Archives de catégorie : Population, environnement, vie et mort / Population, environment, life and death

Kupiec Patrycja, Transhumance in the North Atlantic

Kupiec Patrycja, Transhumance in the North Atlantic : an interdisciplinary approach to the identification and interpretation of Viking-Age and Medieval shieling sites, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2016 (University of Aberdeen)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis contributes new archaeological evidence to the debate on transhumance in the Viking and Medieval Periods in Iceland and the Outer Hebrides. It examines shielings in these two regions at new levels of detail, and with new techniques, to improve previous methodologies for the identification of periodically occupied settlements. It presents detailed geoarchaeological studies of the floor deposits at both known and putative shieling sites in Iceland and the Western Isles, which demonstrate that micromorphological analysis is a method capable of distinguishing between periods of punctuated and permanent occupation. The results of these analyses form the basis of a new analytical and interpretive framework suited to identify and study periodic occupation at shieling sites in the North Atlantic region. The micromorphological studies, contextualized by a review of ethnographic sources, provide new insights into the potential flexibility of the type and duration of occupation at Icelandic and Hebridean shielings, and demonstrate that high-resolution geoarchaeological techniques might be essential to disentangle these changes. By integrating archaeological, historical, and ethnographic sources for the first time, this work also provides new insights into Norse shieling economies in Iceland and the Western Isles of Scotland. This analysis reveals a picture of multi-faceted shieling activities, with the use of shielings adapted to fit unique local conditions in different Norse colonies, proving that rigid models cannot be used to study past transhumant practices. The study of the archaeology of Viking-age and medieval shielings, and the medieval saga literature and later folklore that relate to shielings, demonstrates that shielings were conceptualized as different to farms, and that they played an important role in shaping the social relationships and identities of those engaged in summer transhumance. Through this holistic approach to the study of Viking-age and medieval shielings, a fuller picture of Norse society emerges, in which seasonal pastoral settlements are given a more prominent place alongside other features of the Viking and medieval landscape in the North Atlantic region.

[Source : http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.698843]

Jessen Mads, The sacred space in a time of religious change

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)

Mooney Dawn Elise, The use and control of wood resources in Viking Age and medieval Iceland

Mooney Dawn Elise, The use and control of wood resources in Viking Age and medieval Iceland, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. K. Milek, A. Cameron, Université d’Aberdeen)

Résumé/abstract :
This project investigates the use of wood in Iceland during the Viking and Early Medieval Periods, and discusses the control and management of wood resources and their variation over space and time. Previous palaeoenvironmental studies and historical sources had suggested that after the colonisation of Iceland around AD 870, the Norse settlers cleared the native Icelandic birch woodland to make way for hay fields, and used the timber for fuel and construction, rapidly reducing the woodland cover from its original 18-40% to the 1% present today. This investigation, which compares archaeological evidence to information about wood resources given in historical sources, reassesses these traditional models and interprets the decline of Icelandic woodland in relation to the utilisation and control of wood resources on the island, to understand the relationships between sites in terms of wood procurement, control and sharing. Wood anatomical analysis is used to assign taxonomic identifications to wooden artefacts and charred and mineralised wood remains from ten study sites across Iceland, allowing the origin of these assemblages to be identified as native wood, driftwood or imported wood. Understanding the distribution of non-native woods is essential to the understanding of how wood resources were shared and controlled on the island. The results show that despite the decline of the native woodlands, wood continued to be used as fuel and in artefact production and the construction of buildings and boats throughout the Medieval Period, and that the control of access to these resources was key to their continued availability. This project integrates for the first time archaeological, environmental and historical evidence, resulting in a holistic view of wood use during Viking Age and Medieval Iceland, and provides an important contribution to the understanding of natural resource use and human-environment interactions in the North Atlantic region.

Naumann Elise, Diet, mobility and social identity in Norway AD 400-1050.

