Decolonizing the Viking Age, Volume 1

By Fredrik Svanberg
December 2003
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 91-22-02006-3
217 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$72.50 Hardcover

This volume argues that the Scandinavian "Viking Age" can be seen as a system of knowledge constructed in the late 19th century and in its basic structures maintained up to the present day. This system of knowledge was heavily influenced by the nationalistic and evolutionary ideas of its time of making and may be described as a colonialism of the past. The book follows the making of the Viking Age from the start, through the most influential academic studies of the 20th century and up to the most authoritative recent works. A deconstruction of its main ideas is then suggested. In the second half of the book, a study of south-east Scandinavia is presented. This study is based upon discussions of "Old Norse" semantics of cultural landscapes, temporality and of the important connection between collective death rituals and the community of large groups of people. The results of this study are found to be incompatible with the knowledge structures of the "Viking Age" and of reaching beyond the Viking Age are suggested. This book is the first part of a dissertation in archaeology in two parts. The second volume is an archaeological work that creates the empirical foundation for the study of south-east Scandinavia found in the second part of the present volume.

Decolonizing the Viking Age, Vol.2
Death Rituals in South-East Scandinavia AD 800-1000

Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series in 8 No. 43

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