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

SCANDINAVIAN LATE VIKING AGE ART STYLES AS A PART OF THE VISUAL DISPLAY OF WARRIORS IN 11TH CENTURY ESTONIA; pp. 118–139

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/arch.2012.2.02

Author
Indrek Jets

Abstract

The article examines the archaeological finds from Estonia that are decorated in Scandinavian Late Viking Age ornamental styles. The majority of such finds come from burials in local fashion. The aim of the article is to outline the role of Scandinavian ornament in culture, social strategies, ideology and identity of the local society. Belt fittings and silver-plated weapons comprise the largest part of such finds. While the belt fittings often show simplified patterns, pure Scandinavian style ornament is found on weapons. The current article aims to propose a connection between warfare and warrior culture and the usage of Scandinavian ornament in Estonia. This martial link is found to coincide with the meanings proposed for animal ornament in Scandinavia. In Estonia, the fashion to decorate weapons was most widely spread in the time of Ringerike and Urnes styles. In that period, decorated weapons may have had a specific role in social strategies, probably implying the rise in position of the warrior strata. The article also discusses international relations as the background for the adoption of Scandinavian ornament. The gender aspect is mentioned, as the Scandinavian ornament associates with the male warrior role, while different symbolic languages were used in female attire. The Late Viking Age Scandinavian ornament in Estonia is seen as the visual display of the identity of warriors’ social class and the affiliation of Estonian warriors with the Scandinavian cultural sphere, while the local identity was manifested mainly by some types of female jewellery.


References

Andren, A. 2006. A world of stone. Warrior culture, hybridity and old Norse cosmology. – Old Norse Religion in Long Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes and Interactions. Eds A. Andren,
K. Jennbert & C. Raudvere. Nordic Academic Press, Lund, 33–38.

Antejn, A. K. 1973. = Антейн А. К. Дамасская сталь в странах бассейна Балтийского моря. Зинатне, Рига.

Baeksted, A. 2001. Põhjamaade jumalad ja kangelased. Tänapäev, Tallinn.

Callmer, J. 2000. The archaeology of the early Rus c. A.D. 500–900. (Mediaeval Scandinavia, 13.) Odense University Press, Odense, 7–63.

Christiansen, E. 1992. The Works of Svend Aggesen. Twelft Century Danish Historian. Translated with introduction and notes by Eric Christiansen. Viking Society for Northern Research, University College London.

Creutz, K. 2003. Tension and Tradition. A Study of Late Iron Age Spearheads aruond the Baltic Sea. (Theses and Papers in Archaeology N.S.A., 8.) Stockholm.

Dickinson, T. 2005. Symbols of Protection. The Significance of Animal Ornamented Shields in Early Anglo-Saxon England. (Medieval Archaeology, 49.) London.

Domeij Lundborg, M. 2006. Bound animal bodies. Ornamention and scaldic poetry in the process of Cristianization. – Old Norse Religion in Long Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes and Interactions. Eds A. Andren, K. Jennbert & C. Raudvere. Nordic Academic Press, Lund, 39–44.

Ebert, M. 1914. Zu Beziehungen der Ostseeprovinzen mit Scandinavien in der ersten Hälfte des 11. Jhs. – Baltische Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte; Arbeiten des Baltischen Vorbereitenden Komitees für den 16. Archäologischen Kongress in Pleskau, 1914. Hrsg. von der Gesellschaft für Geschichte und Altertumskunde der Ostseeprovinzen Russlands. G. Reimer, Berlin, 117–139.

Gräslund, A.-S. 2006a. Dating the Swedish Viking-Age rune stones on stylistic grounds. – Runes and Their Secrets: Studies in Runology. Museum Tusculanum Press, Copenhagen, 117–139.

Gräslund, A.-S. 2006b. Wolves, serpent, and birds. Their symbolic meaning in Old Norse beliefs. – Old Norse Religion in Long Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes and Interactions. Eds A. Andren, K. Jennbert & C. Raudvere. Nordic Academic Press, Lund, 124–129.

Halsall, G. 2003. Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450–900. Routledge, London.

Härke, H. 1997. Early Anglo-Saxon military organisation: an archaeological perspective. – Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society. Eds A. Norgard Jorgensen & B. L. Clausen. (Publications from the National Museum, vol. 2.) Copenhagen, 93–101.

Hauck, K. 1983. Text und Bild in einer oralen Kultur. Antworten auf die zeugniskritische Frage nach der Erreichbarkeit mündlicher Überlieferung im frühen Mittelalter. – Zur Iikonologie der Goldbrakteaten, XXV. (Frühmittelalterliche Studien. Jahrbuch des Institutes für Frühmittelalter­forschung der univärsität Münster, 17. band.) Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, 510–645.

