Research and article writing are time consuming and sometimes frustratingly slow and meticulous processes, so it is always satisfying to finally see something as a finished product. This week has been rewarding in that sense, as two articles I have co-written over the last year have been published online:
New Users and Changing Traditions – (Re)Defining Sami Offering Sites was co-written with Tiina Äikäs as a further development of our joint effort to explore the thematics in a conference paper for EAA in September (see older blogpost). The full text of the article is so far only available online for subscribers, but it will be printed in the forthcoming issue of European Journal of Archaeology.
The article deals with the reuse and re(defining) of Sámi offering sites by a range of different stakeholders, including local Sámi and non-Sámi, academics, tourist entrepeneurs, neo-pagans, etc. We discuss how archaeologists can mediate the stories of the Sámi pasts these actors promote with the archaeological narrative about the offering sites. The article includes two case studies that relate to the Sámi circular offering sites, as well as four case studies concerning Sámi offering sites in Finland.
Animal offerings at the Sámi offering site of Unna Saiva – Changing religious practices and human–animal relationships is the result of a cooperation with Tiina, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, and Markus Fjellström, the last two whom have performed osteological and isotope analyses respectively on the bone assemblage from the offering site Unna Saiva.
The bones were collected during an excavation in the early 20th century, together with around 600 metal objects including jewelry, coins, arrowheads, etc. In later research, the artefacts have been given most attention, and the bone assemblage has never been systematically investigated before. Hence, our study provides very interesting new information about the offering practices at this site, concerning its earliest dates, the species involved, the choice of individuals in terms of sex and age, what body parts were deposited, and whether the animals were fed. Based on these aspects we discuss changes in the offering traditions as related to the transition from hunting to reindeer herding in the area. The article is published in Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and is available online for free until 23 July 2015 (and for subscribers after this date).