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A restless medieval? Archaeologies and saga-steads in the Viking Age North Atlantic

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Oscar Aldred


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We examine the relationship between historical places as they are conventionally understood in archaeology and the mobilities that were constituently important to them. We situate this discussion in Iceland, where medieval literary sources, like the sagas, were transferred to and fixed in the nineteenth century landscape and resulted in a static view of history that has influenced archaeological conceptualizations of the past in general. Drawing on research in Iceland, we explore ways in which archaeology can move beyond the investigation of fixed places by integrating past and present mobilities into our subjects and practices. We seek a resolution in a dialogue between place- and mobility-oriented subjects that could maintain a dynamic past by allowing mobilities to exist alongside the structuring forces that have produced, iterated, and fixed material in landscapes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bolender D, Aldred O

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies

Year: 2013

Volume: 4

Issue: 2

Pages: 136-149

Print publication date: 01/07/2013

ISSN (print): 2040-5960

ISSN (electronic): 2040-5979

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.


DOI: 10.1057/pmed.2013.10


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