HCL = Henriku Liivimaa kroonika. Translated by R. Kleis. Edited and commented by E. Tarvel. Eesti Raamat, Tallinn, 1982.

Hedeager, L. 1998. Cosmological endurance: pagan identities in Early Christian Europe. – European Journal of Archaeology, 1: 3, 382–396.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/146195719800100305

Hedeager, L. 2000. Skandinavisk dyreornamentik: symbolsk repræsentation af en før-kristen kosmologi. – Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society. Proceedings of the 11th International Saga Conference 2–7 July 2000, University Sidney. Eds G. Barnes & M. Clunies Ross. Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sidney, Sidney.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, C. 2006a. The Birka Warrior. The Material Culture of a Martial Society. Stockholm University, Stockholm.

Hedenstierna-Jonson, C. 2006b. Borre style metalwork in the material culture of the Birka warriors. – Fornvännen, 101, 312–322.

Høilund Nielsen, K. 2000. The political geography of sixth- and seventh-century southern and eastern Scandinavia on the basis of material culture. – Archaeologia Baltica, 4, 161–172.

Horn Fuglesang, S. 1980. Some Aspects of the Ringerike Style. A Phase of 11th Century Scandinavian Art. Odense University Press, Odense.

Jakobsson, M. 1992. Krigarideologi och vikingatida svärdstypologi. (Stockholm Studies in Archaeology, 11.) Stockholm.

Khvoshchinskaya, N. V. 2004. = Хвощинская Н. B. Финны на западе Новгородской земли (По материалам могильника Залахтовье). Издательство “Дмитрий Буланин”, Санкт Петербург.

Kirpichnikov, A. N. & Kainov, S. Yu. 2001. = Кирпичников А. Н. & Каинов С. Ю. Меч с рельефными украшениями рукоятки из раскопок Гнёздовского могильника. – Гнёздово. 125 лет исследования памятника. (Труды ГИМ, № 124.) Mocквa, 68–72.

Lang, V. 2007. Baltimaade pronksi- ja rauaaeg. Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, Tartu.

Lang, V. 2011. Traceless death. Missing burials in Bronze and Iron Age Estonia. – EJA, 15: 2, 109–129.

Larson, L. M. 1912. Canute the Great (995–1035) and the Rise of Danish Imperialism during the Viking Age. New York, London.

Lehtosalo-Hilander, P.-L. 1982. Luistari II. The Artefacts. (SMYA, 82: 2.) Helsinki.

Lehtosalo-Hilander, P.-L. 1985. Viikinkiajan aseista – leikkejä luvuilla ja lohikäärmeillä. – Suomen Museo, 5–36.

Leimus, I. 2007. Sylloge of Islamic Coins. Estonian Public Collections. (Thesaurus Historiae, II.) Tallinn.

Leppäaho, J. 1964. Späteisenzeitliche Waffen aus Finnland. Schwertinschriften und Waffenverzierung des 9.–12. Jahrhunderts. (SMYA, LXI.) Helsinki.

Ligi, P. 1995. Ühiskondlikest oludest Eesti alal hilispronksi- ja rauaajal. – Eesti arheoloogia historiograafilisi, teoreetilisi ja kultuuriajaloolisi aspekte. Ed. V. Lang. (MT, 3.) Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus, Tallinn, 182–270.

Loorits, O. 1990. Eesti rahvausundi maailmavaade. 3. trükk. Perioodika, Tallinn.

Luik, H. 1998. Ovaalsõled Eestis – importesemed mitmest piirkonnast. – EAA, 2, 3–17.

Lundström, A. 1983. Vendel and the Vendel Period. – Vendel Period Studies. Transcriptions of the Boat-Grave Symposium in Stockholm, February 2–3, 1981. Eds J. P. Lamm & H.-A. Nordström. Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm, 105–108.

Mägi, M. 1997. Eesti merovingi- ja viikingiaegsed rinnanõelad – võõrapärased ja omad. – EAA, 1, 26–83.

Mägi, M. 2002. At the Crossroads of Space and Time. Graves, Changing Society and Ideology on Saaremaa (Ösel), 9th–13th Centuries AD. (CCC papers, 6.) Visby University Colleague, Institute of History, Tallinn.

Mägi, M. 2011a. Ösel and Danish Kingdom: Revisiting Henry’s Chronicle and the archaeological evidence. – Crusading and Chronicle Writing on the Medieval Baltic Frontier. A Companion to the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia. Eds M. Tamm, L. Kaljundi & C. Selch Jensen. Ashgate, Farnham, Burlington, 317–341.

Mägi, M. 2011b. Viking Age and early mediaval Eastern Baltic between the West and the East. – Taxes, Tributes and Tributary Lands in the Making of the Scandinavian Kingdoms in the Middle Ages. Ed. S. Imsen. (“Norgesveldet”, Occasional papers, No. 2.) Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, 189–233.

