Conference 2016

Multidisciplinary approaches to improving our understanding of immigration and mobility in pre-modern Scandinavia (1000-1900)

To mark the completion of the three year research project “Immigration and mobility in mediaeval and post-mediaeval Norway”, a conference will be hosted at the University of Bergen which aims to expand our knowledge of the pre-modern Scandinavian population. You’ll find the conference program below.


The conference is fully funded by:

The Research Council of Norway NFRlogo

Dates: Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st March 2016

Venue: Bryggens Museum, Dreggsallmenningen 3, Bergen, Norway.

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To register for the conference, send an e-mail to

The conference cannot accept more papers or posters

Preliminary conference program

(changes may be made to the program)

Day 1.

09.00-09.45 Registration

09.45-10.00 Dr Margareth Hagen (Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Bergen)

Title: Welcome to the conference 

Session 1

Molecular approaches to immigration and mobility

This session is open for theoretical papers discussing the use of molecular approaches to gain knowledge of past immigration and mobility as well as a presentation of research which has made use of molecular approaches on Scandinavian skeletal material.

10.00-10.30 Dr Stian Suppersberger Hamre (University of Bergen, Norway)

Title: Mobility in pre-modern Trondheim, Norway, based on stable oxygen isotope analyses


Trondheim has been among the largest and most important towns in Norway from mediaeval times to the present; it was the main royal residence from the beginning of the 10th till the beginning of the 13th Century. From 1030, Trondheim was among the most important pilgrimage destinations in Scandinavia and kept its popularity throughout the Middle Ages. Also, the Nidaros province was founded 1152/53 with Trondheim as the archbishop’s seat and the town became the ecclesiastical “capital” until the reformation in 1537. Tradewise, Trondheim was an important port along the trade route for dried fish from northern Norway down to Bergen, and further into more southern areas of Europe. Trade continued to be important in Trondheim even after Bergen obtained near monopoly as port for exporting dried fish in the Middle Ages. As an ecclesiastical and royal administrative centre, both local and regional trade were important.

Based on the above information, one can assume that Trondheim was an attractive place to travel to, and historical information indicates that people moved to Trondheim from the rest of Norway and Scandinavia, The Western Isles, Scotland, England and Northern Germany during the Middle Ages and in post-medieval times. These would have been ordinary people, different types of artisans and labourers, as well as people of higher social status as clergy, noble persons and merchants.

From all the people who were buried in Trondheim, I chose 95 individuals (41 mediaeval and 54 post-mediaeval) to study in an attempt to determine their place of birth and patterns of mobility. Stable oxygen isotope analysis of the first and the third molars was the method of choice, and these analyses have yielded interesting and somewhat surprising results. The results show a population with high level of mobility and the geographical direction of the mobility is rather uniform, perhaps more so than what one could expect. The results also show a relatively high level of child mobility in the mediaeval material. Temporal changes are also evident, both with regard to the level of child mobility and the distances travelled to move to Trondheim.

10.30-11.00 Professor Walther Parson (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Title: Ancient DNA from 97 individuals, what does it say about the pre-modern population in Trondheim?


A total of 97 human samples (bones and teeth) were collected from skeletal remains from medieval (N=49) and post-medieval (N=48) graves in Trondheim, Norway. Molecular genetic tests confirmed the presence of DNA in those samples and this DNA was used to study the buried individuals in three respects: determine i) their molecular genetic sex, (ii) their matrilineal and iii) their patrilineal background (male remains only).

i) It has been shown earlier that the genetic determination of the sex is a powerful method to complement traditional morphologic sexing techniques. In some cases, especially for incomplete or juvenile skeletal remains, genetic sexing has shown to even provide more reliable results than other methods and add to a more precise picture on the sex of an unknown sample.

ii) Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the only extranuclear DNA in human cells, is inherited directly by the mother to the offspring, which is why closely maternally related individuals generally share the same mtDNA. This allows analyzing samples with respect to their relatedness along the maternal line and can also be used to study more distant relationships between samples. It has also been shown that mtDNA can be used to trace the geographic origin of maternal lineages (haplogroups) as a result of migration and settlement events during human evolution. There exists a huge body of worldwide mtDNA population data that serve as basis to compare the Trondheim mtDNAs on a global level and thus derive conclusions about the make-up of the medieval and post-medieval Trondheim populations.

iii) Large parts of the Y-chromosomal DNA are inherited en block from fathers to sons. Therefore, Y-chromosomal DNA can be used to test for relatedness between male individuals and – in a wider picture – infer the geographic context of Y-chromosomal lineages, similar to mtDNA. This provides useful information on the phylogeographic background of the male lineages observed in the human remains from the male Trondheim individuals.

