Marianne Hem Eriksen is Associate Professor at the University of Oslo. 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).