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THE BIRKA WARRIOR su diva portal org
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Doctoral Thesis in Archaeological Science 2006, Stockholm University. This is a study of martial material culture in the context of the Viking Age warrior of. Birka Sweden The aim is to establish the role function and affiliation of the Birka war. rior and thereby place Birka on the power political map of the 10th century The study is. based on the excavations of the fortified structures particularly the Garrison at the trad. ing post of Birka as well as the extensive remains of material culture deriving from these. investigations A starting hypothesis is that an analysis of material culture constitutes a. way of mapping social structures and that style and iconography reflect cultural groups. contacts and loyalties, Based on the case studies of six papers the synthesis deals with questions of the work. and world view of the warriors as too their relation to their contemporary counterparts in. eastern and western Europe Questions are raised concerning the value and function of. symbols in a martial context where material culture reflects rank status and office In. defining the Birka warrior s particular stylistic expression a tool is created and used in the. search for contacts and affiliations reflected through the distribution patterns The results. show close contacts with the eastern trading posts located on the rivers Volga and Dnjepr. in Ancient Russia, It is stated that these Rus trading posts essentially inhabited by Northmen shared a. common cultural expression that was maintained throughout a vast area by exceptionally. close contacts It is suggested that a particular stylistic expression developed in these Rus. trading places containing elements of mainly Scandinavian Steppe nomadic and Byzan. tine origin, In conclusion the results of this thesis show that the warriors from Birka s Garrison. had a share in the martial development of contemporary Europe but with their own par. ticular traits Close relations with the eastern trade route and contact with the powerful. Byzantine Empire were enjoyed As a pointer for future research it is wondered what. organisational form the close knit structure of the Rus trading posts actually took keep. ing the subsequent guilds of medieval Europe in mind The fall of the Garrison as of. Birka corresponds with the establishment of Christianity in the region Such changes. were not limited to Central Sweden but part of a greater process where a new political. structure was developing better anchored in local concerns. Keywords Birka martial society warrior material culture distribution patterns cultural. expression Rus Viking Age Early Middle Age iconography style. Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson Stockholm 2006, ISSN 1400 7835.
ISBN 91 89338 15 4, Typesetting Intellecta Docusys. Printed in Sweden by Intellecta Docusys Stockholm 2006. Distributor Archaeological Research Laboratory Stockholm University. eastern and western warrior 7th century helmet mount. Vendel XIV After drawing by O S rling, To the Heroes on the Home Front. Acknowledgements, When reaching this point in the process of doctoral studies feelings of grati. tude are most apparent and highly apt Most of all I want to thank my supervi. sor and project leader Dr Lena Holmquist Olausson who with a firm but. friendly hand has guided me through these years with never failing enthusiasm. If truth be told I have enjoyed the ride With generosity she has provided me. with the material and results of one of the most interesting archaeological con. texts of recent years the Garrison at Birka, My deep gratitude is extended to Professor emerita Birgit Arrhenius my as. sistant supervisor who led me down this road in the first place and who has. shared her extensive knowledge and experience along the way Professor. Kerstin Lid n who conscientiously contributed with both intellectual and prac. tical help ensured me a stimulating working environment at the Archaeological. Research Laboratory, I am greatly indebted to Assistant Professor Michael Olausson for challeng.
