University of Oulu

Salmi, A., Äikäs, T., Spangen, M., Fjellström, M., & Mulk, I. (2018). Tradition and transformation in Sámi animal-offering practices. Antiquity, 92(362), 472-489. doi:10.15184/aqy.2018.20

Tradition and transformation in Sámi animal-offering practices

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Author: Salmi, Anna-Kaisa1; Äikäs, Tiina1; Spangen, Marte2;
Organizations: 1Archaeology, History, Culture and Communication Studies, Faculty of Humanities, P.O. Box 1000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, University of Tromsø, Box 6050 Langnes, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
3Archaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Wallenberglaboratoriet, Stockholm University, Stockholm SE-106 91, Sweden
4Ájtte Mountain and Sámi Museum, Box 116, Jokkmokk SE-962 23, Sweden
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Antiquity Publications, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-09-28


Archaeological evidence for ritual animal offerings is key to understanding the formation and evolution of indigenous Sámi identity in Northern Fennoscandia from the Iron Age to the seventeenth century AD. An examination of such evidence can illuminate how major changes, such as the shift from hunting to reindeer pastoralism, colonialism by emerging state powers and Christianisation, were mediated by the Sámi at the local level. To explore the chronology of, and local variations in, Sámi animal-offering tradition, we provide a synthesis of archaeozoological data and radiocarbon dates from 17 offering sites across Norway, Sweden and Finland. Analysis reveals new patterns in the history of Sámi religious ritual and the expression of Sámi identity.

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Series: Antiquity
ISSN: 0003-598X
ISSN-E: 1745-1744
ISSN-L: 0003-598X
Volume: 92
Issue: 362
Pages: 472 - 489
DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2018.20
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Funding: This research was supported by the Arctic Domus project at the University of Aberdeen (ERC project 295458) and two Academy of Finland projects: ‘Human-environmental Relationships in the Colonial Encounter’ (285774) and ‘Religious Contacts and Religious Changes: Interdisciplinary Investigation of Site Biographies of Sámi Ritual Places’ (294626). Some of the radiocarbon dates were funded by Stiftelsen Lars Hiertas minne (FO2015-0071).
EU Grant Number: (756431) DOMESTICATION - Domestication in Action - Tracing Archaeological Markers of Human-Animal Interaction
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285774
Detailed Information: 285774 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
294626 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2018. This article has been published in a revised form in Antiquity, This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license