From the editors - 2021


This year’s Current Swedish Archaeology returns to our usual format of a keynote debate paper and responses, followed by a number of research papers. The 2021 keynote continues a conversation started by last year’s collection of articles on the topic of human-animal relations. The theme is picked up and developed by Christina Fredengren in her essay Beyond entanglement, in which she brings concepts from critical posthumanist feminism and new materialism to bear on questions of how to forward the study of the more-than-human world through the archaeological record. Comments are provided by Adrienne Frei (Multispecies futures), Andrew M. Jones (Disentangling entanglement: Archaeological encounters with the concept of entanglement), Kristina Jennbert (Post-humanistic approaches in archaeology), Richard Bradley (More than), Nerissa Russell (Power and othering), László Bartosiewicz (Herding cats) and Kristin Armstrong Oma (The view from the cheap seats: An archaeologist grappling with multispecies entanglements). Representing some of the diversity of the archaeological field, they present a range of perspectives on the topic, including those of researchers who work directly with animal remains in osteological study. The debate becomes in part a discussion about how we write archaeology and the disparate framing of related enquiries in different branches of our discipline. 

There follow four peer-reviewed research papers, again reflecting disciplinary variety in approaches, although the first three all explore aspects of the material culture of Iron Age Scandinavia. To begin, First Ladies: Ornamental bow brooches and the negotiation of elite female status and roles in Iron-Age Norway (c. 400-900 AD) by Ingunn Marit Røstad examines high-quality ornamented bow-brooches, reaching the conclusion that they can be seen as a long-lived expression of elite identity among Scandinavian women. 

Alexandra Pesch contributes Social transformations and resilience: the example of Continental Animal Style III and the Tassilo-Liutpirc Chalice, which discusses the traditions and social, cultural and political mechanisms behind the first millennium northern European animal styles. She suggests that a driving force behind their development was supra-regional networks of workshops.  

Next comes Affective interventions and ‘the hegemonic other’ in runestones from Västergötland and Södermanland, Sweden by Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbaldh and Ing-Marie Back Danielson. This uses runestones to investigate processes of negotiation towards Christian hegemony in conversion-period Scandinavia, highlighting counter-hegemonic presences and deploying the concept of agonistic political process. 

The final research paper is by Anton Larsson and explores Landslides vs Archaeology: Case studies of site loss and emergency fieldwork in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. Few major natural dangers threaten the population in Sweden, but Larsson analyses how one risk, that of landslides, has affected material heritage sites and what the archaeological response has been. He demonstrates the importance of taking disaster risk into account in the cultural heritage sector. 

One review appears in this volume, by Marianne Skandfer on the recent publication of Markus Fjellström’s thesis Food Cultures in Sápmi. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of the heterogeneous cultural landscape of northern Fennoscandia AD 600 – 1900, highlighting its contributions to Sámi archaeology. 

In May 2021 the Swedish Archaeological Society inaugurated a new annual prize, the ‘Golden Trowel’, for the best excavation report published in the preceding year. A notice by Sven Kalmring, coordinator of the Society’s prize panel, gives the background to the award and announces the first winner. 

This is the first volume to be produced and hosted on our new open journal digital platform provided by the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga biblioteket). As we mentioned last year, Current has been a pilot journal for their platform development, and our site was launched in June. The platform supports the full editorial and production process and although adjustments are still being made, it is already a great help in coordination between the many participants and stages. After considerable time investment, all our back-issues are now available through the platform. For this and future volumes we have added a new element, as articles are now also available in xml format, which will increase their digital visibility and accessibility. You can explore our new platform at 

Meanwhile for printed volumes we have changed our distribution service to, a company that distributes a number of other archaeological journals and series. We hope that this will provide a smoother service for individual subscribers and libraries as well as those who wish to buy back-issues. You can find our new order page at or linked from our main platform. 

We are entering production in good time this year, due partly to our journal funding from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) which means we can once again pay for language editing and other services. But we would like to extend our thanks to all the authors, reviewers and many others who have provided prompt contributions to the journal’s work, not least through what have continued to be challenging times. We leave you with best wishes for the holidays and lighter months to come. 

Alison Klevnäs & Sophie Bergerbrant  

Editors of Current Swedish Archaeology