The Woman Behind It All. Searching for Social Roles of Women in Late Iron Age Central Blekinge
Sammanfattning: With the aim of widening the picture of a Late Iron Age warrior society in central Blekinge by studying the social role of its women, female cremation burials have been identified and their material studied. Artefacts and their combinations have been interpreted and their suggested meanings compared with contemporary iconography as well as with Anglo-Saxon and Norse literary sources. The grave material being unevenly distributed over time still indicates a concentration of relatively wealthy burials at the cemetery of Kasakulle in the Vendel Period which in the Viking Age spreads to that of Hjortahammar. Among the social roles of women found in iconography and literature, particularly the functions of mothers of heirs and ladies of the house or manor seem to be well represented in the grave material of the local society. These functions are found to have their ideological roots in Early Iron Age Germanic warrior societies and imply the importance of women for social and political stability, economy, production and reproduction.
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