Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Associate Professor of Archaeology

Contact DetailsDr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Email: m.h.eriksen@le.ac.uk

Personal Details

BA, MPhil, PhD (Oslo)

I took up the post of Associate Professor of Archaeology in Leicester in early 2021, and I will for the next five years principally focus on the ERC Starting Grant Body-Politics: Death, Personhood, and Sexuality in the Iron and Viking Ages. Before taking up the post in Leicester, I was Associate Professor of Archaeology in the archaeological museum at the University of Oslo. Froom 2017-2019, a grant took me to the University of Cambridge, where I was a Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute of Archaeology and at Clare Hall. Before this I was substitute Associate Professor (2016) and Teaching Fellow (2015) at the Institute for Archaeology in Oslo. My PhD (2012-2015) was also written there, with some time spent at UCL.


I have taught a wide range of subjects, including: archaeological theory and methods; history of ideas in archaeology; Bronze Age archaeology; Iron Age archaeology; Viking Age archaeology: household archaeology: medieval archaeology; archaeology of death and burial; academic writing skills.


My research ranges topics from infancy, power (and the powerless), to movement, dreams and the self in the past. It has centred around three main axes of late prehistoric and early medieval Scandinavia: the entwinement between architecture and inhabitants; the complex relationships between the living and the dead; and the social dynamics and politics of everyday life. Often, I have worked with the links between architectural spaces and human bodies, by considering how prehistoric houses are built by bodies, produce certain bodily experiences, can be conceptualised as bodies themselves – and how dead bodies, parts and whole, are linked to domestic space. I have a strong interest in the lived experiences of inequality and gender. Listen here for a recent appearance on BBC Radio on ‘Valkyries’ and female Viking Warriors. You can also learn more about my research in this piece for The Conversation.

Current and recent projects

2021-2026 ERC Starting Grant Body-Politics: Death, Personhood, and Sexuality in the Iron and Viking Ages

2016-2020 Research Council of Norway/ Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions COFUND Archaeology of Dwelling: Architecture, Household, and Social Structure in Scandinavia Through Deep Time, 1800BCE-1000CE

Other engagements

I am a member of the Young Academy of Norway, under the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2017-2021). I am also a member of the The National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains in Norway. I sit on the Advisory Board of ‘The Viking Phenomenon’, a ten-year research project at the University of Uppsala, headed by Distinguished Professor Neil Price. Outreach and work with the public is important to me, and I enjoy being a a recurrent contributor to a research column in the Norwegian newspaper Morgenbladet.

Research Student Supervision

Topics for Supervision

I am very happy to consider proposals, particularly including theoretical engagement with:

  • Scandinavian later prehistory
  • Archaeologies of architecture
  • Viking Age archaeology
  • The Scandinavian Iron Age If you’re interested in doing a PhD with me, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

I will be announcing two PhD studentships on the ERC project Body-Politics autumn 2021 – stay tuned.

Past research Students

  • 2017-2020 Dr Claire Ratican (University of Cambridge, co-supervisor with Dr James Barrett): The Other Body: Persons in Multiple Burials in Viking Age Scandinavia and the Western Diaspora

Selected publications


2019 Architecture, Society and Ritual in Viking Age Scandinavia. Doors, Dwellings, and Domestic Space. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Edited books

2020 Contrasts of The Nordic Bronze Age. Essays in honour of Christopher Prescott. Edited by K.I. Austvoll, M.H. Eriksen, A.L. Melheim, P.D. Fredriksen, L. Prøsch-Danielsen and L. Skogstrand. Brepols, Turnhout.

2015 Viking Worlds. Things, spaces, and movement. Edited by M.H. Eriksen, U. Pedersen, B. Rundberget, I. Axelsen and H.L. Berg. Oxbow, Oxford. [Paperback ed. 2019]

Articles and book chapters

Forhtc. Houses as technology in the Viking Age and beyond. In A Cultural History of Technology, edited by R. Magnusson, J. Alexander, A. Bix, S. Moon, W. Storey. Bloomsbury Academic, London.

2020 ‘Body-objects’ and personhood in the Iron and Viking Ages: processing, curating, and depositing skulls in domestic space, World Archaeology, 52(1), 103-119

2020 Bronze Age Houses and Households: Bridging top-down and bottom-up perspectives (Co-author: Knut Ivar Austvoll). In Contrasts of The Nordic World. Essays in honour of Christopher Prescott. Edited by K.I. Austvoll, A.L. Melheim, M.H. Eriksen, P.D. Fredriksen, and L. Skogstrand. Brepols, Turnhout.

2018 Embodied regulations. Searching for boundaries in the Viking Age. Invited chapter in Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: Between Text and Practice, edited by B. Hausmair et al., pp. 109-126. Berghahn, Oxford/New York.

2017 Don’t all mothers love their children? Deposited infants as animate objects in the Scandinavian Iron Age. World Archaeology 49(3): 338-356.

2016 Commemorating dwelling. The death and burial of houses in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia. European Journal of Archaeology 19(3): 477-496.

2015 The Powerful Ring. Door rings, oath rings, and the sacral place. In Viking Worlds. Things, spaces and movement, edited by M.H. Eriksen et al., pp. 73–87. Oxbow, Oxford.

2013 Doors to the dead: The power of doorways and thresholds in Viking Age Scandinavia. Archaeological Dialogues 20(2):187-214.

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