Posted by: Marte Spangen | October 20, 2016

The End


Ready for the defense! Photo: Hanne Aannestad

This Saturday, 15 October 2016, I defended my thesis and had it accepted for the doctoral degree in archaeology. The PhD is thus completed and I can call myself a doctor! Even after spending a few days digesting the event, it seems a bit unreal, but it was definitely a good experience.

The defense was public and gathered an audience of about 50-60 people, many of whom were friends, family and colleagues who had travelled to Stockholm for this occation from different parts of Scandinavia. I would like to thank them all (again!) for being there and showing such enthusiastic support. Also, I have to thank the committee members for spending time reading, preparing and travelling for this occation and for all their positive feedback.

My opponent, Aleks Pluskowski, did a great job presenting the thesis (as is customary here in Sweden), and over a couple of hours we discussed a wide range of aspects relevant to the content, such as the methodology, the chronology, the reason for the initial and particular build and use of the structures, their role in defining identities in a ethnically hybrid area in the Middle Ages, the definitions of rituals versus religious rituals, if my concepts and interpretations can be useful to a wider debate about conversion in other areas, whether wolf hunting can be a ritual, how the Sami have related to the wolf, the potential influence of my work on today’s heated political debates about the wolf population in Scandinavia – and much more.

The committee members Torun Zachrisson, Eva Svensson and Asgeir Svestad, as well as the alternate Gert Magnusson and one other ex auditorio, added several thought-provoking questions about distribution, place names, chronology and subsistence context that underline that the discussion about the circular offering sites, or, as I have argued, wolf traps, of northern Norway is not over yet, rather it has just been reopened with a series of new potential perspectives. I certainly hope to have more chances to discuss the content of my thesis and other relevant insights in the months and years to come.

This blog, however, will end with this finale. After a suitably long-lasting and cheerful celebration Saturday night, and after starting a new life yesterday as a (short-term) post. doc. at Stockholm University, it is time for me to move on to new adventures. I will still update the “Publications” page with articles and reports that are directly related to this project as soon as they are made available, while a complete list of my publications will be kept updated at The final book is available as a full-text pdf here, and printed copies can be ordered from me ( or directly from the printer’s.

Thank you all for following the project and the blog! I hope you have enjoyed these little glimpses into a PhD project and life, and that you will continue to follow my work in the future.

All the best,


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