Spatial and Temporal Trends in New Cases of Men with Modified Teeth from Sweden (AD 750 to 1100)
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Archaeology, ISSN 1461-9571, E-ISSN 1741-2722, Vol. 17, no 1, 45-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Vikings with artificially modified teeth have previously been documented in the south-eastern parts ofScandinavia and in England. In a project dealing with life in the Mälaren Valley in Sweden duringthe period AD 750–1100, new cases of people with modified maxillary teeth were observed. Thehypothesis that the practice was entirely associated with adult men dating to the Viking Age was tested.The new cases demonstrate that the habit extended to eastern-central Sweden, including the proto-townof Birka, perhaps as early as in the middle of the eighth century. Additionally, cases from Sigtuna showthat the practice may have ended as late as the beginning of the twelfth century. A microanalysis, usinga scanning electron microscope, showed the heterogeneous character of the modifications. The affectedindividuals were all adult men, similar to previously published cases. Some of the men are associatedwith weapons and violent acts and the cases from Sigtuna were all from cemeteries with a possibleassociation with lower social strata. However, discrepancies in archaeological contexts and in the charac-teristics of the modifications suggest temporal and spatial variation in the social meaning of themodifications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 17, no 1, 45-59 p.
teeth, dental modification, skeletons, Viking, men, Sweden, Denmark
Research subject Osteoarchaeology; Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99730DOI: 10.1179/1461957113Y.0000000047ISI: 000331856700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-99730DiVA: diva2:688288
ProjectsPeople in transition - life in the Mälaren Valley in the stage of preurbanism (A.D. 800-1100)
FunderSwedish Research Council, 2008-1346