Naumann Elise, Diet, mobility and social identity in Norway AD 400-1050. An investigation based on δ13C, δ15N and 87Sr/86Sr analyses of human remains, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. L. Hedeager,  T. D. Price, M. P. Richards, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

Gjennom isotopanalyser av skjelettmateriale har Elise Naumann vist hvordan mat og kosthold har vært en viktig strukturerende faktor i Norges hierarkiske jernaldersamfunn. «I et land som Norge er det ikke uventet at folk har hatt svært ulikt kosthold. Mer overraskende er det at mennesker som er gravlagt samme sted, og til og med i samme grav, vanligvis ikke har levd av den samme kosten», sier Naumann.

Prosjektet har tatt for seg individer fra perioden 400–1050 e. Kr, og omfatter både enkelt- og dobbeltgraver. I følge Naumann tyder resultatene på at mennesker gravlagt sammen sjelden tilhørte den samme sosiale sfæren: «I noen tilfeller er det mye som tyder på at treller ble gitt som gravgaver, noe vi også kjenner fra skriftlige kilder. Det er imidlertid sterke indikasjoner på at også andre sosiale relasjoner kommer til uttrykk i gravene – noe som viser at både sosial status, kjønn, alder, arbeidsfordeling og andre faktorer kan ha hatt betydning for hva folk fikk å spise».

Til tross for komplekse forhold mellom kosthold og sosial tilhørighet, tyder resultatene på at eliten har hatt mer tilgang på kjøtt og melkeprodukter, mens enkelte individer gravlagt i svært funnfattige graver har spist mye sjømat i den siste tiden før de døde. «Samtidig ser vi at svært mange spiser annerledes som voksne enn de gjorde som barn», sier Naumann. «Dette kan tyde på at jernalder-mennesket ikke nødvendigvis forble i samme sosiale rolle hele livet gjennom. Mange har endret både tilholdssted og levesett betydelig i løpet av livet – kanskje har de også endret sin sosiale posisjon».

Adolf Friðriksson, La place du mort. Les tombes vikings dans le paysage culturel islandais

Adolf Friðriksson, La place du mort. Les tombes vikings dans le paysage culturel islandais, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. J.-M. Maillefer, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne)

Résumé/abstract :

La place du mort est une étude topographique des sépultures païennes de l’âge de fer en Islande. Le but de ce travail est d’étudier la localisation des tombes et d’en déterminer le sens. Les résultats se fondent sur une révision critique de toutes les données disponibles en matière de site funéraire en Islande, et sur la fouille de chaque sépulture répertoriée. Les données obtenues permettent l’élaboration d’un modèle de localisation des tombes qui les situe a) loin des fermes, mais près des frontières et des routes, b) à proximité des fermes et à une courte distance de leur zone d’activité principale et c) au carrefour entre la route principale et l’allée menant au corps de ferme. Ces résultats ont été testés et confirmés par d’autres explorations de terrain et des fouilles récentes. La comparaison des tombes situées en a) et en b) met en évidence une différence intéressante : près des fermes, les tombes sont souvent orientées nord-sud, les sépultures sont en petit nombre et d’une variété limitée, et la population des défunts est majoritairement constituée d’hommes adultes ou âgés. Les tombes éloignées des fermes quant à elles sont le plus souvent orientées est-ouest, présentent une variété plus importante de biens funéraires, et contiennent des hommes et des femmes de tous âges. Les spécificités topographiques sont interprétées comme reflétant les différentes étapes du processus de la colonisation humaine de l’Islande, qui a eu lieu à la fin du IXe siècle : au stade initial, les sépultures sont placées près de l‘unique endroit important aux yeux des premiers colons : leur habitation. Puis la croissance de l’immigration entraîne de nouvelles règles, dont l’élaboration de frontières entre les propriétés agricoles, frontières signifiées entre autres par les cimetières qui y sont établis. Vers la fin de la colonisation, les démarcations sont nettes et convenues. Les frontières sont désinvesties et les lieux d’importance sont alors déplacés aux carrefours entre route principale et allée conduisant au nouveaux corps de ferme construits au sein d’établissements prééxistants.

