effort to better understand this archaeologically elusive people.

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Ten Harkel Aleida Tessa, Lincoln in the Viking age : a ‘town’ in context

Ten Harkel Aleida Tessa, Lincoln in the Viking age : a ‘town’ in context, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Sheffield)

Wessman Anna, Death, Destruction and Commemoration

Wessman Anna, Death, Destruction and Commemoration : Tracing ritual activities in Finnish Late Iron Age cemeteries (AD 550-1150), Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Helsinki)

Résumé/abstract :

The thesis is connected with death, memory and ancestor commemoration during the Merovingian Period, the Viking Age and the beginning of the Crusade Period (AD 550-1150) in Finland. During this time, cremation was the dominant burial rite. It was not until the end of the Viking Age that inhumation became more common but both cremations and inhumations are performed even at the same sites throughout the time.

Three different burial types 1) cremation cemeteries below level ground, 2) inhumation burials and 3) water burials are discussed in five articles. I consider these burial forms from three different viewpoints; collectivity-individuality, visibility-invisibility and cremation-inhumation. The thesis also discusses the topics of memory, memorialisation and monument re-use, which have been neglected subjects in Finnish archaeology until now. Both cremation cemeteries below level ground and inhumation burials have been re-used during their time of usage, and on most occasions are situated in a landscape that is overlaid by other monuments as well.

The main questions of the thesis are: What kinds of ritual behaviour can we detect in the burials during the period (AD 550-1150)? How did people perceive the moraine hills that functioned as burial places? What kind of re-use can be detected in the Iron Age cemeteries? Why have ancient sites and artefacts been re-used?

This thesis shows that it is possible to claim that both artefact and site re-use is a much more widespread phenomenon than has previously been thought in Finnish archaeology. It is also a conscious and deliberate behaviour that can be related to an ancestor cult and commemoration of the dead. The funerary rituals during this time period show great variation and complex, both regionally and nationally. Not only have the dead been buried using elaborate rituals, they have also been mourned and commemorated in intricate ways that proves that death was not an end product, but the start of something new.

Väitöskirja käsittelee hautarituaaleja nuoremmalla rautakaudella (n. 550 1150 jKr.) viiden artikkelin ja laajan yhteenveto artikkelin pohjalta. Sen pääpaino on polttokenttäkalmistojen tutkimuksessa, kalmistotyyppi joka on pääosin vieras Suomen ulkopuolella ja täälläkin usein laiminlyöty, mutta kirjassa käsitellään myös muita hautaustapoja, kuten esimerkiksi veteen hautaamista Pohjanmaalla.

Kuolemaa ja siihen liittyviä rituaaleja on tutkittu tähän asti hyvin vähän Suomen arkeologiassa. Siksi väitöskirjassa suhtaudutaan kriittisesti aiempiin tulkintoihin ja siinä pyritään muuttamaan nykyisin vielä vallalla olevia vanhentuneita käsityksiä kuolemasta ja hautaamisesta. Väitöskirjan pääpaino ei ole perinteisen hautalöytöjen läpikäymisessä vaan kalmistojen laajemmassa ymmärtämisessä ja tulkinnassa mm. Eurooppalaisen maisema- ja muistiteorioiden avulla.

Kirjassa tuodaan esille, että rautakauden ihminen on ollut tarkka hautapaikan valinnassa. Polttokenttäkalmistot sijaitsevat vielä tänään näkyvillä paikoilla maisemassa, usein moreenikumpareilla. Näitä paikkoja ei ole käytetty ainoastaan hautaamiseen vaan siellä on käyty myös uhraamassa, muistelemassa vainajia ja esi-isiä sekä polteltu uhritulia. Samoja kalmistokumpuja on käytetty satoja vuosia tai jopa tuhat vuotta. Vaikuttaa siis siltä, että jatkuvuus ja tietynlainen konservatiivisuus on ollut tärkeätä rautakauden ihmisille eikä hautapaikkaa ole haluttu muuttaa edes silloin kuin hautaustapa on muuttunut polttohautauksesta ruumishautaukseen.

