Survivors of Ragnarök: tracing Late Iron Age and early medieval maritime migrations in the Baltic Sea region

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

Academy of Finland project 332396

Layman's description

Ragnarök, the destruction of all the worlds as described in Norse mythology, began with the great winter. The description of these events is a collective folk memory of terrifying experiences of starvation, disease, social unrest and death following the global climatic catastrophe of the mid-6th century AD. The real-life events that fed into the myth are well founded in several categories of independent data, where the cataclysmic character of the event is emphasized. Disasters undoubtedly have losers, but in this age of climatic uncertainty, there is a need to shine light on stories of human success amidst chaos. This project departs from the notion of global climatic crisis, but contrary to current trends, through the multidisciplinary research on the Åland Islands, it will show the mechanisms by which regions blossom as an effect of crisis. Our approach will not only further our understanding of the past but also contribute to current debates on climate change.
Effective start/end date01/09/202031/08/2025

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • climate change archaeology
  • maritime cultural landscape
  • settlement
  • migration
  • Åland
  • colonisation
  • decolonisation
  • Late Iron Age
  • early medieval period
  • resilience
  • adaptation