My main area of expertise is the Late Iron Age – Early Middle Ages. My research focuses on iron and iron production, trade, meeting- and market places and networks, as well as the consequences of climatic and environmental changes in Iron Age Scandinavia and the effects on population numbers, settlement patterns, agricultural practices and social structures. I am a specialist in the use of large-scale archaeological data – to develop spatial and statistical analyses and models to broaden our understanding of the societal and socio-economic development.
I am currently working as a post-doctoral fellow as part of the VIKINGS - project, funded by FRIPRO/Toppforsk, Norwegian Research Council. The scientific objectives of my research is to study the effects of climate variations on Scandinavian and Viking settlements 500-1250 CE. This includes the potential consequences for population numbers, settlement patterns, agricultural practices and social structures. VIKINGS is an interdisciplinary project and includes researchers from meteorology, volcanology, climate research, biology, and archeology. The project is led by Professor Kirstin Krüger (Dept. of Geosciences).
In 2017 I submitted and defended my doctoral thesis (PhD) at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen. In my thesis I argue that the inland marketplaces, as hubs in stable economic networks, were integral to the increase and eventual mass production of iron in the Norwegian Viking and Middle Ages. My research has provided new understandings of how the inland resources were integrated in the domestic and international economy.
In 2011–2012 and 2017–2019, both prior to and after my tenure as a doctoral research fellow, I worked as a project leader and consultant – planning and chairing large-scale archaeological excavations – at the Museum of Cultural History.
Since 2016 I have been an editorial member, and from 2019 the chief editor, of the journal Viking (scientific level 1).
Selection of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters
- Loftsgarden, K. 2020. Mass production and mountain marketplaces in Norway in the Viking and Middle Ages. Medieval Archaeology. Vol. 64, no. 1
- Loftsgarden, K. 2019. Ferd og frakt over fjell og vidde. Primitive tider Vol. 21, p. 7–23.
- Loftsgarden, K. 2019. The prime movers of iron production in the Norwegian Viking and Middle Ages. Fornvännen - Journal of Swedish Antiquarian Research 2019/2, p. 75–87
- Loftsgarden, K. 2018. Salt – ressurs og handelsvare i middelalderen. Heimen. Vol. 55, no. 1-2018, p. 49–60
- Loftsgarden, K., M. Ramstad and F-A. Stylegar. 2017. Skeid and stevne – assemblies in the Norwegian ‘Mountain–land’‘. In Glørstad, Z. T. and Loftsgarden, K. (ed.) Viking-Age Transformations: Trade, Craft and Resources in western Scandinavia. Routledge publishing. p. 232–249.
- Tveiten, O. and K. Loftsgarden. 2017. The extensive iron production in Norway in the 10th –13th century – a regional perspective. In Glørstad, Z. T. and Loftsgarden, K. (ed.) Viking-Age Transformations: Trade, Craft and Resources in western Scandinavia. Routledge publishing, p. 111–123.
- Loftsgarden, K. 2015. Kolgroper – gull eller gråstein. In I.M. Berg-Hansen (ed.) Kulturhistorisk museum, Utgravninger 2005-2006. Portal publishing, p. 142–153.
- Loftsgarden, K. Rundberget, B. Larsen, J.H. and Mikkelsen, P. H. 2013. Bruk og misbruk av C14-datering ved utmarksarkeologisk forsking og forvalting. Primitive tider. Vol. 15, p. 59- 70.
- Loftsgarden, K. and C. C. Wenn 2012: Gravene ved Langeid – Foreløpige resultater fra en arkeologisk utgraving. Nicolay arkeologisk tidsskrift, no. 117, p. 23–31.
- Loftsgarden, K. 2011: Jernonna i Vest–Telemark. Jern som utmarksressurs og bytemiddel for ein lokal gardsbusetnad i vikingtid og mellomalder. Primitive Tider Vol. 13, p. 61–71.
Research monographs / edited anthologies
- Loftsgarden, K. 2017. Marknadsplassar omkring Hardangervidda – ein arkeologisk og historisk analyse av innlandets økonomi og nettverk i vikingtid og mellomalder. Doctoral thesis in archaeology, University of Bergen.
- Glørstad, Z. T. and Loftsgarden, K. (ed.) 2017. Viking-Age Transformations: Trade, Craft and Resources in western Scandinavia. Routledge publishing
Open access publications available at: https://uio.academia.edu/KjetilLoftsgarden
- Postdoctoral research fellow (100% position/2 years): VIKINGS – Volcanic Eruptions and their Impacts on Climate, Environment, and Viking Society in 500-1250 CE. (2018–2023). NFR TOPPFORSK funded interdisciplinary research project (grant 275191), with Kirstin Krüger (leader), UiO, Frode Iversen, UiO, Anne Hope Jahren, CEED, UiO, Henrik Svensen, CEED, UiO and Jostein Bakke, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, UiB.
- Research collaboration. Metallurgical analysis, iron production and processing – Merovingian and Viking Age. With Per Ditlef Fredriksen, UiO and Shadreck Chirikure, University of Oxford
- Research collaboration. The beginning of iron production in Scandinavia. With Bernt Rundberget, NTNU, Jan Henning Larsen, UiO and Peter Hambro Mikkelsen, University of Aarhus
- Research collaboration. Contesting Marginality: The Boreal Forest of Inland Scandinavia and the Worlds Outside, AD – 1500 AD. With Karl-Johan Lindholm, Uppsala University, Eva Svensson, University of Karlstad, Andreas Hennius, Uppsala University and Erik Ersmark, Centre for Palaeogenetics, Stokcholm
- Research collaboration. Vikingtid og middelalder i Numedal. With Margrete Figenschou Simonsen, Hanne Lovise Aannestad, Marianne Vedeler and Kathrine Stene, Museum of Cultural History, UiO
- Research collaboration. Seasonal meeting places. With Morten Ramstad, UiB