Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen
Associate Professor of Archaeology & PI ERC StG BODY-POLITICS
My research ranges topics from infancy, power and the powerless, to movement, dreams and the self in the past. It centres around three main axes of late prehistoric and early medieval Scandinavia: the entwinement between architecture and inhabitants; the complex relationships between the living and the dead; and politics of the body. Often, I have worked with the links between architectural spaces and human bodies, by considering how prehistoric houses are built by bodies, produce certain bodily experiences, can be conceptualised as bodies themselves - and how dead bodies, parts and whole, are linked to domestic space. I have a strong interest in the lived experiences of inequality and gender.
Listen here for an appearance on BBC World Radio on Valkyries and female Viking warriors; and here for an episode Viking silver. You can also learn more about my research in this piece for The Conversation.
2023- Philip Leverhulme Prize project Making Oddkin in European later Prehistory
2023- Co-investigator on The People of Norway, PI Ellen Royrvik (University of Bergen/Norwegian Institute of Public Health)
2021-2026 ERC Starting Grant Body-Politics: Death, Personhood, and Sexuality in the Iron and Viking Ages (project website)
2016-2020 Research Council of Norway/Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Archaeology of Dwelling: Architecture, Household, and Social Structure in Scandinavia, 1800BCE-1000CE
2019 Architecture, Society and Ritual in Viking Age Scandinavia. Doors, Dwellings, and Domestic Space. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Forthc./2023 Vikings in the Mediterranean. Edited by Neil Price, Marianne Hem Eriksen and Carsten Jankhe. The Norwegian Institute in Athens.
2020 Contrasts of The Nordic Bronze Age. Edited by K.I. Austvoll, M.H. Eriksen, A.L. Melheim, P.D. Fredriksen, L. Proesch-Danielsen and L. Skogstrand. Brepols, Turnhout.
2015 Viking Worlds. Things, spaces, and movement. Edited by M.H. Eriksen, U. Pedersen, B. Rundberget, I. Axelsen and H.L. Berg. Oxbow, Oxford. [Paperback ed. 2019]
Articles and book chapters
in press/2023 Houses as technology in the Viking Age and beyond. Invited chapter in: A Cultural History of Technology, edited by R. Magnusson, J. Alexander, A. Bix, S. Moon, W. Storey. Bloomsbury Academic, London
in press/2023 Of bodies and buildings: Rituals in the halls of the Vikings. In The Norse Sorceress: Mind and Materiality in the Viking World, edited by L. Gardeła, S. Bønding and P. Penz. Forthcoming with Oxbow, Oxford.
2022 Body-Worldings of Later Scandinavian Prehistory: Making Oddkin with Two Body-Objects. Current Swedish Archaeology 30(2022):65-94.
2022 (with K. Kay) Grievability and the more-than-human worlds of Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia: reflections on posthuman ethics. Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
2020 Dream-houses of the Late Iron and Viking Ages: The house and the self. In Re-imagining Periphery: Archaeology and text in northern Europe from Iron Age to Viking- and Early Medieval periods, edited by K. Ilves and C. Hillerdal. Oxbow, Oxford.
2020 Body-objects and personhood in the Iron and Viking Ages: processing, curating, and depositing skulls in domestic space, World Archaeology, 52(1), 103-119
2020 Bronze Age Houses and Households: Bridging top-down and bottom-up perspectives (Co-author: Knut Ivar Austvoll). In Contrasts of The Nordic World. Essays in honour of Christopher Prescott. Edited by K.I. Austvoll, A.L. Melheim, M.H. Eriksen, P.D. Fredriksen, and L. Skogstrand. Brepols, Turnhout.
2020 Time, Ritual, and Encounters in the Nordic World (co-authors;: K.I. Austvoll, P.D. Fredriksen, A.L. Melheim, L. Prøsch-Danielsen and L. Skogstrand) In: Contrasts of The Bronze Age: Time, Trajectories and Encounters in the Nordic World. Essays in honour of Christopher Prescott. Edited by K.I. Austvoll, M.H. Eriksen, P.D. Fredriksen, A.L. Melheim, L. Prøsch-Danielsen and L. Skogstrand, pp. 15-25. Brepols, Turnhou
2018 Embodied regulations. Searching for boundaries in the Viking Age. In Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: Between text and practice, edited by B.Hausmair, B.Jervis, R.Nugent and E.Williams. Berghan, Oxford/New York.
