I bronsålderns gränsland Uppland och frågan om östliga kontakter
Sammanfattning: In archaeological research, the province of Uppland has often been viewed as the northern ‘periphery’ of the Nordic Bronze Age region. At the same time, many researchers have also emphasized the distinctive and ‘independent’ regional character of Uppland and northern Mälardalen. Throughout the twentieth century, Late Bronze Age contacts between Uppland and areas to the east – especially Finland, the Baltic countries and Russia – were much discussed and played an important role in the creation of Mälardalen as a distinctive Bronze Age region.This dissertation examines how images of the Late Bronze Age in the Mälardalen region, more specifically Uppland, have been formed from the late nineteenth century until today, and how views on eastern contacts have affected interpretations of Bronze Age Uppland.The study consists of three parts: 1) A critical discussion on political dimensions of archaeology and archaeological concepts of contact, interaction, similarity and difference, with a special focus on Bronze Age research. 2) A historical examination of representations of the Late Bronze Age in Mälardalen and Uppland, including a discussion about contacts with northern Sweden and a case study of Broby, a Late Bronze Age site near Uppsala. 3) An analysis of debates on contacts between Mälardalen and areas further to the east, through case studies of bronze axes, so-called Mälar celts and Ananino celts, ceramics and inhumation burials. In the analysis, special focus is placed on the Volga-Kama region in Russia and archaeological research in Russia and the Soviet Union.The study shows that discussions on contacts and interaction between ‘East’ and ‘West’ have, in many ways, been affected by the changing political situation during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Knowledge about archaeological research in Russia and the Soviet Union has been very limited among archaeologists in Sweden. In order to further investigate the character and importance of eastern contacts during the Late Bronze Age, more collaboration and exchange between researchers in the different countries is needed. Furthermore, in order to better understand eastern contacts, it is also necessary to investigate in greater depth the relations between Mälardalen and northern Sweden.
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