Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I completed my undergraduate studies at LU in 1988 majoring in Medieval archaeology. Between 1991 and 1996 I participated in the excavation of the Black Earth in Birka. In 2004 I defended my thesis “Mellan gåva och marknad”(“Between Gift and Market. Trade, trust and material culture in the Viking Age”). The starting point of the thesis was Birka and the questions that arouse during the work and from the findings in the excavation.
In addition to trade, exchange and trade- and craft centres I have also been interested in gender issues. More recently I have also been working with issues concerning cultural identity and hybridity. My postdoc-project at Stockholm University 2007-2009 focused on graves in Birka with objects from the Finnish mainland. In the course of analysing the artefact assemblages with I got interested in questions concerning cultural hybridity. In 2012 I received funding from RJ for developing my research and for including finds from the Mälaren Valley in my study.


About the research

The aim of my current project is to discuss objects with provenance from the Finnish mainland, found in the Mälaren Valley, in order to problematize the image of a mono-cultural, “pure” and “unmixed” society in the Viking Age, the period onto which the notion of an “original homogenous Swedish identity” is usually projected. The archaeological material militates against the image of an "unmixed" society. The distribution of similar objects and burial practices in the Mälaren area and on the Finnish mainland indicates that there has been a well-developed interaction between populations in the two areas for a long time.
During the last decades a large number of excavations have been undertaken in the Mälaren area and the archaeological record has improved significantly. One aim of this project is therefore to process the information now at hand. This means to map and analyze the sites in the Mälaren area where dress details with provenance or strong influences from the Finnish mainland have been retrieved. It is also of importance to analyze find contexts and find combinations for these objects as well as the provenance of other objects found in the same grave or the same site. Such analyses would provide a good basis for discussions about the cultural identity and group affiliations of the buried persons and as well as whether there has been immigration from mainland Finland to Mälardalen during the Viking Age and, if so, what the motives for this immigration might have been.


Books (3)
Editorships (4)
Articles (6)
Book chapters (16)
Prefaces (1)
Encyclopaedia entries (1)
Conference contributions (2)
Reports (1)
Reviews (2)

Research portal (Lund University)

Ingrid Gustin

Historical Archaeology
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Contact information

E-mail ingrid.gustinark.luse

Phone +46 76 847 78 42

Mobile +46 76 847 78 42

Room LUX:A120

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30