Archives de catégorie : Culture matérielle, productions et échanges / Material culture, production and exchange

Kershaw Jane, Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, 850-1050

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)

Résumé/abstract :

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.

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Volume extrait de la thèse/ book published:

Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Résumé/Abstract :

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.

Vidal Teva, Houses and domestic life in the Viking Age and medieval period

Vidal Teva, Houses and domestic life in the Viking Age and medieval period : material perspectives from sagas and archaeology, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. J. Jesch, C. Lee, Université de Nottingham)

Résumé/abstract :
This thesis examines the representations of houses as physical structures in the Íslendingasögur with specific emphasis on the material aspect of housing culture in the Viking Age and medieval period, as well as the interactions between material culture and text. The Íslendingasögur were written in Iceland as of the thirteenth century, but look back onto the Viking Age (c. 800-1100 AD). Comparison with the archaeology of domestic space reveals that the house in the Íslendingasögur generally corresponds with medieval housing models, contemporary with the period of saga writing. However, there are also examples of structures which correspond to the models of the Viking Age. Descriptions of antiquated buildings are sometimes framed in statements that make explicit reference to the chronological separation between the Viking Age and the writer’s present time, suggesting a familiarity with the evolution of housing culture. Detailed analysis of buildings in the sagas reveals domestic space in its context of use, and demonstrates how the physical nature of the house and farm framed the productive and social activities that went on within. The materiality of domestic life has particular importance for the dispensing of hospitality. Demonstrations of domestic space in use also allow for a better understanding of the relationship between objects and language, and elucidate some difficulties in translation and academic usage both in archaeology and literary studies. Material culture can itself influence the processes of composition in oral/written narratives such as the sagas, by inspiring the formation of narrative episodes. The built environment can also provide a contextual framing for narratives, acting as a mnemonic device facilitating the preservation and transmission of saga narratives.

Rundberget Bernt, Jernets dunkle dimensjon. Jernvinna i sørlige Hedmark.

Rundberget Bernt, Jernets dunkle dimensjon. Jernvinna i sørlige Hedmark. Sentral økonomisk faktor og premiss for samfunnsutvikling c. AD 700 – 1300, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. C. Prescott, J. H. Larsen, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

I tidlig middelalder (ca. 950-1300 e. Kr.) pågikk det i Hedmarks skoger en jernutvinning uten sidestykke i norsk målestokk. Utallige spor etter en unik teknologi utviklet på 700-tallet vitner om en fordums virksomhet som involverte store deler av regionen. I avhandlingen trekker Rundberget frem dimensjonen som et nøkkelbegrep. Beregninger viser at så mye som 130 000 tonn jern kan ha blitt produsert i sen vikingtid og tidlig middelalder. Rundberget argumenterer for at dette jernet må ha vært et økonomisk fundament i samfunnsutviklingen fra høvding- til kongedømme. Synet bryter med historieforskningen som fremmer jordbruket som nærmest enerådende faktor for økonomisk utvikling i perioden.

Det avdekkes at det på 600-tallet ble etablert et høvdingsamfunn i Solør som utviklet en særegen metode for å utvinne jern i stor skala. Teknologien spredte seg nordover og omfattet på det største regionen fra Eidskog til Stor-Elvdal. Utvinningen ble på et tidspunkt underlagt kongen ved at han tok kontroll over distribusjon og handelsknutepunkter. I en periode på 250 år hadde kronen store inntekter gjennom handel med jern. På slutten av 1200-tallet kom det imidlertid til en rask nedgang og jernvinna var lagt død rett før 1300. Bortfallet sees i sammenheng med en feilslått overregional handelspolitikk, samtidig som det ble utviklet en storstilt masovnproduksjon i den svenske Bergslagen. Jernvinna i Hedmark ble dermed utkonkurrert på pris samtidig som handelsforbindelser og nettverk ble brutt. En æra i norsk jernvinnehistorie var over.

