Anna Kjellström

Anna Kjellström
Stockholm University | SU · Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies

PhD

About

60
Publications
50,043
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1,003
Citations
Citations since 2017
24 Research Items
656 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Introduction
Anna Kjellström currently works at the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University. Anna does research in Biological Anthropology and Medical Anthropology. Their current project is 'Segregated or Integrated? – Living and Dying in the harbour city of Ostia, 300 BCE – 700 CE'.

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
We investigate a 2,000-year genetic transect through Scandinavia spanning the Iron Age to the present, based on 48 new and 249 published ancient genomes and genotypes from 16,638 modern individuals. We find regional variation in the timing and magnitude of gene flow from three sources: the eastern Baltic, the British-Irish Isles, and southern Europ...
Chapter
It has been acknowledged that the transnational economic system in the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages was to a large extent based on slave trade. The duties of the unfree intersected all aspects of everyday life and slavery is believed to have significantly contributed to the economy. From a Swedish perspective, although these ideas are accep...
Article
Full-text available
Objective This paper will review how different methods employed to study bone loss in the past were used to explore different questions and aspects of bone loss, how methodology has changed over time, and how these different approaches have informed our understanding of bone loss in the past. Materials and methods A review and discussion is conduc...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to promote consistent observations of sacralization, a relatively common form of lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV). Sacralization can inform on genetic affiliation. There are four types, ranging from enlarged transverse processes to bony ankylosis. Complete sacralization reportedly occurs in 1.5%‐14% of archaeological and mo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vikings-the Scandinavian seafaring populations that dominated the North Seas between the eighth and eleventh centuries CE-are usually described as pirates and warriors living in a highly aggressive society. But was this really the case? How violent were the Vikings among themselves? In this study, we compare the share of cranial trauma and weapon w...
Chapter
In the late tenth century, the late Viking Age–early Middle Ages town, Sigtuna, was founded. The town contrasted with preceding hubs in the region, demonstrating a structured town plan with royal and religious administrations. The urbanization process, as read through the inhabitants, has been investigated in several studies during recent years. In...
Article
Full-text available
In the ringfort Sandby borg (A.D. 400–550) on Öland, Sweden, remains of 26 unburied humans were excavated between 2010 and 2016. Several of the skeletons display traces of lethal interpersonal violence. This study pres¬ents taphonomic analyses of unburied bodies, a situation seldom encountered archaeologically. The depositional context allows us to...
Research
Full-text available
Archaeological finds are made in the field, and the museum. Modern human osteological analyses utilize documented collections and clinical studies to test observations. However, if researchers inadvertently conflate criteria, findings cannot be truly comparable. The most common form of lumbosacral transitional vertebrae is sacralization, with eight...
Article
Previous research has shown that physical violence had a normative presence in medieval Nordic societies. In this study, weapon-related trauma (WRT) was examined in human skeletal assemblages from two religious houses, Skriðuklaustur in Iceland, and Västerås in Sweden. The aims were to identify patterns of WRT and to relate these to the masculiniti...
Article
Full-text available
In 2016, archaeological excavations undertaken by the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands 3.8 km south-west of Athens, Greece, revealed mass burials of 79 skeletons in three rows. The burials are dated to the 7th century BC. The anthropological field documentation was undertaken by The Swedish Institute of Athens, and follow...
Article
In 1998, a Viking Age mass grave was discovered and excavated at St. Laurence´s churchyard in Sigtuna, Sweden. The excavated bones underwent osteoarchaeological analysis and were assigned to at least 19 individuals. Eleven skeletons showed sharp force trauma from bladed weapons. Mass graves are an unusual finding from this time period, making the b...
Article
Full-text available
The warrior woman has long been part of the Viking image, with a pedigree that extends from the Valkyries of Old Norse prose and poetry to modern media entertainment. Until recently, however, actual Viking Age evidence for such individuals has been sparse. This article addresses research showing that the individual buried at Birka in an 'archetypal...