La place du mort is a topographical study of pagan burials from the late Iron Age in Iceland. The aim of this work is to investigate where burials are located, and explain the reason behind the choice of place. The results are based on a critical revision of all available data on known burial sites in Iceland, and a survey of each site in the field. The main results are presented as a model of burial location, which shows that graves were placed either a) away from farmhouses, on boundaries and by roads, or b) close to farms, and a short distance outside the main activity area of the farm, or c) at the crossroads between the main road and the home lane leading to the farm. These results were tested – and confirmed – by further field survey and excavation. When the details of each grave at the two extreme locations were compared, and interesting difference became apparent: At locations near farms, the graves are frequently orientated N-S, the grave-goods are in small numbers and of a limited variety, and the population are predominantly adult or old men. The graves far away from the farm, are most often oriented E-W, there is a greater number and a greater variety of gravegoods, and there are male and female graves of people of all ages.The differences between locations are explained as different stages of the process of the human colonisation of Iceland which occurred in the late 9th century : at the initial stage, burials were located near to the only significant place of the first settlers, the habitation. With growing immigration, people establish boundaries between farms by placing cemeteries there. Towards the end of the colonisation, where boundaries have been agreed upon, the most significant location shifts again, from boundaries, to the junction between the main road and the home track, leading to the farm which has been located between two already established settlements.

Gardeła Leszek, Entangled worlds : archaeologies of ambivalence in the Viking Age

Gardeła Leszek, Entangled worlds : archaeologies of ambivalence in the Viking Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. N. Price, P. Jordan,  Université d’Aberdeen)

Résumé/abstract :
When all available sources on the Viking world are combined, there is a strong sense that the Scandinavians of the late Iron Age (8th-11th centuries AD) recognised no clear distinctions between the profane and the sacred. The latter could manifest itself in different ways, in places, beings or objects, and it often aroused ambivalent feelings of both fear and awe. This thesis explores these entanglements and the notion of ambivalence in relation to a particular group of Viking-Age individuals involved in the practice of magic (e.g. seiðr). Chapters 1-3 form the background for the considerations on ritual specialists’ lives, tools of trade and ways of burial. After a detailed review of Viking-Age funerary practices, focus shifts towards the corpus of so-called ‘deviant burials’, which in recent years have often been interpreted as belonging to ritual specialists. Chapter 4 compares the written and archaeological evidence for the funerary treatment of ritual specialists. Particular attention is devoted to graves where the deceased are covered with stones, since in the written sources execution by stoning is often employed as a punishment for malevolent magic. Nonetheless, caution is suggested in labeling all of them as belonging to ritual specialists and the necessity of a more individual, contextual approach is proposed. Chapter 5 examines a specific group of Viking-Age artefacts that usually take the form of iron rods, which have recently been interpreted as magic staffs. These items are discussed in the light of Old Norse texts and comparative materials from other areas of the world. Ultimately, the thesis embraces the notion of ambiguity in Viking attitudes to the supernatural, viewing this not as an obstructive problem but as an active component of interpretation. This combines an appropriate caution in approaching a difficult aspect of past societies, with a sensible refusal to introduce more rigid definitions than those used by the Vikings themselves.

Viberg Andreas, Remnant echoes of the past Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden

Viberg Andreas, Remnant echoes of the past Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. K. Lidén, B. Olofsson, R. Dalan, B. Bevan, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
The aim of this thesis has been to investigate the benefits, pitfalls and possibilities of using geophysical methods in archaeological projects. This is exemplified by surveys carried out at archaeological sites in different geographical and chronological contexts. The thesis also aims at investigating the cause for the under-use of the methods in Swedish archaeology by looking at previously conducted surveys. The methods used during these surveys have been Ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometer, slingram and a kappameter. The surveys in the mountain tundra region of Lapland show that magnetic susceptibility surveys is a valuable aid in discovering heaps of fire-cracked stones and when combined with magnetometry, also hearths. GPR and magnetometer surveys within the Migration Period ringfort Sandbyborg provided the spatial layout of the fort and indicated, along with results from recent excavations and metal detections, many similarities with the ringfort Eketorp II. The non-magnetic character of the sedimentary bedrock on Öland and Gotland is suitable for magnetometer surveys and the method is also highly appropriate for the detection of the remains of high-temperature crafts. GPR surveys at St. Mary’s Dominican convent in Sigtuna produced the spatial layout of the central cloister area. The investigations also show that the geology, pedology, land use and the character of commonly occurring prehistoric remains in Sweden, in certain circumstances and in certain areas, have restricted the possibility of successfully carrying out geophysical surveys. Care must therefore be taken to choose the right instrument for the survey and to tailor the sampling density of each geophysical survey, according to the character and size of the expected archaeological remains, in order to maximize their information return. To increase the use of geophysical methods in Sweden the educational opportunities, both for surveyors and professional archaeologists, need to improve.

