Above and Below the Surface: Environment, Work, Death, and Upbringing in Sixteenth- to Seventeenth-century Sweden
Anne Ingvarsson Sundström, Jan Mispelaere, and Ylva Bäckström
This chapter addresses children’s lives and living conditions during the early modern period in Sweden. A case study on the population at one of Sweden’s most important historical mines, the Sala Silver mine forms the basis for a discussion about children’s work, their diets, and how gender roles and social status may have affected their health. Two sources provide complementing and sometimes contradicting information about how children’s lives were shaped: the bioarchaeological material (skeletons and graves) and historical sources (archival material). The historical sources show that children were important economic actors in the mining community, and the bioarchaeological material indicates that their health was affected by the socioeconomic status of their families, as well as the unsanitary living and working conditions at the site.
This chapter covers the area between eastern France and western Hungary, and from the Alps to the central European Mittelgebirge, following the established division between the early Iron Age (Hallstatt) and later Iron Age (La Tène) periods, beginning each section with a summary of the history of research and chronology. After characterizing the west–east Hallstatt cultural spheres, early Iron Age burial rites, material culture, and settlements are explored by region, including the phenomenon of ‘princely seats’. In the fifth century BC, a new ideological, social, and aesthetic concept arose, apparent both in the burial record, and especially in the development of the new La Tène art style. This period also saw the emergence of new, larger proto-urban forms of settlement, first unfortified agglomerations, and later the fortified oppida. Finally, the chapter examines changes in the nature and scale of production, material culture, and religious practices through the first millennium BC.
This chapter presents a case study of the archaeology of a mid-nineteenth century school in Cambridge (England), placing the features associated with the school and the material associated with them in the wider context of children’s material culture, education, and the rapidly changing nature of nineteenth century childhood, considering the material culture that children interacted with in its totality, not just child-specific forms. This allows a nuanced interpretation of the material; revealing tensions between different ideas, such as gentility and frugality, plus the existence of multiple narratives, with various members of a household viewing items of material culture in distinct ways, and different assemblages revealing disparate materialities.
The town of Tornio, on the border of present-day Finland and Sweden, was founded in 1621, on the order of the King of Sweden, to replace the old medieval marketplace on the estuary of the Tornio river. It was the northernmost urban site in Europe at the time. The founding and early development of the town was part of the broader trade-political process in the emerging Kingdom of Sweden during the early modern age. The original town was a small, wooden trading-post-like place, settled mostly by peasants from the surrounding countryside. This chapter provides an overview of Tornio’s urban development in its first century of existence, and discusses the development of the built environment based on the results of archaeological studies conducted since the 1960s. Lastly, the chapter addresses the early urbanization process of the inhabitants by considering their relationships with artefacts during the early phases of the town.
Vesa-Pekka Herva, Magdalena Naum, Jonas M. Nordin, and Carl-Gösta Ojala
The Atlantic world looms large in discussions of how the modern world emerged, and what modernization was about; but there have been calls to engage with these topics from the perspective of ‘margins’. Covering large areas of Fennoscandia, the seventeenth-century Kingdom of Sweden represented a northern end of urban Europe, but also encompassed the mythical Lapland, homeland of the Sámi and of natural and supernatural wonders—a contested borderland between the European ‘western’ and Russian ‘eastern’ worlds. This northern fringe of early modern Europe saw dynamic arenas of interaction where new cultural forms were generated. These localized transformations and the transmutations of modernity are the subjects of this chapter. Studying early modern processes of modernization from the perspective of the northern peripheries can provide new insights and challenges, not only into the understanding of the early modern history of the Swedish kingdom, but into the general perception of these processes.