ing me in my theories and encouraging me to be more daring though stringent. in my conclusions but first and foremost who has shown me that the glory and. soul of archaeology truly lies in the trenches Most kindly Professor Gustaf. Trotzig has contributed to my research with numerous foresighted comments. and convivial conversation I am indebted to Assistant Professor Ingmar Jans. son who has given generously of his time and knowledge and provided me. with a multitude of un get at able books and papers My gratitude also to Assis. tant Professor Lennart Karlsson who introduced me to the world of Northern. style and who has continuously shown interest in my work for which I am very. grateful Dr Uaininn O Meadhra has revised my English and kindly contributed. with her broad knowledge even regarding the content of the texts The close. working relationship I have enjoyed with conservator Honorary Dr Margaretha. Klockhoff has been of infinite value for the results of the thesis and has also. provided many fine moments at the Laboratory, I would like to direct a very special thanks to my trench mates in the many. campaigns at Birka and at other excavations in Sweden and Macedonia You. have all and perhaps in particular the unofficial society of Mining Horses. Laila Helena Niklas Lotta Jens Sara Cecilia made excavation a proper. pleasure Strength and Honour, All friends at the Laboratory have contributed with good company and gen. erous assistance making my years there both pleasant and exciting Many. thanks to Lotta Bergstr m Gunilla Eriksson Ann Marie Hansson Bj rn Hjul. str m Sven Isaksson Laila Kitzler hfeldt Anna Linderholm Anita Malmius. Veronica Nystr m Kjell Persson Ludvig Papmehl Dufay Slavica Petrovski. Sylvia Sandelin and Malgorzata Wojnar Johansson This work has benefited. greatly from the many discussions with friends and colleagues Professor Ken. net Jonsson Dr Fedir Androshchuk Dr Anna Kj llstr m Niklas Stjerna Ylva. Stenqvist Millde Ny Bj rn Gustafsson and Torsten Svensson thank you all. S llskapet f r Svenska Borgstudier has provided a forum for scholarly discus. sion disguised as pleasant divertissement, Inger K berg has been exceedingly helpful in making everything turn from. text to book I also want to thank the professional and obliging staff at the. Library of the Royal Academy of Letters History and Antiquities Financial. support has come from Riddarhuset Berit Wallenbergs stiftelse Helge Axson. Johnsons stiftelse Gunvor och Josef An rs stiftelse and the Department of. Archaeology and Classical Studies at Stockholm University. Good friends are everything My most sincere thanks to Monica Edstr m. and her family for all aspects home life to Catharina Sitte Durling for your on. campus support and to Viveca Bjurtoft for being in general a good old friend. Finally there are those who without question have supported me through thick. and thin and to whom a thank you does not seem quite enough Thanks to my. parents Lena and G ran Hedenstierna always encouraging me to do what I. find most interesting but also expecting me to do my best Freedom under. responsibility is a powerful tool when facing the trials of thesis writing Sofia. Magnus and Louise not only for inestimable help with logistics but for all the. interest and support you ve shown, An indefatigable trio has stood fast by my side through the ups and downs. of this work My wise and considerate husband Staffan who apart from offer. ing assistance in every possible way willingly has discussed the contents of my. work in the perspective of modern politics August and Arvid though small. sized knights have endured it all with unperceived patience and unconditional. love and support You are truly the heroes on the home front. Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson, 1 INTRODUCTION 9, Terminology 10.
THESIS STRUCTURE AND RESULTS 12, Case studies papers I VI 12. CONTEXT 14, Birka and its military structures archaeological background 16. The Eastern connection 17, 2 WEAPONS WARFARE AND CULTURAL EXPRESSION 22. THE PACIFIED PAST 22, MILITARISED SOCIETY 24, The Retinue system and the mercenary 26. The Impact of martial society the honourable warrior 27. Warfare 30, EXPRESSING CULTURE AND IDENTITY 33, Defining style 34.
The issue of identity 36, DIFFERENCES IN EXPRESSION THE GARRISON IN CONTRAST TO THE. 3 ARTEFACT CONTEXT AND DISTRIBUTION 40, PARTICULAR DESIGN AND PATTERNS OF DISTRIBUTION 40. Material culture in the light of archaeological science 42. 4 ON THE MARTIAL SIDE OF BIRKA 46, FORTIFICATIONS 48. WORK AND WORLD VIEW OF THE WARRIORS 53, Personal and professional 53. The Dress and equipment of the Birka warrior 54, Organisation and training 61.
