Castles of the Mind in Old Norse Culture: Archeological and Literary Evidence of St. Clement’s Church in Niðaróss
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article juxtaposes the recently excavated archeological remains of St. Clement’s church in medieval Niðaróss (five wooden churches on top of each other with a material connection to a sixth older church) to the way the church is described in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, the long saga about Óláfr Tryggvason, and the Icelandic Laxdæla saga. The main aim of this article is to investigate whether the material continuity of the site, as attested by the archeology, is directly reflected in the literary sources, or whether cultural continuity is emphasised in a different way in the literary sources. The material and textual evidence will be interpreted to reveal new insights about the nature of and dynamics between natural/ material and cultural/ideological continuity in medieval Christendom. The discussion also has further implications concerning interdisciplinary methods in medieval studies and environmental history.