ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1997
 
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)

THE BROKEN PEOPLE: DECONSTRUCTION OF PERSONHOOD IN IRON AGE FINLAND; pp. 150–166

Full article in PDF format

Authors
Anna Wickholm, Sami Raninen

Abstract

The article is an attempt to characterize the concept of personhood as seen in the existence of collective cremation cemeteries under level ground in Iron Age Finland. It is argued that the tradition of collective cremations was fused with that of individualistic weapon burials in the level ground cremation cemeteries of the 6th and 7th centuries. This resulted in a kind of bi-ritualism, where collective and individual cremation depositions were made in the same cemeteries side by side. This is interpreted as an indication of dualism in the conceptions of soul and ancestral existence, possibly related to status- and gender-related differentiation among the buried individuals. The male elite seems to have wished to express their status through individual burial rites. This tension seems to disappear during the 9th century, when the collective burial practice prevails. The next individual burials in the cemeteries are from the end of the Viking Age when occasional inhumation graves were dug in the cemetery. 


References

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