Håga in context – An analysis of the Håga complex in the Bronze Age landscape of the Mälar Valley region

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Arkeologi

Sammanfattning: The Bronze Age in Middle Sweden is characterized by several key sites and monuments which have been interpreted by previous research to play an overarching role in the elite ruling system in the Mälar Valley region. King Björn’s mound (a.k.a. the Håga mound) and the hillfort Predikstolen represent one of these complexes and has been referred to as a central hub for trading between the south and east as well as a central meeting point for alliance networks throughout the Mälar Valley region. The ritual importance of the site has been particularly relevant to discussions around the mound and accompanying cult house, Hågakyrkan, since the excavation of the mound in 1902-3 by Oscar Almgren. The investigation of the mound’s central cairn dated the monument to the Bronze Age Period IV, and resulted in the discovery of one of the most spectacular burials in Sweden, including gold and bronze artefacts indicative of connections with south Scandinavia, particularly Denmark, and a ritual role typified by Kristian Kristiansen’s institutional divisions of elites based on artefact assemblages. To understand how Håga and other Bronze Age sites have attained the label of ‘ritual’ places in the landscape, a discussion is included on previous research which has defined the parameters of sacred versus profane activity utilizing theories on identity as demonstrated through material expression explored by Kristian Kristiansen (1987, 2011) and Susanne Thedéen (2004). This thesis also utilizes the ritual practice theory defined by Catherine Bell (2009) to identify the repetitive traditions which define cultic practice during the Bronze Age in Middle Sweden in order to understand the unique phenomenon of Håga as compared to other sites in the Mälar Valley region: two sites with established cultic complexes (Broby and Skeke), and two sites characterized by industrial bronze production (Apalle and Hallunda). These sites were additionally chosen based on their position along a north-south inlet system which directly connected Lake Mälaren from the eastern Baltic sea to south Scandinavia and north-western Europe. A comparative analysis of the relevant features and finds of each site as well as a brief overview of the evidence of conflict in southern Scandinavia and Europe are used to contextualize the role Håga served leading up to and following construction of the Håga mound. The delimitations and potential uses of the results are included in the discussion

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