The Research seminar series in archaeology and environmental archaeology invites you to a seminar with Søren Michael Sindbæk, Aarhus, Denmark. Sindbæk will speak on the topic "Broken links: The challenges of network analysis in archaeology".
The burial customs of 8th-10th century CE Scandinavians have left a record of hundreds of mostly female graves containing rich dress ornaments, often incorporating a wide variety of glass and stone beads. They display a panorama of beads produced in regions ranging from the Indian Ocean to Scandinavia, and somehow transported, exchanged, collected, and at one point buried as a closed assemblage. In a classic analysis of this material “Trade beads and bead trade” (1977), Johan Callmer defined the typology, groupings, and chronology of early medieval glass beads, which remain widely used across the world. This was accomplished almost entirely by means of hand-calculations. Today formal network analysis presents a compelling tool for re-evaluating his findings with regards to the association of the bead-types. This paper discusses the results of a re-analysis. The results show how shifting Eurasian trade-patterns can be untangled from the adornments of Viking Age women, but also how these trends are interwoven with non-spatial patterns revealing the aesthetic perceptions and cultural identities of Viking Age people.