Fredrik Fahlander

Fredrik Fahlander


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Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-16 33 78
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 316
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Fredrik Fahlander (b. 1965) is associate professor of archaeology at Stockholm University. I received my doctoral degree in 2003 from the Department of Archaeology, the University of Gothenburg where I worked as a lecturer and researcher. In 2009 I began a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stockholm University and since 2013 I occupy a permanent position as lecturer and researcher. I am also one of two editors of the peer-reviewed journal Current Swedish Archaeology.

My research is based on a microarchaeological perspective and focuses on social theory and methodology in general and social practice and materiality in particular. A microarchaeological approach is basically symmetrical based on detailed analyses of social processes and sequences of events that include both human and non-human actors. It is also a relational and non-representational approach and works from the bottom-up alongside particular archaeological material and socio-material setting, instead of taking shortcuts through, generalisations and historical or anthropological models.

The microarchaeological perspective is applied to a variety of research fields, such as the archaeology of death, material aspects of food culture, and figurative representations (tattoos and rock art). Other current research includes social categorization and intersectionality (children and elderly) and social hybridity and the different effects that can occur when different groups meet and interact.


Current research project
I currently working on a three-year project, Material images: Visual modes of material articulation in south Scandinavian rock art, financed by Riksbankens jubileumsfond. The main objective is to study Bronze Age rock art as active and integrated materiality in social relations. The project employs a novel theoretical perspective in which rock art is understood as material articulations rather than passive representations of cosmology or ideology. From such a perspective, rock art is considered a fully integrated materiality with a potential to affect the course of events.
This is explored though aspects of “visual modes of material articulation”. By analysing displacements in stylistic variability, alterations, re-cuts, superimpositions, and breaking against praxis, the rock art is given a time depth and a social dimension. The method also facilitates ways to study the agency of the imagery, that is, how they may incite actions. Advanced photogrammetry and three-dimensional analysis will be employed to help identify details in the ways images are produced and how panels of rock art develop over time.

Read more about the project here


Selected publications 
- 2018. Bildbruk i mellanrum. Mälarvikens hällbilder under andra årtusendet fvt, Stockholm: Univ.
- 2018. The relational life of trees. Ontological aspects of "tree-ness" in the Early Bronze Age of Northern Europe, Open Archaeology 4(1): 373-385.
- 2018. Grave encounters: Ontological and material aspects of post-burial practices in south Scandinavian Late Iron Age, Primitive Tider 20: 51-63.
- 2018. Nuances of what? Burials as relational configurations. Norwegian archaeological review, 51(2): 78-81.
- 2018. (med Anders Högberg). Keynote: The changing roles of archaeology in Swedish museums, today and in the future, Current Swedish Archaeology, 25: 13-19.
- 2017. Materiella bilder: Visuella uttryck bland Mälarvikens hällbilder, In: New Perspectives on the Bronze Age, S. Bergerbrantd & A. Wessman (eds), Oxford: Archaeopress, 267-80.
- 2017. Materiella bilder: Visuella uttryck bland Mälarvikens hällbilder, In: New Perspectives on the Bronze Age, S. Bergerbrantd & A. Wessman (eds), Oxford: Archaeopress, 267-80.
- 2017. Ontology matters in archaeology and anthropology. People, things and posthumanism, In: These “Thin Partitions”: Bridging the Growing Divide between Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology, J. D. Englehardt & I. A. Rieger (eds), Boulder: University Press of Colorado, pp. 69-86.
- 2016. The materiality of the ancient dead. Post-burial practices and ontologies of death in southern Sweden AD 800–1200. Current Swedish Archaeology, Vol 24: 137-162 
- 2015. The skin I live in. The materiality of body imagery, In: Own and be owned, Archaeological perspectives of the concept of possessions, Eds. Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson & Alison Klevnäs, Stockholm: Univ, pp49-72.
- 2014. Postmodern Archaeologies, The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Theory, Eds: Andrew Gardner, Mark Lake and Ulrike Sommer, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 2014. Djur och människor: posthumanistiska perspektiv på yngre järnålderns gravar, In: Med hjärta och hjärna: en vänbok till Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh, Henrik Alexandersson, Alexander Andreeff & Annika Bünz (red). Göteborg: Univ. Pp. 237-250.
- 2013. Articulating Relations: A non-representational view of Scandinavian Rock-art, In: Archaeology after Interpretation. Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory. Alberti, B., Jones, A. & Pollard, J. (Eds), Left Coast Press. pp 305-24.
- 2013. Intersecting Generations. Burying the Old in a Neolithic Hunter-Fisher Community, Cambridge Archaeological Journal. Vol 23(2): 227-239.
- 2012. Mesolithic childhoods: Changing Life-Courses of Young Hunter-Fishers in the Stone Age of Southern Scandinavia, Journal of Childhood in the Past, no 5: 20–34.
 - 2012. (med N. Burström) Matters of scale. Processes and courses of
events in archaeology and cultural history,
N. M. Burström & F. Fahlander
(Eds), Stockholm: Univ.
- 2012. (med I-M Back Danielsson & Y. Sjöstrand). Encountering Imagery:
Materialities, Perceptions, Relations,
I.-M. Back Danielsson, F.
Fahlander & Y. Sjöstrand (Eds), Stockholm: Univ.
- 2011. Spåren av de små: Arkeologiska perspektiv på barn och barndom, Fredrik Fahlander (Red), Stockholm Studies in Archaeology 54, Stockholm: Univ.
- 2010. (med A. Kjellström). Making sense of things. Archaeologies of
sensory perception,
Fredrik Fahlander & Anna Kjellström (eds),
Stockholm Studies in Archaeology 53, Stockholm: Univ.

Full list of downloadable publications


Last updated: February 10, 2019

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