Wednesday, October 18, 2017


VEITSTU HVÉ BLÓTA SKAL? The Old Norse blót in the light of osteological remains from Frösö Church, Jämtland, Sweden

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The Osteological remains from Frösö Church in Jämtland, have been re-analyzed in order to understand the Viking Age rituals at the site and to study the blót, the Old Norse sacrifice and feast.  Radiocarbon analyses of animal and human bones date the rituals to the late Viking Age.  A taphonomic study shows that especially brown […]

The Imperative Way


This paper addresses a category of archaeological remains or monuments called “field labyrinths”. These monuments are often described as “mysterious” monuments since little is known about when or why they were created, and what their inherent meaning is or was. Although they seem to have been connected to ritual, cult and superstition, older Scandinavian written […]

The Acculturation of Scandinavians in England: A Consideration of the Burial Record


The portrayal of the ‘Vikings’ as an archetypal barbarian ‘other,’ wreaking death and destruction wherever they went, was already current in the medieval period,but in England the depictions became more extreme in the centuries after the attacks. This paper will focus on the texts and archaeology of ninth- and tenth-century England and argue that in many respects […]

An Island in the Middle of An Island: On cult, laws and authority in Viking Age Gotland.


The present-day small village of Roma on Gotland in the Baltic Sea was the physical and symbolic centre of the island in the Iron Age and into Medieval times. Te Cistercian monastery and the meeting place of the island’s assembly, the all-thing, two well-known features of medieval Roma, have often been taken as indications of an egalitarian and non-stratified society […]

Studying Religion-Concepts, Methods and Dilemmas


My paper aims at addressing some of the problems and challenges faced by the study of religion(s) and at presenting briefly the academic context of that study. Originally published: (February, 2009) Confluence. Iterdisciplinary Communications 2007/2009.  Willy Østreng (ed). Centre for Advanced Study.

Saga Motifs on Gotland Picture Stones: The Case of Hildr Högnadóttir


The Gotland Picture Stones have long aroused interest and admiration, not only among tourists as objects of beauty and casual curiosity, but also among scholars who have been led to speculate about what they were originally intended to signify.  one of the methods used to analyze and interpret the images has been to view them […]

The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature

“I Have Long Desired to Cure You of Old Age” Sibling Drama in the Later Heroic Poems of the Edda


The current decade in medieval studies, both literary and historical, has brought what has been characterized as the “affective turn.” It problematizes our understanding of past emotions and feelings in the light of new research into biological and psychological universals, while remaining aware that, within what Barbara Rosenwein has characterized as “emotional communities”, emotion and […]