Terje Oestigaard

Welcome to my homepage! (Last updated 26.06.2020)

I am an archaeologist, researcher and Docent at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden.

In the period 2006-2019, I worked mainly with the Nile basin countries and conducted fieldworks in Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Previous to my research in Africa, I conducted contemporary and archaeological fieldworks in Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, India, Nepal, Palestine as well as in Scandinavia.

After several years with a primary focus abroad, I have returned to Scandinavian archaeology and the fascinating and rich empirical world in the north, which includes Nordic ethnology and its relevance for archaeology. My current project (2020-2022) focuses on Nordic agricultural societies and ritual practices, and this work builds on the recent books written together with Anders Kaliff:

The Great Indo-European Horse Sacrifice: 4000 Years of Cosmological Continuity from Sintashta and the Steppe to Scandinavian Skeid:

Cover

Likbrud og dødsbryllup – sjelen, sykdommer og oldnordiske gravskikker:

Cover OPIA69

My general research approach has been interdisciplinary and comparative, working in collaboration with other researchers and programmes:

First, water studies with the aim of understanding the role of water in history, society and civilisation, with a particular emphasis on comparative culture and religion in changing environments. Climate change can be seen as the sum of weather changes over time, resulting in heavier rainfall and more floods, or less rain, more frequent and intense droughts, and declining water levels in rivers and lakes. In Africa, my main area of study is the Nile Basin region – Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda in particular. By emphasising human adaptation to changing water worlds and environments in time and space, I strive to bring new perspectives to the study of societies and civilisations in the past and the present.

Second, mortuary studies focusing on death rituals and cremations, which is also linked to water and life-giving processes. Previously I studied Hindu and Buddhist funerals in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. In Egypt, I studied the religious role of the Nile in the ancient Egyptian civilisation, with a particular emphasis on the characteristics of the Nile waters during the flood and how these are incorporated into myths, cosmology and mortuary cults. In Scandinavia, I focus on the archaeology of death and study how death and funerals have structured societies by examining different aspects of cremation and corpses, mainly in the Iron Age but also in the Bronze Age. Finally, in a European context, I have studied the role of the materiality of fire in the context of Hell and Purgatory.

DSC00681.JPG

Håga and King Björn’s Mound, Uppsala, Sweden, 2017.

Håga 2019.jpg

Håga and King Björn’s Mound, Uppsala, Sweden, 2019.

IMG_7376.JPG

Murchinson Falls, Uganda, 2014.

DSC00231

The Itanda Falls and Mary Itanda, Uganda, 2017.

IMG_8358

The Source of the Blue Nile or Gish Abay, Ethiopia, 2015.

IMG_8331

Lake Tana, Ethiopia, 2015.

IMG_1946.jpg

Karnak, Egypt, 2007.

IMG_2889.jpg

Aswan, Egypt, 2007.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s