Viking Worlds: Things, Spaces and Movement [Hardback]

Marianne Hem Eriksen (Editor); Unn Pedersen (Editor); Bernt Rundberget (Editor); Irmelin Axelsen (Editor); Heidi Lund Berg (Editor)

ISBN: 9781782977278 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 176p, H270 x W240 (mm) b/w and colour illustrations

Viking Worlds


Fourteen papers explore a variety of inter-disciplinary approaches to understanding the Viking past, both in Scandinavia and in the Viking diaspora. Contributions employ both traditional inter- or multi-disciplinarian perspectives such as using historical sources, Icelandic sagas and Eddic poetry and also specialised methodologies and/or empirical studies, place-name research, the history of religion and technological advancements, such as isotope analysis. Together these generate new insights into the technology, social organisation and mentality of the worlds of the Vikings. Geographically, contributions range from Iceland through Scandinavia to the Continent. Scandinavian, British and Continental Viking scholars come together to challenge established truths, present new definitions and discuss old themes from new angles. Topics discussed include personal and communal identity; gender relations between people, artefacts, and places/spaces; rules and regulations within different social arenas; processes of production, trade and exchange, and transmission of knowledge within both past Viking-age societies and present-day research. Displaying thematic breadth as well as geographic and academic diversity, the articles may foreshadow up-and-coming themes for Viking Age research. Rooted in different traditions, using diverse methods and exploring eclectic material – Viking Worlds will provide the reader with a sense of current and forthcoming issues, debates and topics in Viking studies, and give insight into a new generation of ideas and approaches which will mark the years to come.

Table of Contents

1. Marianne Hem Eriksen, Unn Pedersen, Bernt Rundberget, Irmelin Axelsen and Heidi Lund Berg: Viking Worlds. Things, Spaces and Movement
2. Neil S. Price: From Ginnungagap to the Ragnarök. Archaeologies of the Viking Worlds
PART I. Real and ideal spaces
3. Lydia Carstens: Powerful Space. The Iron Age Hall and its Development During the Viking Age
4. Joanne Shortt Butler: Húsdrápa. A Skaldic Poem in Context
5. Asle Bruen Olsen: Courtyard Sites in Western Norway. Central Assembly Places and Judicial Institutions in the Late Iron Age
6. Sofie Laurine Albris: Place Names and Settlement Development around an Aristocratic Residence. Thoughts from an On-Going Study of the Hinterland of Tissø
7. Marianne Hem Eriksen: The Powerful Ring. Door Rings, Oath Rings, and the Sacral Place
PART II. Gendered things, gendered spaces?
8. Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonsson: She Came from Another Place. On the Burial of a Young Girl in Birka
9. Patrycja Kupiec and Karen Milek: Roles and Perceptions of Shielings and the Mediation of Gender Identities in Viking and Medieval Iceland
10. Heidi Lund Berg: ‘Truth’ and Reproduction of Knowledge. Critical Thoughts on the Interpretation and Understanding of Iron-age Keys
PART III. Production, exchange and movement
11. Bjarne Gaut: Manors and Markets. Continental Perspectives on Viking Age Trade and Exchange
12. Ben Cartwright: Making the Cloth that Binds Us. The Role of Textile Production in Producing Viking Age Identities
13. Unn Pedersen: Leadworking in Viking-age Norway
14. Stephen Merkel and Andreas Hauptmann, Volker Hilberg, Robert Lehmann: Isotopic Analysis of Silver from Hedeby and some nearby Hoards. Preliminary Results
15. Leszek Gardela: Vikings in Poland. A Critical Overview

Reviews & Quotes

"The Viking worlds presented here are generally homely ones, a welcome corrective to the epic continent-spanning narratives beloved of museums and the media."
Tom Williams
Landscape History

"“This is a very interesting collection of new insights into the inner workings of the different Viking Worlds” “Viking Worlds will provide the reader with a sense of current and forthcoming issues, debates and topics in Viking studies, and give insight into a new generation of ideas and approaches which will mark the years to come”"
Karen Schousboe
Medieval histories

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