University of Oulu

M. van den Berg (2021) A borderland on the edge of materiality: ancient remains, storied landscapes, and community narratives from the arm of Finland, Time and Mind, 14:3, 371-395, DOI:

A borderland on the edge of materiality : ancient remains, storied landscapes, and community narratives from the arm of Finland

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Author: van den Berg, M.1
Organizations: 1Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 26.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-27


In past decades landscapes have become recognized as essentially liminal systems: there has been an increased appreciation for the embeddedness of lived experiences of places in four-dimensional space-time and the landscape’s connections with perceptions, stories, the material and immaterial pasts, as well as the material and immaterial present and future. Kilpisjärvi is such a place where immaterial pasts, presents, and futures consolidate into lived experiences. Intimate narratives of the local inhabitants and enveloping environment are produced through the intermingling of traditional ways of living and being with the development of modern perspectives and infrastructures. This photo essay glimpses at the flow of interconnected stories of becoming of an Arctic village’s lifeworld. It glances at what has never been built nor written down, what has been built over, the local anecdotes that speak to these, and how this amalgamation of interweaving materiality and disembodiment shape an understanding of Kilpisjärvi and its inhabitants from an insiders and outsiders perspective. The essay takes the reader through the liminal landscapes of reindeer, reindeer herders, tourist organizations, and village life, and its analysis advances our understanding of how these all connect in a meshwork that teaches old and new ways of viewing the environment.

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Series: Time & mind
ISSN: 1751-696X
ISSN-E: 1751-6978
ISSN-L: 1751-696X
Volume: 14
Issue: 3
Pages: 371 - 395
DOI: 10.1080/1751696X.2021.1951558
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.