Dr Marianne Hem Eriksen

Subject: Archaeology

Department/institution: The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge and Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo

Contact details: mhe25@cam.ac.uk / m.h.eriksen@khm.uio.no

Research interests:

Dr Hem Eriksen is an archaeologist specialising in Scandinavia’s later prehistory. Her PhD project (2015, University of Oslo) investigated a specific, and highly charged, architectural element of domestic architecture – the doorway – in late Iron Age/Viking Age Scandinavia (550-1050 CE). The dissertation was awarded His Majesty the King’s Gold Medal for scientific inquiry by younger scholars of excellence (2016).

Her current research project, Archaeology of Dwelling, is funded by an independent grant from the Research Council of Norway/Marie Curie, and is co-hosted by the universities of Cambridge and Oslo. The project springs from an apparent paradox: how and why could a specific form of dwelling – the three-aisled longhouse – survive in Scandinavia for almost three thousand years, from the early Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE) throughout the Iron Age (IA, 500BCE-1050 CE), simultaneously as Scandinavian societies underwent groundbreaking social, ideological, and political changes?

Dr Hem Eriksen is also researching the deposition of infants and children in wetlands and settlement contexts on the North-Atlantic fringe in the first millennium CE.

When not immersed in the deep past, she enjoys reading and – although she states she is neither fast nor technically apt – running.

Select publications and awards


  • ‘Don’t All Mothers Love Their Children? Deposited Infants As Animate Objects in the Scandinavian Iron Age’, World Archaeology, 49:4 (2017)
  • ‘Embodied Regulations. Searching for Boundaries in the Viking Age’, in B Hausmair, B Jervis, R Nugent and E Williams, eds., Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: Between Text and Practice (Berghahn: Oxford/New York, 2017)
  • ‘Commemorating Dwelling. The Death and Burial of Houses in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia’, European Journal of Archaeology 19:3 (2016), 477-496
  • ‘The Powerful Ring. Door Rings, Oath Rings and the Sacral Place’, in M H Eriksen et al., eds., Viking Worlds. Things, spaces and movement, (Oxbow: Oxford, 2015), 73–87


  • Elected member of The Young Academy of Norway, under the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2017)
  • Non-Stipendiary Research Fellowship, Clare Hall (2017)
  • HM The King’s Gold Medal for scientific enquiry by younger scholars of excellence (2016)
  • Individual Fellowship by the Research Council of Norway/Marie Curie – c. £320,000 (2015)