Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Vikingafenomenet - seminarieserie

Viking Phenomena: current research on late Iron Age Scandinavia

Introducing
Dr. Clare Downham Senior Lecturer in Irish Studies, University of Liverpool


Date: 23 October 2018
Time: 15 - 17
Place: 6-0031, Engelska parken


"A Context for the Birka Grave?: Women and Leadership in the Tenth Century"
The public reaction to the publication of Hedenstierna-Jonson et al. 'A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics' raises issues of the perceived roles of women in tenth century society. Drawing on parallels from tenth century England and the Continent, this paper argues that women had a more prominent role in political leadership in the tenth century Europe than they would in succeeding centuries. This could extend to women exercising a military role. The growing intolerance to female power and greater demarcation of gender roles over time is touched upon. This maybe compared to general trends in policing social identities expressed in R.I. Moore's 'The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Authority and Deviance in Western Europe 950-1250' a seminal work, but one in which gender roles and boundaries were not widely discussed.
Welcome!
Neil, John & Charlotte


Introducing
Barbora Žiačková Oxford University


Date: 28th of May 2018
Time: 13 – 15
Venue: Uppsala/Eng 2-2033 – Campus Gotland A30, Uppsalarummet

The all-speaking eye: Eastern imports and visual communication in Viking Age Sweden
Amongst the thousands of Islamic silver dirhams found in Scandinavia, dated to the Viking Age (750-1050 CE), many show evidence of having been altered into worn ornaments. Whilst contemporaneous Byzantine and European coin ornaments are often interpreted as signifiers of Christian belief, the more numerous Islamic examples tend to be conceptualised as status symbols. This paper will reconsider Viking Age dirham ornaments, using them as a vector to gain insight into the possible meanings that Eastern objects gained – or retained – as they were appropriated into the Scandinavian milieu. Based on work undertaken for my MA thesis (completed at University College London in 2017), this paper will present the results of spatial and statistical analyses of Viking Age dirham ornaments found in present-day Sweden, seeking to identify and explain underlying spatio-temporal patterns. The results are then contextualised within existing literature, and used as a starting point in exploring the role of Eastern material culture as part of Viking Age Scandinavian visual communication: both internally within Scandinavian society, and as part of the mercantile relationships with their Steppe Nomadic and Muslim contemporaries.

Key Words: Viking Age, Sweden, dirhams, trade, visual communication

Welcome!
Neil, John & Charlotte

Poster

Introducing
Dr. Ingrid Gustin Researcher, Historical Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University

Date: 16th of May 2018
Time: 15 – 17
Venue: 2-2033, Engelska parken

Contacts between Svear and Finns during the Vendel and Viking period
There is archaeological evidence of contacts between eastern central Sweden and south-western Finland through the ages: in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age, the Early Iron Age, and the Late Iron Age. Archaeologists in Finland have often pointed out the close links between the areas during the Viking Age, whereas Swedish archaeologists have surprisingly seldom discussed these connections. It has therefore been of interest to examine to what extent and during what period artefacts from Finland are found in graves in the Mälaren region and in Birka and thus to find out what can be concluded about the contacts between these regions.
As has been shown by finds of Permian belts and other objects of eastern origin in Vakka-Suomi, groups in Western Finland were linked to routes and networks spanning much further east already in the late 7th century. Probably it was through the population of western Finland that the Svear got information about Fenno-ugric groups in NW Russia and the routes along lakes, streams and rivers that led beyond the Finnish peninsula. Thanks to that knowledge, the Svear were able to travel beyond the Gulf of Finland, to Ladoga Lake and then further east along the Russian rivers down to areas where furs from the north could be exchanged for Islamic silver coins and eastern luxury products.


Welcome!
Neil, John & Charlotte

Poster

Introducing
Peter Pentz Curator at the National Museum of Denmark
Date: 25th of April 2018
Time: 15 – 17
Venue: Uppsala/Eng 2-1024 – Campus Gotland A30, Uppsalarummet

To get to the other side...? The Ravning Enge bridge and other Viking Age bridges in Southern Scandinavia.
A bridge is basically a structure built to span physical obstacles. King Harald Blåtand´s more than 750 meters long bridge at Ravning Enge in Jutland spanning over Vejle Ådal was built in 980/981. In spite of the resources spent, the scope of the meaning remains uncertain. The paper will survey the Ravning bridge in particular, but also review other Viking Age bridges of Denmark.
Welcome!
Neil, John & Charlotte

Poster


Introducing
Prof. Dagfinn Skre Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo
Date: 13th of April 2018
Time: 10 – 12
Place: 2-0033, Engelska parken
Venue: Uppsalarummet, A30, Campus Gotland

"Avaldsnes: A sea-kings’ seat at the Island of Kǫrmt"
The 2011–12 excavations at Avaldsnes, western Norway, are the first to explore one of the five royal manors that according to Snorri were the seats of the first King of Norway, Haraldr hárfagri. The five are all situated along the sailing route along the western Scandinavian coast, the Norðvegr, indicating that the dominion of the sea route was a primary condition for attaining control of the realm. The evidence from Avaldsnes and the near vicinity indicate that control of the sea route was sought by the powerful for 2-3 millennia. The recent excavations supply the basis for writing the history of this sea-kings’ seat from the Roman Iron Age until the High Middle Ages. In the paper some main themes in this history will be outlined; among them some interesting parallels and contrast between a sea-kings’ manor and the seats of land kings detected elsewhere in Scandinavia.

All welcome!
Neil, John & Charlotte

Poster