Myös esi-isien haudat on selvästi pidetty tärkeinä. Kiinnostus esi-isien käyttämiin esineisiin näkyy myös hautarituaaleissa. Suomesta on monta esimerkkiä siitä, että hautoihin on laitettu satoja vuosia vanhoja esineitä, jotka ovat aivan selvästi peräisin haudoista. Rautakauden ihminen on selvästi ollut kiinnostunut omasta historiastaan ja siksi myös kajonnut esi-isien hautoihin. Vanhojen esineiden käytössä on lisäksi ollut maagisia piirteitä, niissä uskottiin olevan voimia, jotka siirtyivät esineen omistajalle. Samalla vanhan esineen omiminen itselleen on tuonut jatkuvuutta ja arvovaltaa.

Hautaaminen ja siihen liittyvät rituaalit ovat olleet huomattavasti monimutkaisempia kuin aiempi suomalainen tutkimus on tuonut esille. Väitöskirja tarjoaa uusia tulkintamalleja monelle rautakauden hautatyypille ja purkaa myös vanhoja myyttejä kalmistoista. Levänluhdan vesikalmisto Isossakyrössä on tästä hyvä esimerkki. Aiempi tutkimus on selittänyt tämän ainutlaatuisen paikan salaperäisenä suokalmistona johon olisi haudattu kulkutautiin kuolleita vainajia ja jopa uhripaikkana, mutta aineiston uusi läpikäyminen osoitti, että paikka on todellisuudessa ollut järvi tai lampi rautakaudella eikä vainajatkaan ole haudattu yhtäaikaisesti vaan useamman vuosisadan kuluessa.

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Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident Regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne

P. Bauduin et A. Musin (dir.), Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident : regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne, Presses universitaires de Caen, Publications du CRAHAM, 2014, 504 p., ISBN : 978-2-84133-499-5, 45 € (Eastwards and Westwards : Multiple Perspectives on the Dynamics and Cultural Transfers from the Vikings to the Early Rus’/ На Запад и на Восток : сравнительное исследование динамики культурного обмена. От викингов к Древней Руси)


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Issu d’un projet de recherche franco-russe (CNRS-Académie des Sciences de Russie), ce volume présente les avancées de la recherche récentes sur les Vikings dans une perspective pluridisciplinaire et comparatiste largement ouverte à l’Europe orientale. Il confronte les vues de chercheurs de plusieurs disciplines travaillant sur différentes sources et qui se rattachent à des méthodologies ou à des traditions historiographiques diverses plus ou moins marquées idéologiquement.

L’ouvrage propose de réfléchir sur les dynamiques des échanges culturels analysées comme un processus d’interactions qui franchissent les groupes ethniques ou sociaux, les pays, les croyances et les pratiques religieuses, les générations, les genres. Il s’agit de s’interroger sur les particularités de ces processus et sur les transformations mutuelles des fondations scandinaves ainsi que des sociétés locales (franque, anglo-saxonne, slave, finnoise). Une large part est accordée aux acteurs de ces changements (élites, marchands, hommes d’Église, artisans, femmes, scaldes, historiographes….), ainsi qu’aux lieux ou aux espaces où celles-ci interviennent. La signification de la mémoire historique relative à la présence scandinave dans le passé régional ou national en Europe et l’impact mémoriel sur la formation des représentations de l’autre, des identités et des historiographies médiévales ou modernes sont également abordés. Le volume participe ainsi à une réflexion plus large sur les notions débattues d’acculturation, de transferts culturels, de middle ground dont l’intérêt heuristique dépasse largement le phénomène de l’expansion scandinave à l’époque viking.

The result of a Franco-Russian Research project (CNRS – Russian Academy of Sciences), this publication presents the latest advances of recent research on the Vikings in a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective across Eastern Europe. It confronts the views of researchers from several disciplines working on different sources which reflect diverse methodological or historiographical traditions that have been, to some extent, marked ideologically.

The volume proposes a reflection on the dynamics of cultural exchanges analysed as a process of interactions that have traversed ethnic or social groups, countries, religious beliefs and practices, generations, genders. Questions concerning the specificities of these processes and the reciprocal transformations of Scandinavian settlements and local societies (Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic, Finnish) are posed. A large part of the volume is devoted to the actors involved in these changes (elites, merchants, ecclesiastics, artisans, women, skalds, historiographers….), and the places or areas where they took place. The significance of historical memory in the European regional or national past concerning the Scandinavian presence and the impact of this memory on the creation of representations of the other, identities and medieval or modern historiography are equally discussed. This publication thus participates to the broader reflection on the notions discussed concerning acculturation, cultural transfers and the “middle ground” whose heuristic interest goes far beyond the phenomenon of Scandinavian expansion during the Viking era.