Fornvännen's Winter Issue


The winter issue of Fornvännen (2006:5) came from the printers yesterday. Some of the boxes were all wet after some talented individual had put them in a puddle, but most were fine. Here's the contents.

  • Andreas Nordberg and Roger Wikell of Stockholm present observations from unexcavated 1st Millennium AD cemeteries south of Stockholm, indicating that there may be Migration Period chamber graves there. This challenges the prevailing impression that such graves for some reason avoid Södermanland, the province south of Lake Mälaren.
  • Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, who recently got her PhD in Stockholm on the strength of a thesis (available on-line) about Viking Period warrior culture at Birka, offers a new interpretation of the Borre decorative style. A hint: she argues that it's apotropaic.
  • Julie Lund of Oslo has a massive 19-page paper about Viking Period tool deposits. She argues that as they all appear within a small timeframe about AD 1000, and as they all were deposited in wetlands, they are most likely intentional deposits having something to do with Christianisation. She goes on to point out that legendary pagan smiths in Old Norse literature, such as Wayland and Regin, were pictured as residing on the edges of wetlands.
  • Rune Edberg, also of Stockholm, has found the names of three members of the Iarlabanki lineage, known as great rune stone patrons just north of Stockholm in the 11th century, in the coeval "guest book" of the Reichenau monastery in Switzerland southern Germany. These people brag about international pilgrimages in their inscriptions, and Rune suggests that they may have stayed at Reichenau on their way to the Brenner Pass and onward to the Holy Land.
  • I've got a piece about gold bracteate chronology and iconography.
  • Jan Öberg of Stockholm reports on a newly identified signature in Nederluleå church by the great 15th century church muralist Albertus Pictor.
  • We've got six book reviews, less than half of the usual number because we had so much other material for this issue.

I really love Fornvännen.

[More blog entries about , , ; , .]

More like this

In the mid-to-late 19th century, just as Scandy (and thus, it's fair to say, world) archaeology was making its first big breakthroughs, a lot of furnished 11th century female burials unexpectedly turned up in the churchyards of Gotland. The chain of events that led to this windfall of new data is…
Anders Winroth (born in 1965) is a Swedish historian who received his PhD from Columbia in 1996 and now holds an endowed professorship in history at Yale. He has written several books on the Viking Period for lay readers, the latest one of which I've been given to review. The main contents of The…
In archaeology, we distinguish osteological sex from artefact gender. Osteo-sex is with very few exceptions (odd chromosomal setups) the same thing as what your genitals are like. Artefact gender is the material correlate of a role you play according to the conventions of your time: e.g. whether…
When I tell people I'm an archaeologist, they often ask ”So have you dug at Birka?”. As of yesterday I can finally proudly reply ”yeah, a bit”. ”Birka” is a Latinate attempt to write Biærkey, ”Birch Island”. It's an island in Lake Mälaren, two hours by slow boat from Stockholm. For a bit more than…