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Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Dr Marianne  Hem Eriksen

Visiting Fellow

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3ER


  • 2017-2019 Postdoctoral Fellow co-hosted by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research/University of Oslo, funded through an individual grant from Marie Curie/Research Council of Norway
  • 2016 Associate Professor (substitute) at the Dept. of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo
  • 2015 Research/Teaching Fellow at the University of Oslo
  • 2015 Competence in university pedagogics
  • 2013 Visiting PhD student at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London
  • 2012-2015 PhD Research Fellow at the University of Oslo (fully funded)
  • 2008-2010 MA at the University of Oslo


Research Interests

Archaeology of late prehistoric Scandinavia (the Bronze, Iron and Viking Ages), primarily approached through settlement remains. My research interests include:

  • Architecture and domestic space
  • Houses and households
  • The relationship between houses and large-scale social process
  • Gender
  • Ritual practice
  • Embodiment
  • The relationship between the living and the dead
  • Houses as animate entities


Research Projects

My current research project, Archaeology of Dwelling, is funded through the Research Council of Norway/Marie Curie, and is co-hosted by the Universities of Cambridge and Oslo. The project springs from an apparent paradox: How and why could a specific form of dwelling – the three-aisled longhouse – survive in Scandinavia for almost three thousand years, from the early Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE) throughout the Iron Age (IA, 500BCE-1050 CE); simultaneously as Scandinavian societies underwent ground-breaking social, ideological, and political changes? The primary research aim of the project is to use the three-aisled longhouse of prehistoric Scandinavia, with a principal focus on Norway, as a prism to investigate the dynamics and tensions between, on one hand, societies undergoing significant, macro-scale alterations, and on the other, the apparent conservatism and resilience of the built environment through deep time.

I am also currently researching the deposition of infants and children in wetlands and settlement contexts on the North-Atlantic fringe in the 1st millennium CE.

My PhD investigated a specific, and highly charged, architectural element – the doorway – of domestic architecture of the Late Iron Age Scandinavia (550-1050 CE). The work presented a new, synthesised compilation of houses from Late Iron Age Norway. Through social approaches to the buildings, the composition of the household and its connection with domestic space was deliberated, through access analyses, movement analyses, etc. I found that Late Iron Age Scandinavians used domestic doors and especially built door-structures to connect with the mortuary realm (published in Archaeological Dialogues). I also explored how architecture creates embodied cues for socially acceptable behaviour (forthcoming as a chapter with Berghahn) and the door as a judicial boundary (published in Viking Worlds, Oxbow, 2015).

Further developing an aspect of the PhD, I recently published a paper on the practice of burying houses in first-millennium Scandinavia (published in EJA).

Many of my publications can be downloaded from my profile.



I have extended teaching experience from undergraduate to post-graduate level from the University of Oslo. I have taught archaeology from the Bronze Age to the Medieval Period, as well as advanced theory and method and history of archaeological thought. I have supervised BA theses, project proposals for MA theses, and MA theses. I have also served as a discussant for PhD theses.


Other Professional Activities

  • Awarded H.M. The King’s Gold Medal for scientific inquiry by younger scholars of excellence (2016)
  • Member of the reference group for ‘The Viking Phenomenon’, a 10-year research project lead by Professor Neil Price, University of Uppsala
  • Member of the ‘Centre for Viking Research’, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo

I regularly disseminate archaeology through radio and TV broadcasts in Norway.


Key Publications

[1] Eriksen, M. H. 2016 Commemorating dwelling. The death and burial of houses in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia. European Journal of Archaeology 19(3): 477-496.

[2] Eriksen, M. H. 2015 Viking Worlds. Things, spaces, and movement. Oxbow, Oxford. (Edited volume, with U. Pedersen, B. Rundberget, I. Axelsen and H.L. Berg) *Reviewed in The Archaeological Journal, Landscape History,

[3] Eriksen, M. H. 2015 The Powerful Ring. Door rings, oath rings, and the sacral place. In Viking Worlds. Things, spaces and movement, edited by M.H. Eriksen et al., pp. 73–87. Oxbow, Oxford.

[4] Eriksen, M. H. 2013 Doors to the dead: The power of doorways and thresholds in Viking Age Scandinavia. Archaeological Dialogues 20(2):187-214.


Other Publications

[1] Eriksen, M. H. Forthcoming Embodied regulations. Searching for boundaries in the Viking Age. In Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: Between Text and Practice, edited by B. Hausmair, B. Jervis, R. Nugent and E. Williams. Berghahn, Oxford/New York.

[2] Eriksen, M. H. 2016 Den enes død er den annens brød? Om kropp, mat og dødsforestillinger i skandinavisk jernalder [transl. ’One’s death, another’s bread? On body, food and concepts of death in the Scandinavian Iron Age’]. Arr – Idéhistorisk tidsskrift 2016(2): 49-59.

[3] Eriksen, M. H. 2014 Frihetens port. En reise gjennom fortidens dører. [trans. ’The Gates of Freedom. A journey through the portals of the past’]. In Ja, vi elsker frihet, edited by S. Gullbekk, pp. 304–310. Dreyer, Oslo.

[4] Eriksen, M. H.  2011 Hallen og landskapet. Monumentalitet, liminalitet og transformasjon [trans. ‘The hall and the landcape. Monumentality, liminality and transformation’]. Nicolay 113(1):11-18.

[5] Eriksen, M. H. 2010 På sporet av romersk jernalder: artikkelsamling fra romertidsseminaret på Isegran 23.-24.januar 2010. Nicolay skrifter 3. Nicolay, Oslo. (Edited volume with I. Gundersen)