Homelands Lost and Gained : Slavic Migration and Settlement on Bornholm in the Early Middle Ages

Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis examines early medieval Slavic migration to the island of Bornholm (Denmark). With a combination of interdisciplinary theories and approaches, which focus on human translocation and memory and identity construction, a holistic approach to the studies of migration in archaeology is proposed. It is argued that in order to address cases of migration it is necessary to consider the historical and social context that preceded such movements as well as to pay attention to the processes ensuing migration. Thus in this study attention is given to the contemporaneous historical events in the western parts of the Baltic Sea, which is followed by archaeological analyses of remains of household activities, burial rituals and objects related to female and male dress. These analyses form the basis for a discussion on the possible effects of resettlement on the creation of immigrant identity, immigrants’ perception of themselves, and their positioning between the homelands that they have recently lost and the new landscapes that they found themselves in. This thesis addresses several fundamental questions related to archaeological research on migration as well as to the processes that follow human translocations. The study considers how to approach prehistoric and early historical migrations in archaeology to account for the complexity of the subject. Inspired by the theory of practice and phenomenological thinking questions related to the role and the nature of routines, habits and everyday interactions with material things in human life and the way they might have been affected by translocation are touched upon. The process of “translation” of a foreign landscape into a homeland is also explored in the dissertation.

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