Kershaw Jane, Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, 850-1050, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. Hamerow, University of Oxford)
This thesis presents the first synthesis of Viking-Age Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches and pendants, found on English soil. Incorporating data for over five hundred items, including recent metal-detector finds, it generates a new archaeological dataset for the study of the Danelaw. The thesis describes these objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution and function in costume. It argues that Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches elucidate cultural and gender identities in late ninth-and tenth-century England.
The first chapter places the current study in the context of previous research and identifies the scope and aims of the thesis. Chapter 2 describes the theoretical principles which underpin the interpretations made in later sections. The third chapter explains the methods by which material was assembled and critiques the sources of Scandinavian metalwork. Chapter 4 outlines a classification for Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, based on a number of aesthetic principles.
Chapter 5 describes the Scandinavian origins and background of the brooch types represented in England and introduces their typologies. It acts as a key to Chapter 6, in which the evidence for brooches from England is presented. Subsequent chapters consider brooch function and gender attribution (Ch. 7), chronology (Ch. 8), and distribution and manufacture (Ch. 9). These themes are drawn together in Chapter 10, which offers an interpretation of the significance of Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian metalwork. The conclusion outlines the contribution of this research and emphasises the value of brooches as a source of information for Scandinavian activity and influence.
Volume extrait de la thèse/ book published:
Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
Viking Identities is the first detailed archaeological study of Viking-Age Scandinavian-style female dress items from England. Based on primary archival and archaeological research, including the analysis of hundreds of recent metal-detector finds, it presents evidence for over 500 brooches and pendants worn by women in the late ninth and tenth centuries. Jane F. Kershaw argues that these finds add an entirely new dimension to the limited existing archaeological evidence for Scandinavian activity in the British Isles and make possible a substantial reassessment of the Viking settlements.
Kershaw offers an interpretation of the significance of the jewellery in a broader, historical context. The jewellery highlights locations of settlement not commonly associated with the Vikings. In contrast to claims of high levels of cultural assimilation, the jewellery suggests that incoming groups maintained a distinct Scandinavian identity which was sometimes appropriated by the indigenous population. Kershaw also addresses one of the great unanswered questions in the study of Viking-Age settlements: what about the women? The interpretation of the jewellery challenges traditional perceptions of Viking conquest as an all-male affair and brings into focus a population group which has, until now, been almost invisible. Kershaw describes the objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution, and function in costume. This body of material – unknown 30 years ago – is introduced to a public audience for the first time. Including many object images and maps, the study provides a practical guide to the identification of Scandinavian metalwork.
Comptes rendus du livre tiré de la thèse/Reviews :
– Colleen Batey, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Networks and Neighbours, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp. 381-384.
– Victoria Whitworth, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Early Medieval Europe, vol. 22, no. 3, 2014, pp. 376–378.
– Nancy L. Wicker, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 23, no. 03, 2013, pp. 561 – 562.