11.00-11.15 Break

11.15-12.00 Dr Janet Montgomery (key note lecture) (Durham University, England)

Title: And so we did ‘the isotopes’. It sounds simple but what is human isotope data really telling us about people in the past?


Biomolecular methods have given archaeology a gift that would have been unimaginable to early archaeologists. William Williamson’s lament when writing in 1834 about the date of Gristhorpe Man’s burial in a coffin of oak, that ‘There is no possible chance of coming within a few years, or even with certainty, within two or three centuries, of the exact period of the entombing of the body’ was made before the invention of Thomsen’s Three Age System, dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. One imagines the polymath and future Professor of Natural History and Fellow of the Royal Society would have delighted in these new methods and the light they could shine on our past just as now we explore the wealth of information available to us through the application of isotopes to illuminate past diets, mobility and health.

Since the early days of the application of the first carbon and nitrogen dietary isotope studies, researchers have applied strontium, lead, oxygen and sulphur isotopes and trace elements in the hope that unusual individuals can be identified or confirmed, communities can be characterised and compared and animal husbandry practices can be reconstructed. As is often the case with new techniques, however, interesting applications can often outstrip understanding and the acquisition of the necessary baseline data for which it is far more difficult to obtain funding. This talk will use case studies to look at current knowledge and the complementarity of isotopic techniques with other methods such as aDNA to assess where we are and to highlight possible advances in the search for ever-decreasing sample size in the hope of increasing temporal resolution.

12.00-13.00 Lunch

13.00-13.30 Dr Elise Naumann (University of Oslo, Norway) and Zanette Glørstad (Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, Norway)

Title: Mobility and diet in Norway AD 800 – 1200; a discussion based on results from 87Sr/86Sr, δ13C and δ15N from human and animal remains


The period of Viking Age and Early Medieval times are characterized by significant social transformations, with the introduction of Christianity, shifting power structures from chiefdoms to a central royal power and the emergence of the first towns – changes that had major impact on the way people lived. By the application of isotope analyses on human remains, some of these aspects can be studied on an individual level. To achieve a better understanding of this pivotal period and how social changes affected people`s life, one essential approach is to examine variations in resource utilization, changes in food consumption and distribution, as well as patterns of mobility and relocation. Where the material is sufficiently preserved, observations of individual lives and their life course could provide a basis for investigating changes in diet and possible geographic relocation through single life chronologies. In this paper, we will discuss results from stable isotope analyses from Viking Age individuals, indicating a high frequency of mobility and diet variation. Further we will consider these analyses in comparison with some preliminary results from isotope analyses of the earliest inhabitants of Oslo – individuals representing the first generations to live and die in a medieval Norwegian town

13.30-14.00 Markus FjellstrĂśm (PhD candidate at University of Stockholm, Sweden)

Title: The dietary history behind the buried individuals from the silver mining area at Silbojokk. Tracing cultural heterogeneity with the mean of stable isotopes and elemental analysis from a 17th century churchyard


At the mouth of the creek Silbojokk in the lake Sädvajaure in the Swedish mountains several buildings as lodging and service houses for the workers of the silver mine in Nasafjäll was built in the 17th century. The first excavation was undertaken in 1983-84, revealing buildings as a smeltery, living quarters, a bakery, a church and its churchyard and many others. This was no surprise as the mines history has been known for quite some time. The mine in Nasafjäll was established in 1635 and has known several phases placing its time of use to the 19th century. Already at the beginning, people were travelling from the European continent and within Sweden in order to help work at the mine. Local Såmi were also employed, especially in order to transport silver down to the Swedish coast. Even though the hard working climate in its harsh environment these sites are still places of meeting and bonding between different groups.

