One part of my research has concerned the archaeology of Iron Age and Archaic Crete with a main focus on settlement patterns, land use, political aspects of the polis and construction of memories. Within this framework I examine notions of identities, ethnicity and social relations in the archaeological material. These ideas were developed in my PhD. Dissertation (published by BAR, 2003) and in a monograph on the archaeology of Archaic Crete (Fragments of Archaic Crete, 2008). I have also problematized the appropriation of Minoan Crete in later periods on the island as well as how Scandinavian Bronze Age archaeology has approached the Aegean Bronze Age.
My other main research interest concerns modern mediations of classical antiquity. This research should be defined within the more recently developed discourse of reception studies where different appropriations of the Classical tradition are examined from a critical point of view. Such an approach was implemented in a larger study on the display of ancient sculptures in modern museums. Together with Johannes Siapkas I analysed the discursive relationship between academia and museums. The focus of the study was an investigation of how an art historical tradition establishes and preserves an idealized view on antiquity in classical archaeology and in museum exhibitions. More than one hundred museums in Europe and the US formed the basis for the investigation of how ancient sculptures are displayed in museum contexts. The result of the three-year project financed by the Swedish Research Council was published as a monograph by Routledge in 2014 (Displaying the Ideals of Antiquity).
In my current research I am studying the mediation of ancient Greek and Roman religion in museums with the aim to investigate how both the materiality and immateriality of ancient religion translate into the design of contemporary exhibitions and museum spaces. I am also currently analysing the epistemological frameworks for recent research on ancient religion with a particular focus on how ideas around religious materiality is approached in classical archaeology.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
"Meeting with Others and the Gods"
2015. Lena Sjögren. Cult material, 123-135Chapter
Antika skulpturer och museer
2014. Lena Sjögren. Medusa. Svensk tidsskrift för antiken (4), 8-17Article
Displaying the ideals of antiquity
2013. Johannes Siapkas, Lena Sjögren.Book
Odysseus nordlig resa
2013. Lena Sjögren. Institutionens historier, 185-194Chapter
The enduring Minoan legacy
2013. Lena Sjögren. Perspectives on ancient Greece, 89-101Conference