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Manifestations of identity in burial: evidence from Viking-Age graves in the North Atlantic diaspora

McGuire, Erin-Lee Halstad (2010) Manifestations of identity in burial: evidence from Viking-Age graves in the North Atlantic diaspora. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

In the early Middle Ages, when settlers began to leave Scandinavia to find new homes for themselves and their families, they began a process that impacted their lives dramatically. Research on modern population movements has demonstrated that migration-induced stresses change the lives of immigrants, and shape how they adapt to their new homes. Migration affects societies and people in a number of ways: it changes family and household organisation; gender relations and roles shift; and general social and cultural structures are altered through the integration of different practices and beliefs. While the identification of the societal changes caused by migration has been the focus of research in a number of fields, it has yet to be directly addressed in archaeology. This thesis seeks to examine the ways in which various social identities were displayed through funerary rituals and the associated material culture in the Norse North Atlantic, and to identify how these changed through the course of migration. The analysis is conducted by comparing burial data collected from two regions of Norway, representing the homeland of the migrants, and Scotland and Iceland, representing two critical destination points. Approximately 500 graves are catalogued and assessed using multivariate statistics. Six case studies, selected from the study areas, are used for comparative purposes. The analysis of the overall data-set and the case study sites indicates that there are key differences between the homeland and the communities of the Viking diaspora. Moreover, the results indicate that the circumstances of migration, such as location, resource availability, and the presence of a local population, results in society changing in different, yet significant, ways: gendered burial practices are altered; new manifestations of traditional rites appear; and migrant identities emerge.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Viking, Norse North Atlantic, migration, archaeology, mortuary ritual, burial, identity, gender
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Batey, Dr. Colleen
Date of Award: 2010
Embargo Date: 10 June 2014
Depositing User: Mrs Erin-Lee McGuire
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1736
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2013 10:28
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1736

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