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Sword parts and their depositional contexts - Symbols in Migration and Merovingian Period martial society
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
2013 (English)In: Fornvännen, ISSN 0015-7813, Vol. 108, no 2, 109-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A key feature of swords from the Migration and Merovingian Periods is that they consist of many different parts, as recently highlighted by the discovery of the Staffordshire hoard. This paper seeks to understand sword parts and their depositional contexts by interpreting them as symbols of kleptocracy, animated by their object biographies in a martial society. This is done by evaluating four important finds from Sweden: a stray intact sword from Scania, a cremation grave from Heberg in Halland, a wetland deposit from Snosback in Vastergotland, and the settlement finds from Uppakra in Scania. The presence of the various different parts varies substantially in the different kinds of contexts. In particular, the Uppakra settlement is missing hundreds of sword parts that ought to have been there given the professional excavations and systematic metal-detecting over many years there. This allows for the interpretation of the Uppakra sword parts as the remains of a battlefield of about AD 600 where most of the sword parts were removed from the site shortly after the battle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 108, no 2, 109-122 p.
National Category
History and Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207124ISI: 000323018600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-207124DiVA: diva2:646926
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-09 Last updated: 2013-09-10Bibliographically approved

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