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Rotary querns and bread: A social history of Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeology.
2014 (English)In: Seen through a millstone / [ed] Lotte Sellsing, Stavanger: Arkeologisk museum, Universitetet i Stavanger , 2014, 181-192 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Rotary querns were introduced at the same as the oldest known bread appeared in the Nordic countries, c. AD 200. Since these type of querns were very efficient, bread could have been baked and consumed in most social milieus. But this was not the case. The rotary querns first appear at elite settlements, so-called central places, were the cultic dimensions are marked. Altogether the social acceptance for bread in Iron Age Sweden seems to have been slow.

Kvarnberget in Sala, Västmanland in the region north of Mälaren, is a millstone quarry mountain known from a written source from AD 1490. The quarry was located on the grounds of a lost settlement called Onsala, later split into the villages Ösby and Åby. Onsala might be interptreted as the god Odin's hall or sal. The lost settlement is situated next to a settlement called Hov, a place name that can be interpreted as a settlement where cultic rituals took place. A quarry mountain on the grounds of a Late Iron Age settlement bearing a name connected with the god Odin is an unexpected combination in this region of Sweden, where the plains transitions into the wooded area Bergslagen, renowned for its production of silver, copper, iron and other minerals. Kvarnberget is poorly known but can contribute to a general discussion on the social contexts for the production sites for rotary querns, as well as reflect on the milieus were bread was eaten.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stavanger: Arkeologisk museum, Universitetet i Stavanger , 2014. 181-192 p.
, AmS-Skrifter, ISSN 0800-0816 ; 24
Keyword [en]
rotary querns, bread, millstone quarries
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111752ISBN: 978-82-7760-158-8OAI: diva2:776442
Available from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2015-01-07 Last updated: 2015-01-08Bibliographically approved

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