Högskolans skriftserier

Röster från ingenmansland

En identitetsarkeologi i ett maritimt mellanrum

Omslag för Röster från ingenmansland: En identitetsarkeologi i ett maritimt mellanrum

Törnqvist, Oscar

Archaeological investigations into late iron age and medieval coastal soci­eties in Sweden have been focusing on a maritime culture, a traditional coastal and island-dwelling fisher-farmer and activities centered on fishing in a long maritime tradition as well as a specific maritime identity and ha­bi­tus. By deconstructing commonly used concepts and by using primarily written sources, it is here shown that there is a need for putting this culture and its agents into perspective by opening up the history of the maritime interspace and let in previously overlooked or disregarded historical actors in the narrative field dominated by men and landed farmers, such as landless, powerless, strangers, foreig­ners and women.

The coast is shown to have been an arena for opportunism, societal expansion under landed gentry, nodes for pro­cure­ment and social oppression and focal points for inter-cultural contacts, trade, networking and self-realization and that the role of the islands and the “fisheries” was constantly remolded to fit different power strategies.

Through a series of case studies, seldom discussed social relations, social groups and social predicaments are unmasked and discussed; the relation between norse and proto-Saami cultures, the role of women in fishing, em­ploy­ment of the poor or serfs, of incentives by strangers and foreig­ners. Many localities speak of con­flict, struggle and self-sought or forced marginal­ization; the emer­­gence of taxa­tion and the control of fishing, piracy and insurgency but also of exile, reclusion and asceticism. Running through history there has been a dicho­tomy and tension between the workforce and the benefactor, between small-scale and large-scale maritime procurement, between cooper­ation and con­flict and between the meeting place and the hidden refuge.

To conclude, the study sketches the ethno genesis of the hitherto “fisher-farmer” and exposes a wider set of actors and their strategies in the maritime space and ends with advocating a series of potentially fruitful research frameworks of study; cultural niches in the maritime environment, actor geographies in the out­back, the use of maritime produce in societal transformations, and to further investigate the harsh, hidden or exposed, islands as places for sociocultural and economical strategies with profound social, psychological and spiritual impact.

Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2019. 450 sidor.

ISBN 978-91-88663-76-4

Serie: Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, 1652-7399 ; 167

Serie: Södertörn Archaeological Studies, 1652-2559 ; 14

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