2017 Don't all mothers love their children? Deposited infants as animate objects in the Scandinavian Iron Age. World Archaeology 49(3): 338-356.
2016 Commemorating dwelling. The death and burial of houses in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia. European Journal of Archaeology 19(3): 477-496.
2016 Den enes død er den annens brød? Om kropp, mat og dødsforestillinger i skandinavisk jernalder. [One’s death, another’s bread? On body, food and concepts of death in Iron Age Scandinavia]. Arr – Idéhistorisk tidsskrift, 2016(2):49-59.
2015 The Power of the Ring. Door rings, oath rings, and the sacral place. In Viking Worlds. Things, movement, and spaces, edited by M.H. Eriksen, U. Pedersen, B. Rundberget, I. Axelsen and H. Berg, pp. 73–87. Oxbow, Oxford.
2014 Frihetens port. En reise gjennom fortidens dører. In Ja, vi elsker frihet, edited by S. Gullbekk, pp. 304–310. Dreyer, Oslo.
2013 Doors to the dead: The power of doorways and thresholds in Viking Age Scandinavia. Archaeological Dialogues 20(2):187-214.
If you are interested in doing a PhD with me, do not hesitate to get in touch! I am very happy to consider proposals, particularly including theoretical engagement with:
- Scandinavian later prehistory
- Archaeologies of architecture
- Viking Age archaeology
- The Scandinavian Iron Age
- Gender, sexuality and the body
I am also very happy to discuss visits from PhD students or postdocs from other institutions to join the Body-Politics team for a term.
Current PhD students
September 2022- Elisabeth Aslesen: Bodied Objects: Personhood and imagery on clothed objects from Norway in the first millennium CE (working title)
September 2022- Renate Larssen: Living with humans: How animals shaped early medieval Northern Europe (working title)
September 2022- Bradley Marshall: Gendered and social status disparities in the physical and social lifeways of children in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia (working title)
Past PhD students
2017-2020 Dr Claire Ratican (University of Cambridge, co-supervisor with Dr James Barrett): The Other Body: Persons in Multiple Burials in Viking Age Scandinavia and the Western Diaspora
Across the universities of Oslo, Cambridge, and Leicester I have taught a wide range of subjects, including: archaeological theory and methods; history of ideas in archaeology; Bronze Age archaeology; Iron Age archaeology; Viking Age archaeology; household archaeology: medieval archaeology; archaeology of death and burial; academic writing skills.
At the SAAH I have coordinated the following modules:
- AR1553 Early Prehistory
- AR1552 Later Prehistory
I contribute lectures to AR1005 An Introduction to World Archaeology AD.
From January 2023 I will be coordinating a new, optional third-year module AR3092 Bodies and Beings of the Viking Age. I also supervise undergraduate dissertations and PhD students.
Press and media
I am happy to be contacted by journalists about general questions about the Viking Age and Scandinavian prehistory, as well as gender, inequality and death and the body in first millennium Northern Europe.
- Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe (2021-)
- Member of the The National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains in Norway (2020-).
- Member of the Young Academy of Norway, under the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2017-2021).
- Member of the Advisory Board of The Viking Phenomenon, a ten-year research project at the University of Uppsala, headed by Distinguished Professor Neil Price (2016-).
- Editor for Scandinavia and Northern Europe, Open Archaeology (2017-)
- 2022 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Archaeology
- 2020 ERC Starting Grant
- 2017-2019 Research Fellow (non-stipendiary) at Clare Hall, Cambridge
- 2016 H.M. The King of Norway's gold medal for younger researchers of excellence
- 2016 Mobility Grant, Research Council of Norway/Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND