Ritual aspects on Cairns – Changes from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age on Gotland.

Ansvarig: Helene Martinsson-Wallin

Sponsored by:

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond: research initiation 40.000 SEK and Baltic Sea Seminars  30.000 SEK

Berit Wallenbergs Stiftelse: 94.000  SEK

DBW: 50.000 SEK.

This project investigates the “Cairn Milieu” – the biography and context of “place” in relation to the cultural and natural landscape on Gotland. Special attention is given to the significance and context of specific features as “south stones constructions”, crater cairns as intentional construction or looting pits, long time re-use of place and relation to the natural environment. So far I have investigated the “cairn milieu” at the large Uggarderojr (2009), Digerrojr (2010, 2011), Kauparverojr (2010) Hägrojr (2011).

This project started out with four seminars (2006-2008) with the title of: Maritime Chiefdom Society – Moving from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age of which two more extensive seminars were held at Gotland University in May 2007 and in October 2008. The project had a research platform sponsored by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and included networking with researchers with focus on the islands in the Baltic Sea and discussions about social organisation and Island perspectives in the Baltic Sea Area during the Stone and Bronze Ages, with ethno-archaeological examples from Polynesia.

Excavations and survey of shore line displaces activities started on Gotland in 2008 and are ongoing within the framework of field schools at Gotland University/Uppsala University.

Results of the research so far are: The Baltic Sea Seminars resulted in an edited volume (Martinsson-Wallin 2010) and the development a joint course in Baltic Prehistory at Gotland University (2010) sponsored through the Nordplus network, involving University Lecturers from Estonia, Lithuania, Finland and Polen. This has been developed into a Masters course The Prehistory of the Baltic when Gotland University merged with Uppsala University .The work have also resulted in several reports (Martinsson-Wallin and Wehlin 2010, 2011, Martinsson-Wallin 2014a,b,c) and these are currently being re-worked and ongoing analysis of the material are aimed at one article and one monograph (2015-2016).