Article
Full-text available
During excavations of the Iron Age ringfort of Sandby borg ( ad 400–550), the remains of twenty-six unburied bodies were encountered inside and outside the buildings. The skeletons and the archaeological record indicate that after the individuals had died the ringfort was deserted. An osteological investigation and trauma analysis were conducted ac...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of human mobility on the northern European urban populations during the Viking and Early Middle Ages and its repercussions in Scandinavia itself are still largely unexplored. Our study of the demographics in the final phase of the Viking era is the first comprehensive multidisciplinary investigation that includes genetics, isotopes, arch...
Article
Objectives: Sala Silver Mine in central Sweden was an important manufacturer of silver from at least the 16th till the early 20th century, with production peaking in the 16th, mid 17th and 19th centuries. The job opportunities offered by the mine attracted people to the area resulting in the development of a small township with an associated cemete...
Article
Full-text available
Though relics have attracted immense interest from a variety of scholars, not much attention has been paid to the practical handling of the holy corporal remains. Here, with the aim of better understanding the treatment of the bodies and relics as physical objects in Sweden during the Middle Ages, osseous materials from three different contexts wer...
Article
The socio-cultural behaviour of Scandinavian Mesolithic hunter-gatherers has been difficult to understand due to the dearth of sites thus far investigated. Recent excavations at Kanaljorden in Sweden, however, have revealed disarticulated human crania intentionally placed at the bottom of a former lake. The adult crania exhibited antemortem blunt f...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on Scandinavia, Finland, and adjacent regions of Northwest Russia (Karelia and the Kola Peninsula). Urbanization commenced relatively late in Scandinavia and Finland. The chapter examines temporal trends in body size and shape within Scandinavia and Finland across all time periods, followed by comparisons with other Europeans a...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The objective of this study has been to confirm the sex and the affinity of an individual buried in a well-furnished warrior grave (Bj 581) in the Viking Age town of Birka, Sweden. Previously, based on the material and historical records, the male sex has been associated with the gender of the warrior and such was the case with Bj 581....
Article
No contemporary sources mention Erik Jedvardsson, Sweden's king saint. The only account of his life is the saint's legend, in its preserved form written in the late 13th century, and legends are notoriously untrustworthy. It says that in 1160, in the tenth year of Erik's reign, he was killed by a throne claimant. His remains have rested in a reliqu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction Given favourable preservation, the presence of tuberculosis and leprosy in archaeological material can be confirmed by detection of ancient DNA. Alternatively, characteristic mycobacterial lipid biomarkers can complement or replace DNA detection. The most-studied C70 to C90 mycolic acids can be readily profiled by fluorescence high per...
Article
Full-text available
Vikings with artificially modified teeth have previously been documented in the south-eastern parts of Scandinavia and in England. In a project dealing with life in the Mälaren Valley in Sweden during the period ad 750–1100, new cases of people with modified maxillary teeth were observed. The hypothesis that the practice was entirely associated wit...
Article
The influence and possible negative impact on sinus health of living conditions in rural and urban environments in Viking Age (AD 800–1050) and Early Medieval Sweden (AD 1050–1200) is investigated. Skeletal samples from 32 rural settlements in the Mälaren Valley (AD 750–1200) and burials in the nearby proto-urban port of trade Birka (AD 750–960) ar...
Article
Frequencies of maxillary sinusitis in the population of the medieval town Sigtuna, Sweden, were examined. The first aim was to explore the occurrence of sinus conditions in this urban population, and the second was to investigate the effects of preservation in relation to these changes. The skeletal sample consisted of 274 adolescent and adult indi...
Article
Full-text available
Leprosy was endemic in Europe until the Middle Ages. Using DNA array capture, we have obtained genome sequences of Mycobacterium leprae from skeletons of five medieval leprosy cases from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark. In one case, the DNA was so well preserved that full de novo assembly of the ancient bacterial genome could be achieved th...
Article