Gustafsson Ny Björn, Casting Identities in Central Seclusion

Gustafsson Ny Björn, Casting Identities in Central Seclusion, Aspects of non-ferrous metalworking and society on Gotland in the Early Medieval Period, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and interpret late Iron Age and Early Medieval traces of non-ferrous metalworking on the island Gotland, Sweden. Gotland was not, based on the archaeological record, an integrated part of the common Scandinavian culture. Instead a local, endemic cultural expression had developed; a seclusion which lasted for centuries despite the islands central position in the Baltic Sea. In the past, key elements for the understanding of local settlement- and burial practices as well as the local material culture were mainly recovered and reported by local farmers. A specific category of such finds – so-called ‘bronze slag’ is discussed and partly reinterpreted in the first study of this thesis. Two further studies treat different aspects of metalworking and metalworkers – one discusses common archaeological notions of Scandinavian workshops, production sites and metalworkers from a critical perspective while the other mainly focuses on the Gotlandic finds from metal-detector surveys carried out over the last 35 years. Based on where and to which extent, both from a quantitative and a qualitative point of view, these finds occur a hierarchical classification into four sub groups is presented – ordinary farm sites with traces of non-ferrous metalworking, workshop sites, potential workshop sites and last, extrovert harbour settlements. A fourth study presents an attempt to evaluate the usefulness of magnetometry in delimiting extant traces of high-temperature crafts, such as metalworking. The last study of the thesis presents an attempt to use trace elements analysis of skeletal lead in human bone to identify potential non-ferrous metalworkers. As the wearing of endemic Gotlandic jewellery appears to have been central in the manifestation of the local identity it is argued that the metalworking artisans played a crucial role in defining how this identity was signalled and displayed via the jewellery and dress-related metal objects. It is further suggested that these artisans might have played an important role in upholding the local economy before the advent of local minting.

Pettersson Jensen Ing-marie, Norberg och Järnet : Bergsmännen och den medeltida industrialiseringen

Pettersson Jensen Ing-marie, Norberg och Järnet : Bergsmännen och den medeltida industrialiseringen, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. G. Magnusson, A. Carlsson, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
This thesis is an archeological study of continuity and change in mining and settlement 1000 – 1500. At the time for the earliest possible introduction of mining, in the mid-10th century, the primary area for Norbergs’ mining district was sparsely settled, but in the late Viking Age and/or early Middle Ages, the analyses demonstrate a significant agricultural expansion.Based on the dating of the medieval blast furnaces, the 13th century seems to have been the main expansion phase for mining in the area. In the early 14th century there may have been 121 blast furnaces around Norberg. During the later parts of the Middle Ages, starting in the second half of the 14th century, in total 30%, of the blast furnaces was closed.The Christian ideology broke down the former power of the local Viking Age magnates and dissolved their strong control over the route taken by the iron to the consumer. Their strong control over the craft and the craftsmen was also reduced. Together, this contributed to the quantitative development of iron production, and permitted craftsmen and iron producers to strengthen their social positions by developing their operations. These actors became stronger during the Middle Ages and had much to win from an increasingly powerful monarchy. The development of the towns and trading created entirely new routes and institutions for the iron to be shipped down from the mining area. This created the right conditions for the peasant miners to free themselves entirely from the old structures that controlled the mining area and trade.After the Black Death it was increasingly important to be more self-sufficient and to reside on site, which is why the so-called peasant miner organization reinforced its position and became dominant. But at the same time, the first large scale industrialization of the mining area stopped.

Jørgensen Roger, Production or trade? The supply of iron to North Norway during the Iron Age

Jørgensen Roger, Production or trade? The supply of iron to North Norway during the Iron Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Tromsø)

Résumé/absract :

Det er til nå funnet tre anlegg for produksjon av jern i Nord-Norge som er datert mellom 500 f.Kr. og 1200 e. Kr. Undersøkelser av anleggene på Flakstadvåg i Torsken k., på Hemmestad Nedre i Kvæfjord k. og på Rognlivatnet ved Misvær i Bodø k. dokumenterer at det har vært produsert jern i landsdelen helt fra jernalderens begynnelse. Anlegget på Hemmestad Nedre i Kvæfjorden er like gammelt som de eldste produksjonsanlegg som er funnet i Sør-Skandinavia og funnene viser at produksjonsteknologien var kjent i Nord-Norge omtrent på samme tidspunkt som de første jerngjenstandene ble tatt i bruk. Produksjon av jern fikk aldri noe større omfang i landsdelen noe som forklares ut fra samfunnets sosiale organisering. De nordnorske stormenn som gjennom jernalderen handlet med jernproduserende bosetninger i sør, hadde i Nord-Norge tilgang på varer som var ettertraktet både i Sør-Skandinavia og på kontinentet. Deres innflytelse og makt var til dels basert på handel med jern og de hadde ingen interesse i at det ble produsert jern lokalt. Dermed ble det ikke utviklet noen varige, teknologiske tradisjoner basert på lokal jernproduksjon før de statseide selskapene ble etablert tidlig på 1900-tallet.

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