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Emma Thompson

Archaeology, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Collision and Cohesion: (re)negotiations of mortuary identities in England and Denmark (c. 800-1100 CE)

The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the transformative effects of migration and changing religions upon mortuary identities in Denmark and Anglo-Scandinavian regions of England from 800 to 1100 CE. It will determine how Scandinavian migrants navigated encounters with new peoples, places, and ideas, and how these influenced pre-existing burial practices. As England had converted to Christianity by this period, while Denmark was transitioning, it is crucial to assess the different negotiations of identity required by Scandinavians in an already Christianised region compared with “native” Danes responding to incoming belief systems.

Building upon a theoretical framework of ‘conditional identity interfaces’ proposed by my master’s thesis, I will answer three critical questions:
1. How did different facets of identity interact in the burials under scrutiny?
2. Do these facets interact similarly between Danish and Anglo-Scandinavian regions?
3. Which contextual factors contribute to the differences in mortuary identities?

My research will substantially improve our interpretations of intersectional mortuary identities. It is a crucial interrogation of a complex network of interactions and will produce a more dynamic and articulated picture of the widely-influential relationship between England and Denmark in this period.

Research Area

  • Archaeology


Ahmed, P., Charlier, V., Cooper, C., Gambord, T., Ghandi, A. Kerpyte, E., Reeves, A., Rowson, G., and Thompson, E. 2018. 'ALCESTER, BIRCH ABBEY (SP 0885 5725)', West Midlands Archaeology 60, 83-4.


Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society


ERC Body-Politics Project: Website Link