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Rituellt, traditionellt eller funktionellt: en osteologisk analys och jämförelse av två förromerska gravfält från Skogome i Bohuslän och Smörkullen i Östergötland
Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Ritual, traditional or functional : an osteological analysis and comparison of two pre-Roman burialgrounds, Skogome in Bohuslän and Smörkullen in Östergötland (English)
Abstract [en]

This paper concerns a comparative analysis between two pre-Roman burial ground and the cremated individuals buried there, Skogome cemetery in Bohuslän and Smörkullen cemetery in Östergötland. The comparative analysis consists of several parts that concern both cemeteries inner and outer burial customs, and the osteological analysis of a total of 18 cremated invidvidulas. By studying the different parts separately, it has been possible to identify similarities and differences between the two contemporary cemeteries. There are great similarities between the cemeteries, differences were mainly observed in the osteological material relating to the amount of bone in each burial. The smaller amounts of bone in the graves of Skogome also holds a higher degree of fragmentation, but can not be explained by a higher combustion rate than the skeletal material from Smörkullen. This may indicate differences in the management of the individual’s remains after the cremation at the two sites. According to Borgström (1973) all agegroups probably buried in the cemetery Smörkullen, which also was observed trough the osteological analysis of the graves from Skogome. No gender assessments have been conducted since the methods have shown a need to further development in order to be applied on cremated individuals (Franzen 2011). Thus, questions about the gender distribution of the two grave fields remain unanswered. Mortality, health and gender assessments within of the two populations may be performed if the remaining graves from the burial grounds were further studied. The osteological analysis showed similar skeletal lesions of degenerative changes in the vertebraes in the two skeletal materials.The larger proportion of the graves contained no today preserved archaeological artefacts. The artefacts that occur are mainly different tools and costume details. The discussion has been an attempt to interpret these similarities and differences in order to identify if they could have a ritual, traditional or functional background. A clear distinction has been difficult. The analysis requires larger archaeological contexts, and further comparisons before this can be done. Local differences have been observed, but the great similarity between of the two burial grounds reflects the pre-Roman Iron Age expression in the mortuary traditions of the two populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 45 p.
Keyword [sv]
Cremations, comparative analysis, pre- Roman iron age, mortuary traditions
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1356OAI: diva2:505078
Subject / course
Educational program
One-year master in archaeology
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-02-23 Created: 2012-02-22 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Franzén, Emelie
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School of Culture, Energy and Environment

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