Entrusted to the flames – The ritual technologies of Viking Age cremations

Project: ResearchIndividual research project

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Archaeology


  • Cremation, Graves, Viking Age, Ritual practice, Taphonomy, Posthumous treatment, Physical anthropology


The aim of this project is to understand the variability of Viking Age cremation practices. By employing various taphonomic, archaeometric and bioarchaeological approaches, it explores the ritual procedures and technologies involved in Viking Age cremations—the pyre technologies used when burning the cadavers; the physical places of cremation; the fragmentation and selection of body-parts, artefacts and other substances; the posthumous treatment and circulation of these substances as well as post-depositional activities. The goal is to reach a closer understanding of the materialities, corporeal experiences and sensory modalities of cremation, and in extension the intersections between ritual practices, social identities, eschatological beliefs and memory politics in the Viking Age.
Effective start/end date2019/01/012024/12/31