Alison Klevnäs

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I’m a researcher specializing in mortuary archaeology. My main area of expertise is in northern and western Europe from the end of the Roman period to end of the Viking Age. I'm especially interested in graves which have been reopened or in other ways disturbed, and in ways of disposing of dead bodies which don't involve burial. My current projects involve integrating biomolecular analyses with traditional archaeological approaches.


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I joined the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University in 2023 as part of the ERC-funded project PresentDead. From 2024 I’m also working together with Cecilia Ljung on a project on Gotland’s first churchyard burials, funded by Berit Wallenbergs Stiftelse.

From 2012 to 2024 I was employed at Stockholm University, first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a fixed-term lecturer and researcher. There I taught a wide range of courses from undergraduate to PhD levels, including on archaeological theory and the Viking Age. I supervised a variety of MA dissertations and co-supervised five PhD students on topics from Bronze Age metal production to Vendel- and Viking-period ritual. I achieved my docentur (Habilitation) in 2021.

From 2018 to 2021 I led the VR-funded project Interacting with the dead. Belief and conflict in Early Medieval Europe (AD 450-750), which established that there was previously unrecognised time depth to the treatment of the dead across much of Europe in the early Middle Ages. From 2022 to 2024 I'm PI for the project ‘Collecting the dead’, funded by Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond, which is applying a range of bioarchaeological techniques to human burials in order to investigate community life on Gotland during the establishment of Christianity on the island.

I gained my PhD from Girton College, Cambridge University in 2010, with an award-winning thesis published as Whodunnit? Grave Robbery in Anglo-Saxon England and the Merovingian Kingdoms. Previously I studied at Uppsala University, gaining an MA in Viking and Early Medieval Studies in 2004, and my undergraduate degree in archaeology is from Cambridge University in 2002.

From 2018 to 2022 I was editor of Current Swedish Archaeology together with Sophie Bergerbrant.

I am an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and member of the Sachsensymposium.


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Alison Klevnäs