Mägi-Lõugas, M. 1993. On the relations between the countries around the Baltic as indicated by the background of Viking Age spearhead ornament. – Fornvännen, 4, 211–221.

Mägi-Lõugas, M. 1995. Eesti viikingiaegsed käevõrud ja nende ornament. – Eesti arheoloogia historiograafilisi, teoreetilisi ja kultuuriajaloolisi aspekte. Ed. V. Lang. (MT, 3.) Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus, Tallinn, 271–325.

Mandel, M. 1991. Eesti 8.–13. sajandi mõõkade tüpoloogiast ja dateerimisest. – Arheoloogiline kogumik. Eds L. Jaanits & V. Lang. (MT, 1.) Tallinn, 101–133.

Mandel, M. 2003. Läänemaa 5.–13. sajandi kalmed. Eesti ajaloomuuseum. (Töid ajaloo alalt, 5.) Tallinn.

Mikhailov, K. 2007. Uppland-Gotland-Novgorod. Russian-Swedish relations in the Late Viking Age on the basis of studies of belt mountings. – Cultural Interaction between East and West. Archaeology, Artefacts and Human Contacts in Nothern Europe. Stockholm University, 205–211.

Molainen, M. 2010. Katsaus korjausten ja käytön jälkiin Suomen rautakauden miekkalöydöissä. Muinaistutkija, 4, 2–13.

Mugurevičs, Ē. 1994. Piekariņi ar t. s. Rjurikoviču cilts zīmi Latvijā 11.–13. gs. – Arheoloģia un Etnogrāfija, XVII, 76–83.

Murasheva, V. V. 2000. = Мурашева B. B. Древнерусские наборные ременные украшения (Х–ХIII вв.). Эдиториал УРСС, Москва.

Nerman, B. 1929. Die Verbindungen zwischen Scandinavien und dem Ostbaltikum in der jüngeren Eisenzeit. (Kungliche Vitterhets Historie Och Antikvitets Akademien Handlingar, 40: 1.) Stockholm.

Nordberg, A. 2002. Vertikalt placerade vapnen i vikingatida gravar. – Fornvännen, 97, 15–24.

Nylén, E. 1973. Finskt, gotlänskt eller nordiskt. Kring ett ovanligt exempel pa sen runstenornamentik. – SMYA, 75 (Honos Ella Kivikoski), 161–168.

Nylén, E. 1978. Bildstenar i Gotlands fornsal. Barry Press Förlag, Visby.

Owen, O. 2001. ‘The strange beast that is the English Urnes style’. Vikings and the Danelaw. –Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Viking Congress, Nottingham and York,
21–30 August 1997. Eds J. Graham-Campbell, R. Hall, J. Jesch & D. N. Parsons. Oxbow, Oxford, 203–222.

Petersen, J. 1919. De norske vikingesverd: En typologisk-kronologisk studie over vikingetidens vaben. Kristiania.

Price, N. S. 2002. The Viking Way. Religion and War in Late Iron Age Scandinavia. (Aun, 31.) Uppsala.

Saxo Grammaticus. Taanlaste vägiteod. Translation and preface by A. Saluäär, ed. L. Uustalu. (Loomingu Raamatukogu, 2000, 8–10.) Tallinn.

Ström, F. 1974. Nid, Ergi and Old Norse Moral Attitudes. The Dorothea Coke Memorial Lecture in Northern Studies Delivered at Univesity College London 10 May 1973. Published for the College by the Viking Society for Northern Research. London. T.&A. Constable Ltd., Edinburgh.

Tamla, Ü. 1995. Scandinavian influences on the Estonian silver ornaments of the 9th–13th centuries. – Archaeology East and West of the Baltic. Papers from the Second Estinian-Swedish Archaeological Symposium Sigtuna; May 1991. Ed. I. Jansson. (Theses and Papers in N.S.A., 7.) Stockholm, 91–97.

The Saga of Cormac the Skald. http://sagadb.org/files/html/kormaks_saga.en.html (25.01.2012).

Thunmark-Nylén, L. 1998. Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands, II. Typentafeln, Stockholm.

Tomanterä, L. 1978. Kaksi Köyliön miekkahautaa. Vanhakartanon C-kalmiston haudat XVI ja XVII. (Moniste, 16.) Helsingin Yliopiston Arkeologian Laitos, Helsinki.

Tõnisson, E. 1974. Die Gauja-Liven und ihre materielle Kultur (11. Jh. – Anfang 13. Jhs). Ein Beitrag zur Ostbaltische Frühgeschichte. Eesti Raamat, Tallinn.

Tvauri, A. 2012. The Migration Period, Pre-Viking Age, and Viking Age in Estonia. (Estonian Archaeology, 4.) Tartu University Press, Tartu.

 


Back to Issue