Historical Archaeology in Sweden: from the Middle Ages to Modernity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The article outlines the origin and later transformation of Medieval Archaeology to Historical Archaeology, both as an antiquarian practice and as an academic subject, focusing on the development in Sweden since the 18th C. Where the concept of the Middle Ages defined the former subject, both its opportunities and its limitations, now Modernity has turned up as a new challenging concept. Archaeology has already seen a number of studies into Modernity or the process of modernization going right up to present. However, the Middle Ages and Modernity are both metaphors creating simplified images in our minds, which contribute to preserve the divide between different periods. When I have to choose between an archaeology of the Middle Ages and an archaeology of Modernity, I prefer Historical Archaeology with a rather open definition – the methodological meeting between objects, texts and images.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology


  • Historical Archaeology, Middle Ages, Modernity, Romanticism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedieval Archaeology in Scandinavia and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, trends and tomorrow. Proceedings of a conference to celebrate 40 years of medieval archaeology at Aarhus University, 26-27 October 2011
EditorsMette Svart Kristiansen, Else Roesdahl, James Graham-Campbell
Place of PublicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus Universitetsforlag
ISBN (Print)978 87 7124 378 9, 877124378X
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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