In the 1950’s a dam was built in order to regulate the lake. This had repercussion on the shoreline provoking erosion of soils. Hence, the destruction of graves from the churchyard situated close to the lake and other remains and artifacts. Since 2003 excavations have been undertaken by Norrbottens museum in order to rescue the remains that still could be rescued. Earlier excavations had already placed the site in a Sámi context due to its finds. Artifacts as a drum-hammer, birch-bark sinkers attached to former nets, marrow-splited bones, etc. is represented at the site. Some of the graves, although poorly preserved, are showing on possible birch-bark wrappings, being typical for Sámi burials. At least 36 individuals have been osteologically determined, although only 32 graves have been excavated, whereas 26 individuals from a secured context and 6 individuals as loose finds. Of these individuals there are men, women and children of different ages. Most of the adults died quite young around the age of 25-30. In my collaboration with the Norrbotten museum I aim to study diet and mobility patterns of these past populations. Who were the individuals buried at Silbojokk? Did they all work at the mine and were they local to the area? Are those questions that dietary studies can answer?

So far has carbon, nitrogen and sulphur stable isotopes been analysed on c. 80 human samples from both bone and teeth material in order to trace intra-individual changes of diet and mobility during lifetime. And c. 40 animal bone samples has been analysed as reference material for human diet and mobility patterns. More fauna is being gathered at this moment. And as they mostly died of young age and according to historical sources of sickness due to hard working in the mines, elemental analyses is being done on the bones as to trace lead poisoning.

14.00-14.45 Discussion and questions to the speakers

14.45-15.00 Break

Session 2

Population composition and dynamics

15.00-15.30 Dr Ramona Harrison (University of Bergen, Norway)

Title: Eyjafjord settlement sites – A zooarchaeological approach to questions on Scandinavian settlement on Iceland


The first part of this paper provides a brief overview of the dynamics of Icelandic Settlement by Scandinavians and peoples from the British Isles between circa the late 9th and the 11th century AD. Upon summarizing recent multi-disciplinary work done on the topic of Icelandic colonization, a specific archaeological case-study is made by highlighting research from the Eyjafjord region in N. Iceland.  Settlement, burial, and especially zooarchaeological remains provide us with clues on the extent and also the speed of Icelandic settlement.

The second part focuses on cultural and economic exchange between Icelanders and foreign merchants at the international trade site Gásir in Eyjafjord. Recent zooarchaeological research has provided insight into the region’s long-term local livestock management strategies and the emergence of Cod-fish surplus production for export purposes during the 13th and 14th centuries. The archaeological record available to us points out a distinct presence of trade goods originating from Scandinavia.

15.30-16.00 Professor Axel Christophersen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University Museum, Norway)

Title: Steps towards an archaeological understanding of immigration, newcomers and settlers in medieval Trondheim


Urban archaeology has for ages been interested in the question of who the habitants in the urban centers/non-agrarian settlements that originated around 1000 AD in Scandinavia were. However, this question has traditionally been approached in a rather functionalistic perspective, strongly related to economic (“traders”) and/or productive (“craftsmen”) actors and less to the question of where do they come from? Not to mention who were they? in terms of regional/geographical affiliation and socio-spatial environment. aDNA analysis opens for alternative questions and issues beyond this functional approach. This contribution is a first attempt to approach the topic of early immigration and settlement in Trondheim (as a case study) using archaeological sources supplemented with written material for late medieval period in order to illuminate the overarching question; from where did the inhabitants that created the medieval urban centres come from? This question has great influence on other vital aspects of urban development far beyond the demography. Archaeological remains and written texts have different potential for producing facts and findings concerning people’s movements into the early urban communities. Thus, the picture of the urban settlement processes is rather vague and ambiguous conceived. How can data extracted from isotope and genetic analysis be able to correct and complement this rather ambiguous picture?

16.00-16.30 Discussion and questions to the speakers

16.30-19.00 Do what you want

19.00-??.?? Conference dinner for speakers and invited guests

Day 2.

Session 2 continues

Population composition and dynamics

The aim of this session is to develop a clearer picture of the pre-modern Scandinavian population. Here we look for papers discussing the composition of the population and interaction between population groups. We invite papers from different academic disciplines: biological anthropology, archaeology, history or any other disciplines with a relevant contribution to this topic.

