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Advances in Viking Archaeology: Aligning Data, Theory, and the Interdisciplinary Perspective

Author(s): Davide Zori

Year: 2016

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Summary

Viking Archaeology, conceived of here as a particularly influential subfield of medieval archaeology, originated in antiquarian efforts of early Scandinavian scholars who helped to shape the identities of their nation states. From C.J. Thomson, to Jens Worsae, and Oscar Montelius, these early Scandinavian archaeologists were formative in the establishment of a periodization of the past, development of dating techniques, and the professionalization of archaeology as a discipline. The Viking Age continues to play a disproportionate role in the national narratives of the Scandinavian countries. Academic projects on the Viking Age are still the most common and best funded of archaeological ventures in Scandinavia. Rather than lament this perceived prejudice, I argue that public and scholarly interest in Vikings has meant that Viking Archaeology—as separate from textually-dominated Viking history—has been vital in advancing our understanding of the period of the Middle Ages that we still call the Viking Age. Archaeologists studying the Viking Age, looking for non-textual frameworks, have also been at the forefront of theoretical and scientific advances in archaeology. I conclude by suggesting that Scandinavian (and Viking Age) archaeology continues to offer a harbinger of things to come in the wider field of medieval archaeology.


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Advances in Viking Archaeology: Aligning Data, Theory, and the Interdisciplinary Perspective. Davide Zori. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404426)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America