Job opening: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in palaeoecology in the research project Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD

Uppsala University hereby announces as vacant the following two-year position as  Postdoctoral Research Fellow in palaeoecology in the research project Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD at the Department of Archeology and Ancient History

The main objective of the Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD, project is to understand the role of Scandinavia’s forested inland in the larger historical developments that took place in northern Europe in the Iron Age and the Middle Ages (AD–1500 AD). Current research indicates that an increasing amount of goods from the forested region accumulated in the early central places, discoveries that challenge conventional understandings of the inland region. These discoveries do also point out a knowledge gap this project will address; how did the people in the forested inland structure their communities, landscapes and relations with the surrounding world? The proposed project will address these issues, by drawing upon a theoretical framework of niche construction, landscape domestication and entanglement, and by studying relict hotspots of biocultural heritage, which are visible remains of past practices in the landscape, in archaeological sites, in place names and as responses in the forests vegetation and soils. The project will challenge a prevailing view on the forested inland as marginal and situated outside the historical developments of Scandinavia. We forward the hypothesis that from early first millennium AD innovative, active and knowledgeable communities of the forested inland were socially and economically integrated into systems of trade and interaction with the worlds outside, which in turn became crucial components for Viking Age and early medieval state formation processes and early urbanisation.

In the project, archaeologists, biologists and palaeobotanists investigate the forest cultural landscape in inner Scandinavia with a combined perspective of visible remains of past activities in the landscape, in the form of archeological sites, place names and responses in forest vegetation and topography. The project analyses archaeological finds to identify resource and production areas, craft specialisation, trade hubs and end consumption areas. The results from our project will not only provide new knowledge about the historical events in Scandinavia during the Iron Age, the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, but also contribute to a better understanding of the forest’s biological heritage.

For additional information and for submitting an application, follow this link.