Turner Valerie Erica, Location, form and function in Shetland’s prehistoric field systems

Turner Valerie Erica, Location, form and function in Shetland’s prehistoric field systems, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. I. A. Simpson, S. Winterbottom, W. P. Adderley, Université de Stirling)

Résumé/abstract :
Shetland boasts exceptionally well-preserved, but largely overlooked, field systems spanning a period of approximately 4000 years (Neolithic/Bronze Age – Viking/Norse). These have the potential to vastly increase our understanding of past agricultural practices and life styles. This study uses topographical survey, Shape Analysis, GIS, soil survey and micromorphology to answer questions relating to their location, form and function/management, pioneering the use of new tools and testing current models. An holistic landscape approach to the field systems is developed and tested against a multi-period site. Previously unknown types and periods of field systems are identified through survey and shape analysis, tools demonstrated to be valuable in refining the emerging model of field classification. GIS has illuminated pre-, during and post- construction factors influencing boundary form. New insights into location arise from the survey and GIS. Soils work has demonstrated that existing models of soil management over-simplify a complex situation, that thin acidic soils retain cultural information and that accretion was important to the sustainability of these peaty soils. While soils were sustainable over extended periods, the cultural inheritance of managed land appears to be limited. This thesis therefore presents the most holistic and comprehensive understanding of Shetland field systems which has so far been attempted.

Telldahl Ylva, Working Animals and Skeletal Lesions

Telldahl Ylva, Working Animals and Skeletal Lesions : Paleopathology of Cattle and Horse in Iron Age and Medieval Öland, Sweden, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. J. Storå, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
Central to this thesis is the relationship between animal husbandry practices and the associated pathological conditions. Since bone elements from the extremities are subjected to abnormal load when animals are put to hard work this research aims to go further and interpret the prevalence of varying lesions and their connection with animal husbandry by using methods such as osteometric analysis, conventional radiograpic and bone mineral study, as well as incorporated molecular analysis.The results show that approximately 15% of the cattle extremities at Eketorp ringfort had some kind of skeletal lesion. Cattle metatarsals exhibited a higher frequency of lesions than metacarpals. Skeletal lesions connected to draught use were more frequently recorded on bone elements from male than from female cattle. The anterior phalanges 1-2 had a higher occurence of lesions than the posterior elements. In addition, there was a significant correlation between larger sized animals and lesions. Osteological measurements were also investigated using molecular sex identification. Several measurements in both fragmented and complete metapodials proved useful in separating cows from oxen or bulls.Conventional radiographics were used on cattle metapodials from Eketorp ringfort to investigate the age structure in slaughtered cattle over 3 years of age. In phase III more male cattle were slaughtered before 8 years of age which could reflect the character of the site. The bone density analysis showed that modern cattle metapodials had higher values than the archaeological specimens which made intepretation of post-depositional changes problematic. The molecular analysis did not show any selected breed or specific type of animal. All but two of the Eketorp cattle belonged to haplogroup Y2 which is common in Southern Europe. The Y1 haplogroup (one in phase II and one in phase III) is common in Western and Northern Europe. The results point to that the Ölandic cattle population was homogeneous over time. The results from thirty-four bone elements show that twenty-five bones belonged to animals with red or light coat coloration and nine of uncertain, possibly partly black colour.

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.

Ledger Paul M., Norse landnám and its impact on the vegetation of Vatnahverfi, Eastern Settlement, Greenland,

Ledger Paul M., Norse landnám and its impact on the vegetation of Vatnahverfi, Eastern Settlement, Greenland, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (Université d’Aberdeen)

Résumé/abstract :

Norse landnám (initial settlement) in Greenland is dated to AD 985 and witnessed the introduction of pastoral farming to a landscape where people using settled agricultural systems had hitherto been absent. The Norse colony was centred on two locations: the Western (c. 64°N) and Eastern Settlements (c. 61°N), which historical, palaeoecological and archaeological data suggest were abandoned by the mid-14th and 15th centuries respectively. Vatnahverfi is an inland district of the Eastern Settlement that has been described as a rich, bountiful landscape and an excellent location for farming. This thesis presents an enquiry into the nature and impact of Norse land use in this inland region, and examines how it compares to patterns from more typical coastal farms. High-resolution pollen analysis, associated proxies and radiocarbon dating have produced eight detailed vegetation reconstructions of the pre-settlement landscape, vegetation and land-use changes consequent upon settlement, and the period following abandonment.
Prior to landnám, the inland valleys of Vatnahverfi supported Betula-Salix scrub and areas of Betula pubescens woodland. This vegetation cover thinned towards the coasts where open grasslands were more common. The presence of woodland in the interior indicates the availability of a key resource and late 10th to early 11th century dates for landnám point to the region having been a desirable settlement location. Data from pollen influx and coprophilous fungal spores associated with grazing animals, suggest a rich and productive cultural landscape. Poaceae pollen influx values, for instance, are often double those of farms elsewhere in the Eastern Settlement, implying higher hay yields that may have supported larger numbers of domesticates. Radiocarbon age-depth modelling of pollen sequences indicates that abandonment of farms in the region may have begun from the mid-13th century AD. This process likely culminated in the late 14th century when all the farms studied had fallen into disuse.

Hållans Ann-Mari, Fornminnen : det förflutnas roll i det förkristna och kristna Mälardalen

Hållans Ann-Mari, Fornminnen : det förflutnas roll i det förkristna och kristna Mälardalen, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. A. Andrén, Université de Lund)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis examine how farm-dwellers in the Mälaren region during the late Iron Age and early Middle Ages created, transferred, and preserved memory by deliberately placing new houses and graves on the houses and graves of previous generations. Focus is on memory as a social phenomenon and culture-specific resource created by these deliberate practices. The culture-specific element is oral culture. Place is an important part of the contextualization of social memory. The pre-Christian and early Christian farm has a special quality that is so self-evident that it is seldom highligh¬ted – the presence of the graves within its territory. This distinguishes that farm from those where the dead were buried in a graveyard. My theoretical framework is that of memory theory. In focus is human agency, formal and ritualized practice, and structured and constructed reality. All the media then available for memory construction are taken into consideration: formal and ritual acts such as ‘super-imposing’; material remains such as graves and buildings; sites on different scale levels in the landscape, such as farms with grave-fields and yards; narratives such as the Icelandic sagas. The source material consists of more than 300 archaeological excavations of grave-fields and settlements conducted in the Mälaren valley. The analysis include four sub-studies of superimpositions: grave on grave, house on house, grave on house, and house on grave. It takes into account possible variations in the scope and expression of the superimpositions because of the chronological, geographical, and social context. One of the more significant results is that the superimpositions showed very deliberate patterns, implying that the practices were very conscious. In the synthesis superimposition practices are considered as historical entities, and as functions of a possible historical culture in different eras. Down the ages, from the Migration Period up to and including the early Middle Ages, major regional changes in society have steered the contemporaneous perceptions of history. This means new social, ideological, and cultural context, which in its turn created the need for new memories.
I vår egen tid finns ett stort intresse för släktforskning och historia hos många. Men man tänker sällan på att även människor i gångna tider kunnat blicka tillbaka på sitt förflutna och fundera på sin egen plats i släktleden. Vad var de ville minnas och hur mindes de i en tid utan skriv- och läskunnighet? Det är frågor som ställs i avhandlingen och där svaren söks i de lämningar som grävts fram från järnåldern vid många arkeologiska undersökningar i Mälardalen. En inblick i detta ger oss en större förståelse för det förflutnas roll och betydelse i såväl dåtid som vår egen tid. I avhandlingen visas hur människor på gårdar under järnåldern i Mälardalen ”byggde” minnen genom att medvetet placera nya gravar och hus på tidigare generationers gravar och hus.

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.

[Source : http://theses.gla.ac.uk/1736/]

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.

[Source : https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/19498]

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