Project: Crisis, conflict and climate — societal change in Scandinavia 300–700 CE

In this project, archaeologists are studying a period in Scandinavia's history, which is characterized by climate changes, conflicts and crises. It is about the period 300-700 CE. And the places to be investigated are one of the more prominent Ölandic ancient remains, the ringforts

Project information

Project manager
Kerstin Lidén, Stockholm University
Contact Linnaeus University
Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Stockholm University, Kalmar County Museum
Riksbankens jubileumsfond

More about the project

Our purpose is to study a period of conflict, crisis and climate change in Scandinavia. We will study one of the more prominent Ölandic ancient remains, the ringforts.

We will study the people and the societies utilizing the ringforts, and put them into their Scandinavian and European context. What was the economy enabling their construction? Why were they abandoned? Why were some re-utilized? Were the people who built them local to Öland? Was it the local people who re-utilized them? What economic conditions enabled re-utilization of them? Were conflicts the reason for abandonment? Were the conflicts internal or external?

We will provide information on how societies, during major climatic events and pandemics, have coped with conflicts and crises and how this has changed the societies in terms of economy, cultural expressions and religious beliefs. With high-resolution dates on the ringfort’s different utilization phases will we clarify their societal role, and see if crises are driving or retarding forces of societal development.

With leading expertise, up-to-date knowledge of the field, state-of-the-art methods we have a unique opportunity to study processes leading to societal crises and societal responses, caused by external factors; climate change, contagious diseases, and warfare — conditions not very different from the situation that many countries in the world face today in times of a warming climate, Covid-19 and worldwide conflicts.