Body-Worldings of Later Scandinavian Prehistory: Making Oddkin with Two Body-Objects
In the last two decades, the body has emerged as a rich field of theorization and scholarly exploration in archaeology. This paper is an excursion into a consideration of two bodyobjects of prehistoric Denmark: an anthropomorphic bronze figurine from the Fårdal assemblage dating to the late Bronze Age, and a figural gold foil with an anthropomorphic stamp from Sorte Muld, created perhaps as much as 1 500 years later, in the Merovingian period (550–750 CE). The two images are made in very different materials, in distinctly different forms, and belong to different historical situations. Nevertheless, the two artefacts render what are likely women’s bodies with clear differences, but also some uncanny similarities.
This article explores these artefacts from a more-than-representational perspective. Moving beyond a taxonomic approach, it focuses on aspects of these images beyond what or who they ‘represent’. What can such an approach tell us about the capacities of bodies, as well as the capacities of the artefacts themselves? This entails, following the work of Donna Haraway, worlding them in two vastly different social, material and political worlds; drawing out their making from two very different technological processes; engaging with the similarities and differences of their biographies; and, crucially, thereby contemplating their kinship.