21 January 2019

Household Textiles in and Beyond Viking Age

The following session proposal (#155) has been accepted in Theme 1: Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms, at the 25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (Bern, 2019), and we have therefore opened the call for papers and posters.

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, warfare, exploring and colonizing regions outside Scandinavia, new trade routes and the modes and organisation of production were important parts of this development. 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.

Deadline for papers and posters proposals is 14 February 2019 – see more: EAA 2019.

Associate Professor, director Eva Andersson Strand, Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Senior Researcher Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, University of Uppsala and Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden Professor Marianne Vedeler, Museum of Culture History, University of Oslo, Norway

This session is organised by the network Cloth Culture in and Beyond the Viking Age and Fashioning the Viking Age.