Benjamin Raffield

Researcher at Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology

Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H

Postal address:
Box 626
751 26 UPPSALA

My primary regional and chronological expertise lies in Late Iron Age Scandinavia and early medieval Europe, in particular the study of conflict and military organisation and their influence on social structures and networks, political development, and cultural change. Currently, my work focuses on the themes of 1) violence, martial culture, and their impacts on social and political organisation, 2) captivity and slavery, and their links with conflict and state formation, and 3) migration, conflict, and coalescence in cross-cultural and transnational settings. These are explored and articulated primarily through discussions of Late Iron Age society, but with substantial reference to broader, global archaeologies of migration, slavery, conflict, and state formation.

I am currently engaged in a number of research initiatives, including two major projects.

I am currently PI for the project Social Inequality, Structural Violence, and Marginalisation in Viking Age Scandinavia. The aim of the project, funded with a grant of 6.1 million SEK from the Swedish Research Council (2022-25), is to develop an interdisciplinary framework for the identification and study of social inequality in Viking-Age Scandinavia. Drawing on a large corpus of burials from excavated cemeteries in modern-day Sweden, the project mobilises both bioarchaeological and material analyses in order to explore the ways in which social hierarchies and inequality impacted the health and lifeways of different groups within communities.

In addition, I am a partner in the NordForsk-funded project Making a Warrior: The Social Implications of Viking Age Martial Ideologies (2023-26; project lead Dr. Marianne Moen), which aims to critically appraise and redefine the concept of warriorhood in Late Iron Age/Viking Age Scandinavia. The initiative, which involves partners from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland, will adopt an interdisciplinary approach combining archaeological, anthropological, historical, and literary perspectives on the life course and social role of warrior groups within the wider milieu of prehistoric Scandinavian society.

Please contact the directory administrator for the organization (department or similar) to correct possible errors in the information.