09.00-09.30 Dr Thomas Forster (The Norwegian Institute in Rome, Italy)

Title: Foreigners in high medieval Norway: Images of immigration in chronicles and kings’ sagas, twelfth and thirteenth centuries


The paper will study the portrayal of individual foreigners and the image of immigration as a whole in the Latin chronicle tradition of twelfth-century Norway and in the kings’ sagas from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Primarily it will ask for the narrative strategies and ideological patterns that formed the basis for these texts and hence also influenced their portrayal of immigration. A major intention in many of these “national” histories was to forge a Norwegian identity as a Christian kingdom, with its kings as equals of other European monarchs. This identity was not least developed by both contrasting and comparing the Norse to other regions of Christian Europe. In my previous studies I have analysed how this was done with regard to entire regions and kingdoms the Norse had contact with in these narratives. This paper will apply similar approaches to the portrayal and narrative importance of foreigners living in Norway in this time. Therefore, the paper will provide some insights into the informational value of some of our most important sources for immigration in  premodern Scandinavia.

09.30-10.00 Synnøve Midtbø Myking (PhD candidate at University of Bergen, Norway)

Title: The universal and the local: Norwegian religious houses and cultural diversity


The first Norwegian monasteries were founded around 1100, with new orders establishing themselves in the country throughout the Middle Ages. The available evidence suggests that at least to begin with, the religious houses were populated by monks and nuns who came from abroad, although local people were recruited as well. As such it is possible to consider the medieval monasteries and convents as examples of international communities where people of various geographical backgrounds met and lived together.

This perspective invites several questions. To what extent did the religious houses and their surroundings influence each other linguistically and culturally? Did the members of the religious communities experience “culture clashes” or issues of miscommunication? Did lay people view them as “foreign”, and did they view themselves that way? While we cannot expect firm answers, asking these questions is still worthwhile when examining the existing evidence of the medieval convents in Norway and their role in society.

10.00-10.15 Break

10.15-10.45 Maren Sofie Løfsgürd (MA student at University of Bergen)

Title: Foreign names in late medieval Bergen


The Black Death and its aftermath caused many cities to shrink, some disappeared completely. Yet Bergen remained, the largest Scandinavian city in the period. We know there was immigration to Bergen in the late Middle Ages, specially from the German areas, but we know less about immigration from other areas, or how this changed over time. There is a fair amount of surviving documents regarding property from late medieval Bergen, and these documents include a large number of names. There are the names of the buyers and sellers of properties, of the owners of plots and houses, and of those who rented them, but there are also the names of the civil servants who often witnessed the transactions mentioned in these documents. This paper will explore how these names can be utilized to uncover trends in the migration pattern of Bergen in the late medieval period.

10.45-11.15 Dr Bart Lambert (Durham University, England)

Title: Scandinavian immigrants in late medieval England: Sources, problems and patterns


Carried out at the University of York between 2012 and 2015, ‘England’s Immigrants, 1330-1550’ is a research project that surveyed the resident alien population of England during the period of the Hundred Years’ War, the Black Death and the Wars of the Roses. One of its major outcomes was a freely searchable database that contains evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of over 64,000 foreign-born individuals who chose to come and and live in the British Isles between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. Among them were people from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In addition, members of the project team conducted pioneering research into late medieval immigration policies and revealed the origins of England’s current naturalisation procedures. ‘England’s Immigrants’ transformed our understanding of the ways in which English people and foreign nationals, of all levels of society, lived and worked together in the era of the Plantagenets and early Tudors and provides a historical context for modern debates about the movement of peoples and the state’s responsibilities to regulate immigration. Focusing on the experiences of Scandinavian immigrants, this paper will discuss the project’s methodology, its significance and its results.

11.15-11.30 Break

11.30-12.00 Discussion and questions to the speakers

12.00-13.00 Lunch

Session 3

To what extent can one talk about a multicultural society in pre-modern Scandinavia?

The aim of this session is to draw some lines towards the modern multicultural Scandinavian society. Is it possible to talk about a multicultural society in pre-modern Scandinavia? Where could we possible find such a society? What cultures would have made up this multicultural society? When do we see the origins of multicultural societies in Scandinavia? Is it a modern phenomenon? These are some of the questions which could be discussed in this session.

13.00-13.30 Dr Jette Linaa (Moesgaard Museum, Denmark)

Title: Chaos, conflict and collaboration in multicultural cities in pre-modern Denmark, based on results from the Urban Diaspora project


Early modern migration meant an exchange of people, objects and ideas with wide-ranging consequences for host communities as well as homelands. Some meetings were peaceful; others were conflict-ridden. The migrants came with different agendas: conquerors and colonizers, traders, economic, politic and religious refugees had their own agendas and aims. And they were met with different responses ranging from official welcomes to conflict and resistance. The urban Diaspora project is an ongoing cross-dicsiplinary and cross-national research project on immigration into medieval and early modern Scandinavia. In the course of the project our participants has uncovered traces of migration based in archaeology, history and science. The aim of this session is to present some of the agendas of the many immigrant groups, that settled here, and the official and unofficial responses of hostland to the pressure of the immigrants as we know them from archaeology, history and science. The Urban Diaspora is funded by the Danish Council for Independent research/Humanities.

