Anna Sörman

Anna Sörman


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Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-16 29 40
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 352
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Educated at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg (2007-2011), with a masters degree in Nordic archaeology specialising in development-led archaeology. I was accepted as a PhD candidate at Stockholm University in September 2011. I am currently in the final stages of my thesis work on bronzecrafting in southern Scandinavia during the late Bronze Age.

PhD project

The thesis is titled 'Arenas of crafting: The spatial, social and political organisation of bronze casting in southern Scandinavia during the Bronze Age'. The study aims to deepen the understanding of how the production of bronze objects was organised, based on a study of the phsycial casting places. This reserach builds on a new, extensive survey of casting debris recovered from excavations in Sweden and southern Scandinavia. Expansive development-led fieldwork over the last decades has resulted in a steady increase of available data, which now allows for new insights and a more substantial basis for comparisons. Through spatial analysis of finds of crucibles and moulds, in combination with a critical review of traditional terminology, the physcial and social contexts of casting are reconstructed. The thesis provides new perspectives on the spread of bronze technology in society, degree of élite control, the role of production in strategies of power, and ties between metalworking and the ritual sphere, primarily during Late Bronze Age.

Supervisor: Professor Anders Andrén, Dept of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University.

Second supervisor: PhD Alison Klevnäs, Dept of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University.

Research interests

  • Settlement pattern, landscape use, and organisation of space in the Bronze Age-Early Iron Age.
  • Political structures, social inequality, and the construction of social prestige, and identity.
  • Bronze Age cult house contexts, archaeological identification of rituals and schamanistic practices.
  • Technologies and craft organisation as window to social structure.
  • Archaeological method and critical perspectives on preconceptions in fieldwork and research. The interplay between development-led archaeology and academic research.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Anna Sörman. Artisans versus nobility? Multiple identities of elites and 'commoners' viewed though the lens of crafting from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Ages in Europe and the Mediterranean, 53-78

    ‘Workshops’ and ‘workshop production’ are central to archaeological understanding of metalworking in Bronze Age societies. In this article the concept of workshops is used as a starting point to review preconceptions about the social and spatial organisation of bronze crafting, focusing particularly on how it influences expectations of crafting evidence in the archaeological record. It argues that assumptions of a permanent, customised crafting place hosting the full manufacturing process, as often implied by the term ‘workshop’, are unsuitable for understanding the nature of bronze crafting in southern Scandinavia during the Late Bronze Age. Instead, drawing on evidence from south-eastern Sweden, the craft is characterised as flexible, embedded, and multi-locational. Furthermore, differences in crafting loci between ornaments and weapons are suggested to relate to the initiations of their intended bearers and to demonstrate the heterogeneous organisation of prestige goods production. Such user-oriented production provides an interesting example of the organisation of elite-motivated crafting outside the context of centralised states.

  • 2015. Per Nilsson, Anna Sörman. Fornvännen 110 (2), 84-96

    The excavation of a Late Bronze Age settlement at Rambodal, just outside the city of Norrköping, has provided interesting evidence for Bronze Age metalworking, including the third Bronze Age stone casting mould found to date in the county of Östergötland. The settlement consisted of a single farm with dates from Per. V of the Bronze Age to the earliest Iron Age. In addition to high-quality ceramics, the settlement yielded several traces of bronze casting, such as a copper melt and part of a soapstone mould for a small socketed axe, probably dating to Per.VI. Soapstone moulds are rarely found at settlement sites. The find provides interesting data for discussions of the molds’ use contexts. The evidence for small-scale household metalworking at a minor farmstead like Rambodal holds significant potential for future research on the spread and organisation of this craft.

Show all publications by Anna Sörman at Stockholm University


Last updated: January 14, 2019

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