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: