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Våld och vatten: Våtmarkskult vid Skedemosse under järnåldern
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Violence and water : Wetland sacrifice at Skedemosse in the Iron Age. (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the wetland sacrifices that were performed in Northern Europe in the Iron Age. Skedemosse on central Öland is the largest wetland sacrifice in Sweden and was the site of a cult which sacrificed animals and humans. Between the late second century and well into the fifth century the place was also used for large sacrifices of military equipment. New radiocarbon dates has shown that the place functioned as a ritual place from the Pre Roman Iron Age and into the Late Viking Age.

Both in the Iron Age and later wetlands seem to have been both venerated and feared and the thesis discusses why this came to be, and how it can be seen in the archaeological material.

A smaller part of the sacrificial site of Skedemosse was selected for a closer study and it was possible to establish several depositions which appear to have been treated slightly different from each other.

The investigations of the animal sacrifices have focused on the horses as they are the most common animal. The horse was an important mythological animal in the Iron Age and they were equally important in the cult. The horses in Skedemosse were eaten in ritual meals, and it is possible that some of them took part in ritual races along the ridge east of the former lake.  Such races were called skeið and the name Skedemosse may be derived from this word.

Skedemosse is also rare because the remains of ca 38 people have been found in it. Some of these people have suffered a violent death. They are compared to other bog bodies from northern Europe and the follow a similar pattern to those; In the Pre Roman Iron Age mainly women and children were sacrificed and after the first century AD mainly men ended up in the lake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur, Stockholms universitet , 2010. , 120 p.
Stockholm Studies in Archaeology, ISSN 0349-4128 ; 52
Keyword [en]
Öland, Iron Age, wetland sacrifice, weapon sacrifice, animal sacrifice, horses, rituals, bog bodies, human sacrifice
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37585ISBN: 978-91-978257-5-7OAI: diva2:309712
Public defence
2010-05-07, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-03-16 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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