This module surveys the diverse array of Viking burial practices, across Scandinavia and the regions in which Scandinavians raided and settled between the eighth and eleventh centuries, including the British Isles, continental Europe, and the north Atlantic. It explores the meanings inherent in funerary rites, and sets burials in their landscape, settlement, religious and ideological contexts. The module examines the significance of the material culture employed in burial rites, including both grave goods and funerary monuments. The role of funerary practices in conveying messages about status and identity will also be explored, as will the manner in which burials mediated processes of religious change. The module is interdisciplinary in focus, and integrates the funerary record with documentary sources, and approaches from archaeological science, including osteological analysis, and stable isotope evidence for diet and migration, to enable us to utilize the funerary record as a means of exploring Viking lifeways, as well as understanding death as a rite of passage. The module will explore key Viking burial sites including Jelling and Trelleborg (Denmark), Oseberg and Gokstad (Norway), Staraja Ladoga (Russia), Repton, Heath Wood and Ridgeway Hill (England), Dublin (Ireland), Balladoole and Ballateare (Isle of Man), Scar and Westness (Scotland), and Brattahlíð (Greenland).
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
By the end of the module, students will:
The intranet has details of what we will be doing each week and this is where you should look for core bibliographies. The VLE for this module is where you will find the PPs for each week. In the weeks where I give a lecture I will post my PP on the VLE the day before so that you can look over it before the class if you wish. Some students find it useful to download it to their laptops or print it out and annotate it in class.
You will also be given access to a Google Drive folder where I will post sign-up sheets for seminars and also any papers that are difficult to get hold of digitally.