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

RITUAL DEPOSITION OF ANIMALS IN LATE IRON AGE FINLAND: A CASE-STUDY OF THE MULLI SETTLEMENT SITE IN RAISIO; pp. 161–185

Full article in PDF format | https://doi.org/10.3176/arch.2017.2.04

Authors
Auli Bläuer, Sonja Hukantaival

Abstract

The paper discusses the remains of domestic animals showing signs of ritual deposition at the settlement site of Mulli at Raisio in south-western Finland, dating to the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval period. Initially, a singly deposited sheep found under the wall of a building had been interpreted as ritually buried. While selecting samples for another study the curious nature of other deposits of domestic animals at the site became apparent and a re-analysis was conducted. This paper presents the results of the osteological re-examination and discusses indicators of ritual activity at the site. In fact, the site exhibits evidence of repeated rituals involving sheep cut to small chunks and bones buried at the homestead. Since organic material seldom preserves in the local soil, Mulli offers a unique glimpse into the ritual practices involving animal remains in Late Iron Age Finland. Although previous studies suggest that Christian beliefs were already changing the burial practices of the Mulli dwellers, domestic rituals remained important in their worldview.


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