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In 1991, treasure hunters found skeletal remains in an area close to the destroyed country residence of former Nazi leader Hermann Göring in northeastern Berlin. The remains, which were believed to belong to Carin Göring, who was buried at the site, were examined to determine whether it was possible to make a positive identification. The anthropolo...
Article
Full-text available
In Sigtuna, Sweden, a medieval cemetery, including 227 skeletons, was analysed in 2006. On the outskirts of the churchyard, six skeletons with bone changes indicating systemic inflammatory disease were observed. Two out of three individuals with well-preserved facial bone regions displayed signs of rhinomaxillary remodelling. Four of the afflicted...
Article
In Sigtuna, Sweden, several medieval cemeteries have been excavated, from which approximately 800 skeletons have been excavated and analysed. Archaeological finds and anthropological analyses have exposed social differences between the cemeteries. Stable isotope analyses have shown that the inhabitants of the town consumed a mixed diet. Significant...
Article
Full-text available
Saint Birgitta (Saint Bridget of Sweden) lived between 1303 and 1373 and was designated one of Europe's six patron saints by the Pope in 1999. According to legend, the skulls of St. Birgitta and her daughter Katarina are maintained in a relic shrine in Vadstena abbey, mid Sweden. The origin of the two skulls was assessed first by analysis of mitoch...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) have been studied in human burials from the medieval town Sigtuna in Sweden. Dietary patterns of 80 adult individuals were analyzed on three cemeteries representing the phases of establishment, prosperity and decline of the town. All analyzed individuals were radiocarbon dated. One of the cemeteries, Church 1, represent...
Chapter
Full-text available
About 2700 people each year in Sweden today need medical treatment due to interpersonal violence, and about 110 die of this cause (Nationella Folkhälso-kommittén 1999). Violent events with a fatal outcome seem to be closely con-nected to sex, since more than twice as many men are killed in such situations (e.g. 74 men and 34 women in 1996). The dif...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Analysis of the mortality profiles of people dying with and without cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis suggest that the conditions producing these lesions have a negative effect on survivorship (Figs. 1 and 2). The difference in mortality rate is especially clear for cribra orbitalia for older children and adolescents. The age distributions...
Article
An adult male from an early Medieval mass grave in Sigtuna displayed bilateral os cuneiforme mediale bipartum. This is an unusual congenital anomaly and this study is the first published example found in an archaeological skeletal assemblage in Sweden. Another adult male in the same grave shows horizontal grooves of both medial cuneiform bones. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the Battle of Good Friday in Uppsala. The historical records are scarce and of limited extent. Moreover, the more spectacular event of the Stockholm Bloodbath has drawn most of the attention from both the contemporary public and later historians. This is why the discovery of a mass grave in the steep slope of Uppsala Castle in...
Article
Several studies have presented a variety of sexually dimorphic traits on the skeleton offering possibilities to score these traits for sex determination. However, few have discussed how fragmentation of skeletons affects the reliability of the results, and how to assess sex attribution based on a variety of methods. In the present study sex was det...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
The project aims to reveal the cultural transformation of the early town dwellers of Sigtuna. From the town's foundation AD 970 until 1100, altogether 325 buried individuals are known. 185 of them belong to 25 different cemeteries, where people were buried in accordance with Christian practice, but without a church building. The remaining 140 derive from 4 different churchyards. The cemeteries (Sw. gravgårdar) are a unique phenomenon in Scandinavia, but has not been subject to in-depth analyzes. It is unclear how the buried relate to each other, what kind of communities they represent and how they differ from the buried at contemporary churchyards. The main objective is to understand urbanization, migration, cultural relations between groups and people, and the early church organization, as well as networks and transnational relations. The project, will run for three years, and is led by archaeologist Torun Zachrisson, participants are osteologist Anna Kjellström and a postdoc researcher. The burials will be analyzed archaeologically concerning the topography and location of the burial grounds, together with the grave goods of the deceased, and grave markers such as rune-inscribed stone monuments. Osteological analyzes of chosen individuals will be made. The material culture as such shows that Sigtuna was a cosmopolitan town. This project will deepen this understanding by focusing on the backgrounds of the town dwellers and the transformation of the first generations of them.