Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Ilves, Kristin
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title
Survivors of Ragnarök: tracing Late Iron Age and early medieval maritime migrations in the Baltic Sea region
Decision No. 332396
Decision date 28.05.2020
Funding period 01.09.2020 - 31.08.2024
Funding 480 000
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Ragnarök, the destruction of all the worlds as described in Norse mythology, began with the great and long winter. The description of these events is a collective folk memory of terrifying experiences of starvation, disease, social unrest and death following the global climatic catastrophe of the mid-6th century AD. The real-life events that fed into the myth are well founded in several categories of independent data, where the cataclysmic character of the event is emphasized. Disasters undoubtedly have losers, but in this age of climatic uncertainty, there is a need to shine light on stories of human success amidst chaos. This project departs from the notion of global climatic crisis, but contrary to current trends, through the multidisciplinary research on the Åland Islands, it will show the mechanisms by which regions blossom as an effect of crisis. Our approach will not only further our understanding of the past but also contribute to current debates on climate change.