Session: #155

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Household Textiles in and Beyond Viking Age
The half-millennium from 650 to 1150 saw fundamental changes in Scandinavian societies, from central chiefdoms on the periphery of Europe to well-established Christian kingdoms with new types of economical systems and trading structures. State formations, urban systems and the influences of Christianity as well as warfare, exploring and colonizing regions outside Scandinavia were important parts of this development. New trade routes developed and the modes and organisation of production changed.Although it is well-known that cloth cultures had an important impact on the societal development, this perspective is yet to be fully integrated into the general discussion of the social, economic and cultural changes that took place during this period.
In this session the aim is therefore to explore the variety and function of household textiles in the Viking Age. We invite scholars to discuss issues including the textiles` variety of functional areas, from practical purposes such as bed linen and wall insulation to storytelling and preservers of collective myths. Furthermore, the house as a three-dimensional context will be considered, not forgetting the space created within the walls, the interior. This is a kind of spatial archaeology that often is lost when interpreting houses from post holes and hearths. How was a room furnished and how was it perceived by the people moving in the interiors of a house? In this session textiles become decisive elements in the shaping of a living space, not just in terms of functionality, but as a means of making a home.
Household, Textiles, Viking Age, Interdisciplinary, House, Interiors
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
Eva Andersson Strand (Denmark) 1
Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson (Sweden) 2
Marianne Vedeler (Norway) 3
1. Centre for textile Research, Saxo insitute, University of Copenhagen
2. Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Uppsala
3. Museum of Culture History, University of Oslo