Crisis, conflict and climate – social change in Scandinavia in the years 300–700

"Crisis, conflict and climate - social change in Scandinavia in the years 300-700" is the name of a large research program which in 2022 was granted 43 million from the Riksbanken Jubileumsfond and which is to last for eight years. The program is led by archaeologists at Stockholm University and it also includes archaeologists at Linnaeus University and the Kalmar County Museum.

The purpose of the program is to study a period in Scandinavia characterized by climate change, conflicts and crises. We start from some of Öland's most prominent ancient remains, the ring towns. We will study the people and societies that used the burghers and put these in their Scandinavian and European context. What economy was the basis for the behavior of the citizens? Why were they abandoned? Why are some reused and were local islanders re-occupying them? What was the economy based on that made reuse possible? Were conflicts the reason for the abandonment? Were there internal or external conflicts?

We will reconstruct how societies, in a time of climate change and pandemics, have dealt with conflicts and crises and how this has changed these societies' economy, material culture and religion. With the help of high-resolution dating of the phases of use in the cities, we will see if crises have a driving or retarding role in the development of societies.

With leading expertise in the field with unique knowledge from the research front, we have a unique opportunity to study how societies react and act against the influence of external factors; climate change, the spread of infectious diseases, and war – conditions that are not significantly different from the situation in many countries today in times of global warming, covid-19 and international conflicts.

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