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Combining archaeological and folkloristic sources: human remains in wetlands

Authors: Kama, Pikne;

Combining archaeological and folkloristic sources: human remains in wetlands

Abstract

It is quite natural that different sources from the past pass on different information. The current thesis studies how the archaeological and folkloristic information relate to each other and what are the possibilities to use theses as a combined. Archaeological research has focused on the material remains from the past; the folklorists, however, study the information that has mainly been passed on orally. When the academic interest lies in the past culture as a whole, the use of different sources will grant richer and more comprehensive knowledge. The case-study of thesis that is covering the material from Estonia is analysing the information about origin of and finds associated with human remains in wetlands. The main focus has been on mires. This kind of intriguing and unstudied topic was chosen because of folk songs that describe burying in mires. Also, in the place-lore there are stories about burials in mires, as well as depictions of drowning in wetlands. For archaeologist, this raises a question, whether this folklore could reflect the events that have led to bog bodies? Additionally, the place-lore describes unearthing of human remains from waterlogged soil of which there is no archaeological documentation. Attempts to find new archaeological record for some of these place-lore sites were unfortunately unsuccessful. These fieldworks illustrate how complicated is it to discover archaeological finds from wetlands. At the same time, the work with archive sources and literature showed that there are previous archaeologically documented finds of human remains from wetlands. The age, context and way of emerge of these human remains has been very different. The archaeological excavation conducted as part of this research in Alasoo Varajemägi revealed finds in peat originating from the pyre. It seems that items left behind from cremation burials were taken into a former lake. There was no record of this kind of behaviour from the Viking Age previously documented in Estonia. Therefore, the study represents information in archaeology and folkloristics concerning human remains in wetlands. The information of both records is quite diverse, but the systematic study has brought them closer and at the same time has helped to understand the character how the archaeological and folkloristic information has been emerged, transmitted and stored.

On täiesti loomulik, et erinevad minevikust pärinevad allikaliigid kannavad endas edasi erinevat informatsiooni. Käesolevas doktoritöös vaadeldakse, kuidas suhestuvad omavahel arheoloogiline ja rahvaluuleline teave ning millised on võimalused nende kooskasutuseks. Arheoloogide uurimistöö on keskendunud mineviku materiaalsetele jäänustele, rahvaluuleteadlased aga uurivad informatsiooni, mis on üle põlvkondade edasi kandunud enamasti suusõnaliselt. Kui teadlase uurimisobjektiks on mineviku kultuur terviklikult, siis aitab erinevate allikate kasutus saada möödunud aegadest palju rikkama ja mitmekihilisema arusaama. Eesti materjali käsitleva doktoritöö juhtumuuring vaatleb teavet inimjäänuste tekkest ja vastavatest leidudest märgaladel. Peamise tähelepanu all on olnud sood. Niisuguse intrigeeriva ja senikäsitlemata teemavaliku põhjustasid sohu matmisi kirjeldavad rahvalaulud. Ka kohapärimuses on nii jutte matmisest sohu kui ka kirjeldusi uppumistest märgaladel. Arheoloogi jaoks tõstatab see küsimuse, kas ja mil määral võib niisugune pärimus kajastada sündmusi, mis on maha jätnud soolaipu? Lisaks kirjeldab kohapärimus inimsäilmete avastamist liigniiskest pinnasest, mille kohta arheoloogilist dokumentatsiooni ei leidu. Katse leida osadest pärimuspaikadest uusi arheoloogilisi tõendeid kahjuks ei õnnestunud. Mainitud välitööd illustreerivad hästi, kui keerukas ja raske on avastada märgaladelt arheoloogiliste leide. Samas, töö arhiiviallikate ja kirjandusega näitas, et eelnevalt on ka arheoloogiliselt registreeritud inimjäänuste leide liigniiskest pinnasest. Need leiud on aga väga erineva vanuse, konteksti ja tekkepõhjusega. Doktoritöö raames tehtud arheoloogiliste kaevamistega õnnestus Alasoo Varajemäel tuvastada turbas asuvaid leide, mis pärinesid tuleriidalt. Näib, et põletusmatustest järele jäänud asju viidi endisaegsesse järvevette. Niisugusest viikingiaegsest käitumisest Eesti arheoloogias seni tõendeid ei olnud. Seega esitab uurimus märgaladel leiduvate inimjäänustega seonduvat arheoloogilist ja rahvaluulelist informatsiooni. Mõlemas allikaliigis esinev informatsioon on küll üsna eriilmeline, kuid süstemaatiline uurimine on vähendanud nende vahelist lõhet ja samas aidanud mõtestada ka eripära, kuidas need allikad on tekkinud, edasi kandunud ning talletunud.

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Country
Estonia
Related Organizations
Keywords

Estonia, sooleiud, dissertatsioonid, ajalooallikad, archaeological finds, rabalaibad, bone remains, folkloristics, wetlands, swamps, runic songs, Eesti, burial customs, skeletijäänused, märgalad, kohapärimus, märgalaarheoloogia, bog finds, dissertations, historical sources, votive deposits, ETD, regilaulud, local tradition, archaeology, luuleiud, arheoloogia, väitekirjad, ohvrileiud, folkloristika, matmiskohad, matmiskombestik, inimsäilmed, sood, arheoloogilised leiud, skeletal remains

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    0
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
0
Average
Average
Average
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