Memory through monuments: Movement and temporality in Skamby’s boat graves

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/337528
Title:
Memory through monuments: Movement and temporality in Skamby’s boat graves
Authors:
Williams, Howard ( 0000-0003-3510-6852 )
Abstract:
Boat inhumation graves were one among many ways by which waterborne craft were deployed in the mortuary arena in late first millennium AD Scandinavia: they might be represented on stone, burned, decommissioned or set adrift. Moreover, smaller craft and parts of craft might have been readily employed in inhumation and cremation practices far more than is revealed in the archaeological record. Further still, boats can be symbolised through boat-shaped stone-settings and their depiction on picture-stones (see Andrén 1993; Williams et al. 2010). Consequently there are strong grounds for seeing boat-inhumation as part of a diverse versatility in mortuary expression drawing upon water transportation as metaphor and medium. Yet within this diversity, I here contend that the high archaeological visibility of wealthy boat-inhumations was not an accident of archaeological preservation. Instead, I argue that boatinhumation was a strategic choice to exhibit and constitute a distinctive identity for the dead using a specific use of a maritime vessel in early medieval mortuary practice. Hence, as technologies of remembrance, boat-inhumations are the surviving archaeological traces of a distinctive chains of ritual acts by which the dead were selectively remembered and forgotten by survivors and interred unburned within a maritime craft (Williams 2001, 2006). Moreover, boatinhumation was a practice that rendered the grave persistent in the landscape as an ongoing place for memory work, prone to subsequent manipulations, whether sanctioned interventions by the survivors or plundering inspired by a range of motivations (e.g. Bill & Daly 2012).
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
In H. Alexandersson, A. Andreeff, & A. Bünz (Eds.), Med hjärta och hjärna. En vänbok till professor Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh (pp. 397-414). Göteborg, Sweden: Göteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för historiska studier, 2014.
Publisher:
Göteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för historiska studier
Publication Date:
2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/337528
Additional Links:
www.gu.se
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
Description:
This is the published version of the book chapter in Med hjärta och hjärna. En vänbok till professor Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh© 2014
Series/Report no.:
GOTARC Series A, Gothenburg archaeological studies; 5
ISSN:
1403-8293
ISBN:
9789185245577
Appears in Collections:
History and Archaeology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Howarden
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-22T14:49:11Zen
dc.date.available2014-12-22T14:49:11Zen
dc.date.issued2014en
dc.identifier.citationIn H. Alexandersson, A. Andreeff, & A. Bünz (Eds.), Med hjärta och hjärna. En vänbok till professor Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh (pp. 397-414). Göteborg, Sweden: Göteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för historiska studier, 2014.en
dc.identifier.isbn9789185245577en
dc.identifier.issn1403-8293en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/337528en
dc.descriptionThis is the published version of the book chapter in Med hjärta och hjärna. En vänbok till professor Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh© 2014en
dc.description.abstractBoat inhumation graves were one among many ways by which waterborne craft were deployed in the mortuary arena in late first millennium AD Scandinavia: they might be represented on stone, burned, decommissioned or set adrift. Moreover, smaller craft and parts of craft might have been readily employed in inhumation and cremation practices far more than is revealed in the archaeological record. Further still, boats can be symbolised through boat-shaped stone-settings and their depiction on picture-stones (see Andrén 1993; Williams et al. 2010). Consequently there are strong grounds for seeing boat-inhumation as part of a diverse versatility in mortuary expression drawing upon water transportation as metaphor and medium. Yet within this diversity, I here contend that the high archaeological visibility of wealthy boat-inhumations was not an accident of archaeological preservation. Instead, I argue that boatinhumation was a strategic choice to exhibit and constitute a distinctive identity for the dead using a specific use of a maritime vessel in early medieval mortuary practice. Hence, as technologies of remembrance, boat-inhumations are the surviving archaeological traces of a distinctive chains of ritual acts by which the dead were selectively remembered and forgotten by survivors and interred unburned within a maritime craft (Williams 2001, 2006). Moreover, boatinhumation was a practice that rendered the grave persistent in the landscape as an ongoing place for memory work, prone to subsequent manipulations, whether sanctioned interventions by the survivors or plundering inspired by a range of motivations (e.g. Bill & Daly 2012).en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherGöteborgs Universitet, Institutionen för historiska studieren
dc.relation.ispartofseriesGOTARC Series A, Gothenburg archaeological studiesen
dc.relation.ispartofseries5en
dc.relation.urlwww.gu.seen
dc.subjectSkambyen
dc.subjectmemoryen
dc.subjectVikingen
dc.subjectboat graveen
dc.subjectSwedenen
dc.subjectmovementen
dc.subjectcommemorationen
dc.subjectmonumentsen
dc.titleMemory through monuments: Movement and temporality in Skamby’s boat gravesen
dc.typeBook chapteren
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
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