Rituals of Rebellion: Cultural Narratives and Metadiscourse of Violent Conflict in Iron Age and Medieval Denmark
Author: Thurston, Tina L.
Source: Journal of Conflict Archaeology, Volume 3, Number 1, 2007 , pp. 267-293(27)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Despite modern notions of cultural homogeneity in southern Scandinavia, substantial ethnic differences characterized its Iron Age and early Medieval populations. Creation of a unified state from earlier social formations ignited rifts leading to social disorder, rebellion, and uprising during a transitional era when upper and lower classes felt these changes most sharply. Ethnohistoric evidence preserves a record of ritualized public performances by state and local leaders, revealing relationships that shifted between fear, negotiation, challenge, and defiance. This is compared against archaeological evidence of widespread, rapid changes in settlement organization in some regions, and relative stability in others, interpreted as outcomes of unsuccessful and successful challenges to state authority. Groups electing to use violent conflict in challenging the state, who also had histories of inter-group interaction, were better able to preserve autonomy than those attempting legalistic arguments and 'rational' negotiations. Data are interpreted in light of ethnographic case studies and contemporary social theory.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007