Femke and my book project continues!

The eleventh interview conducted for the new book project Cremation in the Early Middle Ages took place recently, exploring the cremation practices of southern Denmark focusing on the emporium of Ribe. Our interviewee is a leading expert in Viking-period archaeology: Dr Sarah Croix of Aarhus University.

This innovative edited collection will address, for the first time, the latest ideas and approaches to burning the dead in the Early Middle Ages, spanning North West Europe.

I am editing this book with Femke Lippok (Leiden University). It will be distinctive in being collated via structured interviews.

To date, we have interviewed a wide range of expert archaeologists, including relatively new voices, exploring cremation practices in early medieval Ireland, Britain, Continental Europe and Fennoscandia.

Check out the reports on interviews with the previous ten contributors here:

Sarah introduced us to the exciting new evidence for mortuary practices via both inhumation and cremation found from Ribe. She set this evidence in the wider context of not only southern Denmark but the broader North Sea littoral.

Our discussion moved from this broader geographical context of varied and intersecting mortuary procedures shared between and across well-connected maritime communities, to the specifics of the mortuary practices found at Ribe.

Sarah reflected on the significance of death rituals and the cemetery in relation to the emerging status and significance of the emporium.

Cremation was not only a key component of the early medieval communities mortuary procedures; Sarah introduced us to how her data sheds fresh light on the significance of the dead for the living, and human-animal relationships, in early medieval societies.