Förfädernas land : en arkeologisk studie av rituella lämningar i Sápmi, 300 f. Kr-1600 e. Kr

Sammanfattning: The main purpose of this thesis has been to study the ritual remains from the Sámi region, over an extended period of time. An analysis of when and why they first appeared, followed by a discussion of the changes and the continuity that occurs during this period of time which then is placed in relation to other social, economical and political processes that took place in northern Fenno Scandinavia during the iron age. The archaeological remains included in this study are Scree graves, lake graves, sacrificial sites, silver hoards and dwellings. Ring-shaped sacrificial sites and labyrinths are also discussed to some extent. The remains are firstly discussed on an individual basis and then in relation to each other and various other dimensions of community development in northern Scandinavia. From 300 BC – 400 AD, several of the ritual remains associated with developing Sámi identities appear for the first time, followed by a period with few discovered sites. There is an increase of archaeological finds from the Viking and Early Middle Ages, including many new ritual forms which can be linked to neighbouring societies increased economic interests in the region. There is a decrease in the number of sites from the 12th century AD and imported metal disappears from the ritual context. During the 14th century AD there is once again an increase in ritual activity, primarily in northern Norway, that appears to have moved to locations in the vicinity of dwelling sites. During the 17th century AD the ritual remains decrease over large parts of northern Scandinavia. One exception is the southern Sámi area, where numbers of characteristic Sámi ritual remains are seen to increase. Bear graves from as late as the 19th century AD have been found. The results demonstrate how rituals have been an important tool in not only creating and maintaining social and ethnical identities, uniting societies, creating opposition and causing change but also establishing bonds with other cultures or communities. Many of the changes that have taken place in the different ritual activities in the Sámi area have occurred at similar periods of time in other geographical regions of Sápmi.