University of Oulu

Ikäheimo, J., Puska, S. J., & Äikäs, T. (2022). The area around the grave markers: Contextualizing a neglected pet cemetery in northern Finland. Journal of Cultural Geography, 39(2), 251–271.

The area around the grave markers : contextualizing a neglected pet cemetery in northern Finland

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Author: Ikäheimo, Janne1; Puska, Sara Jasmin1; Äikäs, Tiina1
Organizations: 1Archaeology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-28


The study of pet cemeteries has recently intensified in multiple disciplines. However, the focus of this research has been more on the interpretation of information available on grave markers, while only touching on the geographical context, the land use zone of these sites. The advantages of focusing on the broader context are shown here through a case study focusing on the Hiironen pet cemetery in the city of Oulu in northern Finland. First, by combining a variety of sources — archival documents, photographs, maps, and news reports — with field documentation, a contextual site history extending both before and after the official period of use of the pet cemetery (1971–1993) is established. This history mirrors temporal changes in societal values regarding human-companion animal relations. By defining and examining these changes, the current notion of the increasing status of present-day companion animals as dear family members is confirmed.

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Series: Journal of cultural geography
ISSN: 0887-3631
ISSN-E: 1940-6320
ISSN-L: 0887-3631
Volume: 39
Issue: 2
Pages: 251 - 271
DOI: 10.1080/08873631.2022.2058248
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
615 History and archaeology
Dataset Reference: Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.