International community discusses the Viking Age in Tartu

On December 1-3, Tartu hosts the conference Crossing Disciplinary Borders in Viking Age Studies, the 7th Austmarr Symposium, which brings together experts from different parts of the world.

The Austmarr Symposium is a series of international research conferences, which have been arranged annually since 2011, addressing topics of Viking Age and Medieval contacts across the Baltic Sea. Three keynote speakers have been invited: Prof. Jens Peter Schjødt (Aarhus University), who speaks about Odin and pagan Nordic religion, Prof. Anne-Sofie Gräslund (Uppsala University), who speaks about her experience as an archaeologist of interdisciplinary cooperation on Viking Age topics, and Ass. Prof. Henrik Janson (Gothenburg University), who speaks about the dangers of the use of different types of material in the studies of Nordic pagan religion.

This year’s conference brings researchers to Tartu to discuss the problems, challenges and solution in all kinds of interdisciplinary approaches to Viking Age studies, the use of material from different disciplines to shed light on the material from others. Tthere will be a special focus on the problems and possibilities in the combination of archaeological finds and Icelandic written sources as well on the use of archaeological finds and Icelandic texts in the reconstruction of pagan Nordic religion. The Austmarr symposium is organized in rotation, and it now returns to Tartu, where this series of conferences started in 2011.

"This is a perfect opportunity to discuss currently debated issues such as the existence of female Viking warriors and the interpretation of the Salme finds, issues which are much discussed in Estonia too. There will be special sessions at the conference for both these topics, and everybody interested is welcome to listen", the conference organizer Daniel Sävborg says.

The three-day conference is held at the main building of the University of Tartu with 85 registered participants. 40 researchers from Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, UK, USA, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Italy will present their research within the field. The main organizer is the Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Tartu, Daniel Sävborg.

Contact: Daniel Sävborg, conference organizer, 737 6250, (in English)
Viivika Voodla, academic affairs specialist, 737 5212, (in Estonian)