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Bad Death at Sandby borg: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Intergroup Violence and Postmortem Agency of Unburied Corpses
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0181-4458
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The subject of corpses from mass violence is surprisingly unexplored, even though the materiality of the corpse carries strong symbolic capital in conflicts. The aim of my PhD research is to create new knowledge about the implications of unburied corpses that stem from intergroup conflicts, and subsequently to add knowledge concerning how intergroup violence is organised to achieve desired social agendas.

In the licentiate thesis presented here, I research the conditions for postmortem agency and how treatment of corpses can be studied in prehistory, specifically through the material remains of unburied corpses from the Sandby borg massacre. The Sandby borg case study is explored through a bioarchaeological perspective. Inside the Iron Age ringfort, the remains of at least 26 individuals have been recovered hitherto. Several of the dead display traces of lethal intergroup violence. By integrating osteology, archaeology, taphonomy and social theories, I show how bioarchaeological research can contribute to the understanding of past postmortem agency in relation to intergroup violence as a social process. The thesis is comprised of four articles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2018. , p. 28
Series
Lnu Licentiate ; 13
Keywords [en]
Sandby borg, Migration period, Iron age, Massacre, Mass violence; Conflict, Unburied corpses, Postmortem agency, Taphonomy, Archaeothanatology, Forensic taphonomy, Trauma, Öland, Treatment of corpses
Keywords [sv]
Folkvandringstid, järnålder, Öland, obegravda kroppar, våld, massaker, politiseing av lik, tafonomi, arkeothanatologi
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities; Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-73396ISBN: 978-91-88761-56-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-88761-57-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-73396DiVA, id: diva2:1200472
Presentation
2018-05-16, C 305 K Falken, Nygatan 18B 392 34, Kalmar, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20140011Available from: 2018-05-02 Created: 2018-04-24 Last updated: 2018-05-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A moment frozen in time: evidence of a late fifth-century massacre at Sandby borg
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A moment frozen in time: evidence of a late fifth-century massacre at Sandby borg
2018 (English)In: Antiquity, ISSN 0003-598X, E-ISSN 1745-1744, Vol. 92, no 362, p. 421-436Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European Migration Period (c. AD 400–550) was characterised by political, social and economic instability. Recent excavations at Sandby borg ringfort on the island of Öland in Sweden have revealed indisputable evidence of a massacre which occurred at that time. Osteological, contextual and artefactual evidence strongly suggest that the fort was abandoned immediately following the attack and was left undisturbed throughout antiquity. Sandby borg offers a unique snapshot of domestic life and abrupt death in the Scandinavian Migration Period, and provides evidence highly relevant to studies of ancient conflict, and on social and military aspects of Iron Age and Migration Period societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge Core, 2018
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69294 (URN)10.15184/aqy.2018.21 (DOI)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2018-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Licentiate Thesis (Comprehensive Summary)(690 kB)125 downloads
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Alfsdotter, Clara

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other locale
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