Dr. Maria Petersson

For the last 20 years I work at Arkeologerna, Statens Historiska Museer, Linköping as a project leader specializing in Early Iron Age, settlements and landscape. My dissertation Grazing and animal husbandry during late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, from 2006 treats these phenomena from a landscape perspective. The source material used stems from archaeological excavations and is combined with results from the natural sciences. I am presently coordinator for the scientific network Man and landscape at Arkeologerna. I am also a member of the International Sachen Symposion.

Previously I worked at different museums in Sweden, Scandinavia and northern Europe. For some years I worked at the national Survey, something that generated a profound interest in the landscape as a frame for interpretation.

Archaeological methods and the use of the natural sciences to illuminate the questions we pose about details as well as society as a whole has always been a great interest of mine. I particularly am interested in combining information from the micro and macro level while working with archaeological material.

During the 1990s I was involved in the development of new methods for excavation fossil fields in connection to a series of large-scale excavations. Through these methods Roman Age kitchen plots were later identified at some sites in the Linköping area. During the last few years I have been involved in renewed development of methods for excavation fossil fields in connections with excavations of clearance cairn fields in Småland and Skåne.

I also have a great interest in Iron Age settlements and have headed a series of such excavations. One of these was Abbetorp, where a study of hearths/cooking-pits was conducted. Some of this work is presented in my thesis. At Hulje a farm from the Early Roman Iron Age, specialized in dairy production was excavated. Such specialization probably happened within a manorial-like local system.

These last years I have also worked with ritual places with a distinct connection to the local Iron Age community. The connection between the arable and grazing-lands on the one hand and re-occurring ritual actions on the other was evident at one site. Underlying themes were fertility, the connection to ancestor land and land rights. The field work at this site was theory driven, and involved testing new methods of excavation and a broad spectrum of scientific methods.

Aside from my employment I have, together with a colleague, a project aiming at the study of the major changes taking place in settlement and landscape during the Migration Period in the Linköping area. My part of this work focuses on the Early Iron Age and some results have already been published. I also have received some grants to do a study of the Early Iron Age settlements of the province of Östergötland, work I would like to discuss at the IMASS 2017.

Some of my articles are available online at academica.edu.