FIGHTING TECHNIQUES IN RELATION TO THE FORTIFICATIONS OF BIRKA 66. Dominance and defence 66, 5 RUS VARANGIANS AND NORTHMEN 71. BIRKA AS AN ANOMALY AND ANALOGY 71, Hedeby and the Danish ring fortresses 71. Eastern analogies 75, RUS IDENTITY 78, CREATING A CULTURAL EXPRESSION 81. A typical Rus stylistic expression 82, 6 THE WARRIORS AND THE BIRKA CONSTRUCT IN THE 10TH. CENTURY 87, AT CLOSE RANGE 88, The warriors 89, THE WIDER CONTEXT 91.
Placing Birka on the power political map 91, A change in power structure 92. The End 93, 7 SUMMARY 94, THE BIRKA WARRIOR the material culture of a martial society 94. REFERENCES 98, List of papers, I Hedenstierna Jonson C 1998 The study of three mounts from. Vendel using laser scanning techniques and surface structure analy. sis Laborativ Arkeologi 10 11 Stockholm 81 84, II Hedenstierna Jonson C 2002 A group of Viking Age sword. chapes reflecting the political geography of the time Journal of. Nordic Archaeological Science 13 Stockholm 103 112. III Hedenstierna Jonson C Rus Varangians and Birka Warriors. The Martial Society Aspects on Warriors Fortifications and So. cial Change from the Bronze Age to the 18th Century L Holm. quist Olausson M Olausson eds Stockholm In print, IV Hedenstierna Jonson C Holmquist Olausson L 2006.
The Oriental Mounts from Birka s Garrison Antikvariskt arkiv. 81 Stockholm, V Hedenstierna Jonson C Borre style metalwork in the material. culture of the Birka warriors An apotropaic symbol Fornv nnen. 101 Journal of Swedish Antiquarian Research Stockholm Ac. VI Linderholm A Hedenstierna Jonson C Svensk O Li, d n K Diet and status in Birka Analysis of stable isotopes and. grave goods Manuscript, 1 INTRODUCTION, There are many preconceptions concerning the Vikings ranging from the. mead drinking savage with horned helmet of popular culture to the unsuit. ability of calling anyone a Viking at all During the 1980s and 90s the image. portrayed in earlier studies of a barbaric yet successful conqueror was partly. overshadowed by a new image more or less well formulated of a friendly. tradesman and or farming settler Viking Age violence became demoted to. a necessary evil at most and weapons were reduced to mere symbols rather. than fighting equipment for active use An acknowledgement of the impor. tance of warfare and violence in early medieval society has now become a. topic of renewed relevance in historical and archaeological studies that. should even include the Scandinavian Northern cultural sphere of the time. Despite this newfound interest in warfare related problems the paucity of. source material for Scandinavian archaeology and history has not permitted. the thorough treatment available in the cases e g of the well documented. Franks or Normans However with the excavations of the Garrison at the. Viking Age trading post of Birka situated on the island of Bj rk in Lake. M lar in eastern central Sweden fig 1 2 the situation has now changed. at least when it comes to archaeological source material This unique and. excessively rich archaeological site is marked by military activity in the late. 10th century and provides an unusual insight into the material culture of a. martial society in Scandinavia during the Viking Age. The present study has two main aims, The first is to recognise and characterise the Birka warrior and de. fine the particular stylistic expression of his material culture thereby. creating a tool for identifying patterns of artefact distribution that. reflect the movements and contacts of these warriors. The second aim is to employ this tool to uncover the role organisa. tion and affiliations of the warriors and by doing so to position the. trading post of Birka within the greater context of power politics. during the final stages of its existence, The study is based on excavation of Birka s fortified structures and on the.
find material and results deriving from these investigations in particular the. results of excavation of Birka s Garrison from where an extensive amount. of objects have been retrieved providing a first hand insight into the life of. the warrior through his material remains Questions raised concern the value. and function of symbols in a martial context where material culture reflects. rank status and office The diversity of the cultural regions and power. realms represented in the Garrison evidence begs the question of whom the. warriors actually served What do the different objects and their connections. with other archaeological finds indicate in terms of political diplomatic and. military relations and affiliations Analogies with archaeological material in

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