Kallio-Seppä, T., Tranberg, A. The Materiality of Odors: Experiencing Church Burials and the Urban Environment in Early Modern Northern Sweden. Hist Arch 55, 65–81 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41636-020-00264-2
The materiality of odors : experiencing church burials and the urban environment in early modern Northern Sweden
|Author:||Kallio-Seppä, Titta1; Tranberg, Annemari1|
1Department of Archaeology, University of Oulu, PO Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.2 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2021050328462
|Publish Date:|| 2021-05-03
Archaeological material from early modern Sweden reveals that material and social meaning was intertwined in townscape odors; that is, odors and their association with unhygienic conditions affected the physical structure of the town, its material culture, and different traditions in the use of “townspace.” During the latter half of the 18th century, the town of Oulu suffered from unpleasant smells related to ponds and wet areas, and the odor of decomposing flesh from under-floor church burials greeted church visitors, despite the tradition of placing fragrant plants inside coffins. In the 18th century the town underwent deliberate changes: the ponds were drained and filled, burials under the church floor were prohibited, and one of the first graveyards located outside the town and separate from the church was constructed. These actions to change the town’s “smellscape” reflect emergent notions of regularity and cleanliness related to the Age of Enlightenment.
|Pages:||65 - 81|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
615 History and archaeology
We thank the Kone Foundation and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation for financial support, Markku Kuorilehto for advice, and the Church, Space and Memory team for support during the writing process. Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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