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Constructions of early childhood at the syncretic cemetery of Fjälkinge—A case study

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates upon the evidence of the syncretic cemetery at Fjälkinge, Sweden, dating from the tenth and eleventh century, and thus contemporary with the period of conversion. The most prominent features of the cemetery are the high frequency of child burials, a rate generally higher than what is found in pre-Christian Viking-Age cemeteries, and the syncretic or mixed character of the mortuary practices at the site. Thirty children aged newborn to two years were buried with a simple ceramic vessel at the head or feet, and one vessel was found in a grave-like construction with no trace of human remains. The presence of amber amulets also appears to mark out older children, the very old, and disabled as needing protection in society.

Keywords: amber amulets; ceramic vessel; child burials; Fjälkinge; syncretic cemetery

10.1163/ej.9789004170735.i-310.18
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004170735.i-310.18
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