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Storied Lines: Network Perspectives on Land Use in Early Modern Iceland
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2018 (English)In: Norwegian Archaeological Review, ISSN 0029-3652, E-ISSN 1502-7678, Vol. 51, no 1-2, p. 112-141Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is a truism nowadays to say that an archaeological site is embedded in extensive networks of relations. Connectivity has played a role in archaeological thinking for a considerable amount of time, and the adoption by archaeologists of both theoretical and methodological frameworks centring connectivity has become widespread. One such example is network analysis, which has seen a significant surge in interest within the field over the past two decades. Archaeological network analysis is far from a mature science, however, and the character of the archaeological record tends to yield networks with richly contextualised nodes connected by ties that, in stark contrast, are often based on very limited evidence for connectivity. Furthermore, archaeological networks are often accompanied by limited discussion about the implications for a connection between two sites interpreted through a commonality in material culture. In particular, the use of historical records to contextualise the interactions between sites remains somewhat uncommon. This paper takes an archaeo-historical network perspective by characterising land-use practices in early modern Iceland by mapping property records describing relations of ownership, resource claims and social obligations alongside comprehensive field archaeological surveys as extensive networks of interdependence between the known farmstead sites occupied at the time. This approach shows that these vibrant networks, documented both spatially and historically, regularly show signs of emergent properties. As these intersite relations begin to exert their own agency, the networks are cut, and the network lines begin to bundle up in knots and entanglements. The study, therefore, does not aim to quantify the presented networks using formal network analysis, but to use the networks as a starting point to investigate the properties that emerge as people aim to enact and materialise networks of property rights, resource claims and exchange.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 51, no 1-2, p. 112-141
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-155254DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2018.1468355ISI: 000454447800014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-155254DiVA, id: diva2:1278308
Available from: 2019-01-14 Created: 2019-01-14 Last updated: 2019-10-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Storied lines: using historical documentation to characterize archaeological connectivity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Storied lines: using historical documentation to characterize archaeological connectivity
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As the title suggests, this thesis applies historical documentation as a connective tissue to link together the main conceptual classes in Iceland’s largest SMR, Ísleif. These are the roughly 6000 historic farmsteads used as a classification scheme in Johnsen’s 1847 land census Jarðatal Johnsens. This thesis has three main components. It is primarily an infrastructural work, and most of the time spent on the thesis went into building the underlying database, made in a way to be accessible to a wide audience and integrated with related research infrastructures already in place and in development. Secondly, it is a methodological work, as the highly detailed inter-site relationships encoded in the infrastructure allowed me to model highly contextual networks, which in turn enabled me to develop new methods for modelling archaeo-historical networks by using the computational ontology CIDOC-CRM. Finally, the historiographical component of the thesis investigates the role of networks of interactions between farmsteads in early 18th century Iceland, and more specifically the role of resource claim networks in land use during the post-Reformation and earlier periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2019. p. 54
Series
Archaeology and environment, ISSN 0281-5877 ; 32
Keywords
archaeology, iceland, history, 18th century, network analysis, postgis, cidoc-crm, assemblage theory, archaeoinformatics, network
National Category
Archaeology History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-164761 (URN)978-91-7855-132-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-11-22, S104, Samhällsvetarhuset, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-01 Created: 2019-10-30 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Palsson, Gisli

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