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Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Dr Marianne  Hem Eriksen

Research Fellow, Marie Curie/Research Council of Norway

Research Fellow, Clare Hall

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3ER


  • 2017- Associate Professor of Archaeology, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo (on research leave)
  • 2017-2019 Research 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
  • Ritual practice and 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.


Research Supervision

  • Co-supervisor to Claire Ratican, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Cambridge (with Dr James Barrett)
  • Currently supervisor to two MA-students, University of Oslo


University of Cambridge:

  • Lectures and supervisions in ARC26 The North Sea in the early middle ages (2017)
  • Seminar in G02 Core Archaeology (2017)

University of Oslo: I have teaching experience from undergraduate to post-graduate level, 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, and lectured on research skills for PhD students.

Other Professional Activities

  • Elected member of The Young Academy of Norway, the early career organization of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2017-)
  • 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.

I have peer reviewed for, among others, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Archaeological Review from Cambridge, Norwegian Archaeological Review, Journal of Field Archaeology, Journal of Historical Geography, Danish Journal of Archaeology, Primitive tider, Journal of Archaeology and Ancient History, Norsk Maritimt Museums årbok, Viking


  • Material Culture
  • Prehistory
  • The Body
  • Archaeological Theory
  • Archaeology

Key Publications


Eriksen, M. H. Forthcoming 2019. Architecture, Society and Ritual in Viking Age Scandinavia. Doors, dwellings, and domestic space. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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


Journal Articles

Eriksen, M. H. 2017 Don’t all mothers love their children? Deposited infants as animate objects in the Scandinavian Iron Age. World Archaeology 49(3): 338-356. 

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.

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.

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


Book Chapters

Eriksen, M. H. 2018 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.

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.

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. 

Other Publications

Eriksen, M. H., Z. Glørstad, M.Vedeler, H.L. Aannestad, F. Iversen, and J. Bill 2017 Op-Ed: Ikke la nynazistene stjele vikingtiden [trans. 'Don't let neo-nazis appropriate the Viking Age'].  Morgenbladet online, 24.10.2017.

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)