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Humans and animals in the Norse North Atlantic

Hogg, Lara 2015. Humans and animals in the Norse North Atlantic. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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It is a well-established fact that all human societies have coexisted with and are dependent upon animals and it is increasingly recognized that the study of human-animal relationships provides vital insights into past human societies. Still this is yet to be widely embraced in archaeology. This thesis has examined human-animal interdependencies to explore the social identities and structure of society in the Norse North Atlantic. Benefitting from recent research advances in animal studies and the ever increasing volume of archaeological reports from Norse period archaeological excavations the North Atlantic this thesis was able to develop previous scholarship and define directions for future research. The thesis explored the role of animals in human society in the North Atlantic to reveal the complex Norse societies that existed. It revealed through human interdependencies with animals that these societies were far from homogeneous and had their own distinct identities with the individual islands as well as across the North Atlantic. The thesis achieved this by examining several important discrete but interlinked themes. These themes were divided into four chapters that focused on the individual aspects. This included an examination of previous North Atlantic Viking Age scholarship, consideration of human construction and perception of landscape through archaeological excavations, investigation of the role of domestic animals in human social activities, and an exploration of the role of domesticated animals in beliefs. Although these are all connected the structure of the thesis was deliberately chosen to restrict repetition, although given the interconnected nature of human social identities, society and worldview this was not entirely possible. This thesis addressed some of the most fundamental questions in Norse archaeology. Notably, through examination of human-animal interdependencies, it provided a detailed insight into how Norse society understood and perceived the world, and consequently the structure of Norse society and social identities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 April 2016
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 16:36

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