13.30-14.00 Dr Erik Opsahl (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)

Title: Foreign envoys (ombudsmen) and resident Norwegians in the Late Middle Ages – a cultural clash?


The lecture’s point of departure is the revolts in Scandinavia in the late middle ages. Can they at least partly be seen as a result of cultural conflict? The paper will discuss the concept “culture” in this context and compare the different Norwegian, Swedish and Danish revolts. What were the similarities and dissimilarities between the revolts when it comes to the question of a cultural clash? Did for instance the Norwegians revolt because their resisted to be ruled by a “colonial elite” who challenged Norwegian cultural values?

14.00-14.30 Discussion and questions to the speakers

14.30-14.40 Thank you! It’s time to go home


Dr Arne Solli (University of Bergen, Norway)

Title: Immigration and citizenship records: Bergen and Trondheim 1600-1799


The importance of immigration to the growth of Norwegian cities in the early modern period is highly recognised, but poorly studied. The few existing studies have mainly got a local perspective and focus solely on single cities. There are no comparative studies and even in the three-volume work Norsk innvandringshistorie (“Norwegian immigration history”), urban immigration is merely studied city by city (Volume I, Ch. 16). This poster is the first attempt to compare the immigration using citizenship records from Bergen and Trondheim. Citizenship records exist for other Norwegian cities too, however, birthplace is lacking or poorly registered except for Bergen and Trondheim.  What were the similarities and differences of the migration to Bergen and Trondheim in the 17th and 18th century?  From a theoretical perspective (Christhaller 1933, Ravenstein 1889) it would be reasonable to argue that size mattered. Bergen as a larger urban centre attracted people from a longer distance. Did Bergen have a greater range than Trondheim? Was the demographic hinterland of the two cities complementary or overlapping?

Henriette Mikkelsen Hoel (PhD candidate, University of Bergen, Norway)

Title: The Norwegian queens as transnational cultural ambassadors


The Norwegian queens have come from the Scandinavian countries, Germany, England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Russia and the Netherlands. Queen subjects were often pawns in a political game – marriage was important to build alliances. When the women, many very young, came to their new homeland, they came to a country in the north with a foreign language and different culture – and they knew few. But they brought their own entourage, clothings, jewelry, books and other products from their home. The queens were transnational cultural ambassadors.

The queens had in childhood received education that was appropriate for a young woman of her condition. It meant that they were bilingual, knew their religion well, they were courtly and were updated on literary currents. This background was not typical of only those who got married with a king, but in general for all girls and women who belonged to the upper layer of society. So there is little that separates the background of the queens of aristocratic women. What distinguishes a queen from other women is that she was the King’s wife, and with the coronation the queen was undoubtebly the kingdom’s foremost woman.

My poster will present my ongoing research on this topic – what did the women that became queens in Norway bring to their new country?

Dr Jo Buckberry (University of Bradford, England), Dr Janet Montgomery (Durham University, England), Dr Jacqueline Towers (University of Bradford, England), Dr Gundula Mßldner (University of Reading, England), Malin Holst (York Osteoarchaeology, England), Dr Jane Evans (NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory), Dr Andrew Gledhill (University of Bradford, England), Naomi Neale (University of Bradford, England) and Professor Julia Lee-Thorp (University of Oxford, England)

Title: Finding Vikings in the Danelaw 


Historical, artefactual and place-name evidence indicate that Scandinavian migrants moved to eastern England in the ninth century AD, settling in the Danelaw. However, only a handful of characteristically Scandinavian burials have been found in the region. One, widely held, explanation is that most of these Scandinavian settlers quickly adopted local Christian burial customs, thus leaving Scandinavians indistinguishable from the Anglo-Saxon population. We undertook osteological and isotopic analysis to investigate the presence of first generation Scandinavian migrants in two burial populations in Yorkshire, UK. Burials from Masham were typical of the later Anglo-Saxon period and included men, women and children. The location and positioning of the four adult burials from Coppergate, however, are unusual for Anglo-Scandinavian York. None of the skeletons revealed inter-personal violence. Isotopic evidence did not suggest a marine component in the diet of either group, but revealed migration on a regional, and possibly an international, scale. Combined strontium and oxygen isotope analysis should be used to further investigate both regional and Scandinavian migration in the later Anglo-Saxon period.

