‘Imbued with the Essence of the Owner’: Personhood and Possessions in the Reopening and Reworking of Viking-Age Burials
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Archaeology, ISSN 1461-9571, E-ISSN 1741-2722, Vol. 19, no 3, 456-476 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article examines the wide range of grave disturbance practices seen in Viking-age burials across Scandinavia. It argues that the much-debated reopenings at high-profile sites, notably the Norwegian ?royal? mounds, should be seen against a background of widespread and varied evidence for burial reworking in Scandinavia throughout the first-millennium ad and into the Middle Ages. Interventions into Viking-age graves are interpreted as disruptive, intended to derail practices of memory-creation set in motion by funerary displays and monuments. However, the reopening and reworking of burials were also mnemonic citations in their own right, using a recurrent set of practices to make heroic, mythological, and genealogical allusions. The retrieval of portable artefacts was a key element in this repertoire, and in this article I use archaeological and written sources to explore the particular concepts of ownership which enabled certain possessions to work as material citations appropriating attributes of dead persons for living claimants.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, no 3, 456-476 p.
Research subject Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134488OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134488DiVA: diva2:1033651