Anna H. PetersĂŠn: (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Trondheim, Norway)

Title: Exotic or local practice? Examples of charcoal–burials and other less common burial rites from medieval Trondheim.


The recent discovery of an early medieval church and associated cemetery in a central part of the medieval town of Trondheim has revealed examples of a comparatively rare burial practice in Scandinavia. It is likely that the cemetery contains numerous graves dating to the period AD 1000 – 1200. However, only a few graves in the southern part of the churchyard have so far been investigated. The graves represent a variety of burial practices, including so called charcoal-graves, where the body was placed on a layer of charcoal. The charcoal-graves displayed gender variety and age difference between the individuals. In addition to charcoal, some individuals were buried with a stone slab placed beneath their head. Stone slabs were also found in graves without charcoal.

These burial practices have not previously been identified in Trondheim, but they are known from Anglo-Saxon England (Holloway 2009; Daniell 2004). Charcoal-burials have also been recorded in Lund in southern Sweden (Cinthio 2002; Blomqvist 1961), where the burials have been interpreted as belonging to an English community in Lund closely associated with the court of Knut the Great.

The charcoal-graves in Trondheim date to the mid-12th century, and are consequently of later date than the comparative material from England and Sweden. What then do the burials in Trondheim represent, and why has this practice so far only been recorded from one of the many cemeteries excavated in the medieval town? Are the deceased perhaps of English origin, belonging to an immigrant English community in Trondheim as suggested in the case of Lund, or was this a burial rite practiced by a only very few members of the local community?

Anna Katerina Fotakis (PhD candidate at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Dr Enrico Cappelini (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Professor Tom Gilbert (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Title: Metagenomics and Proteomics on the Ancient Oral Microbiome: examining the microbial history of Trondheim.


The last decade has witnessed a revolution in the field of microbiome research, not least due to the advent of technological tools that allow for a much more detailed and in depth analysis of the molecules that were previously impossible to characterise. The oral microbiota- the collection of microorganisms that co-inhabit our oral surfaces, is increasingly being examined for its role in health and disease. Nonetheless, the complicated nature of the interactions between host and microbiota mean that a multi disciplinary approach is neccessary to gain functional understanding of this equilibrium. Whilst a lot of effort has been made for current biomedical research in understanding the ever changing function via metagenomic and metaproteomic analysis of our microbiomes, there is an increasing focus on the evolution of microbiota – host interactions from a different source material: archaeological dental plaque (dental calculus) from archaeological specimens. Thus, it is possible to examine the microbiomes of past human communities and evaluate rates of evolution and adaptations in comparison to modern human populations. In this poster we will present that context of examining the oral microbiome from archaeological human remains, with a particular focus on individuals spanning the archaeological record of Trondheim, Norway, from its foundation in 995AD till the latter part of the18th century. The questions addressed within this project may be incompassed in the general understanding of shifting migrations and lifestyles through time, and how such changes may have impacted the oral microbiome in the process. Utilising the latest methods in both ancient DNA and ancient protein methods, we aim to reconstruct potential shift in oral microbiota and associated host interactions through time.

Inge Kristine Conrad Lundstrøm (PhD candidate at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Title: Genome Evolution of Trondheimers through the last 1000 Years


The skeletal remains of several thousand individuals have been excavated from cemeteries in Trondheim, Norway, and are now contained at the NTNU Museum of Science in Trondheim. This collection of individuals is an exceptionally unique record of human presence, as not only is the collection osteologically described, well-dated and well-preserved, but coming from a single location they thus provide a valuable temporal series of human samples spanning the last ∼1000 years in time; from the Viking Age to the Industrial Revolution. Preliminary testing has recovered 5-50 % endogenous DNA with whole genome shotgun sequencing. Subjecting the genomic data to temporal analyses for directly observing what parts of the genome are under selection, which parts are under drift, and correlate the result with both demographic and historical events, will offer the potential to characterize micro evolutionary change in a single human “population” at high resolution, throughout a period of significant human societal change.

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Immigration and mobility in mediaeval and post-mediaeval Norway
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen