Core group members
Core group members
Rane Willerslev is a Danish anthropologist. In his academic career, he has travelled extensively and has a particular interest in primitive tribal cultures, both present and prehistoric.
On 1 July 2017, he was appointed director of the National Museum of Denmark. In Denmark, Willerslev is a popular media personality, engaging in TV and radio shows, public panel debates, and interviews relating to his academic interests and his opinions on society and education at large. He has written and co-authored several books, including academic, fictional and biographic works. Principle Investigator.
Svein H. Gullbekk
Svein H. Gullbekk is Professor of history and numismatics, Museum of Cultural History, Oslo University. He specialises in medieval Norwegian and European coinage, and economic and cultural history.
He has been PI for the project Religion and Money: Economy of Salvation in the Middle Ages funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2013-2017). He has curated several exhibitions and published and edited books and articles on subjects from Freedom and history of money to medieval coinage.
Mette-Louise Johansen is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University. She has conducted research on the ways in which Scandinavian welfare states relate to contemporary permutations of human sacrificial practices, exemplified by the securitization of Muslims in the global North.
Her work focuses on the ways in which discourses on religious ritual violence are politicized, bureaucratized, and legalized in liberal democracies in the global North. She has conducted ethnographic research among Danish law enforcements, investigating how police officers, social workers, and groups of welfare professionals implement policies and measures directed at countering violent extremism.
Furthermore, she has conducted interview based research among family relatives of Danish foreign fighters, examining their relation to religious and political acts of violence. Johansen is responsible for WP1, which focuses on human sacrifice in the 21st century, studying emerging forms of sacrificial traditions in this period and how they are socially and politically combatted and transformed. Leader WP I.
Mette Løvschal works at the intersection between deeply humanist-driven conceptual theses and methods from environmental science, including remote sensing, quantitative analysis, landscape archaeology and time-slides.
Her research is occupied with the spread of land tenure boundaries from some of the earliest confiscations of pastureland in Bronze Age Scandinavia to current fencing problems in East Africa, as well as long-term patterns in Iron Age sacrificial traditions in Northern Europe and alternative chronological models of long-term cultural change.
She has been sparking a particular field within landscape archaeology that studies the coming into being of particular landscapes and timescapes, as well as the irreversibility of particular long-term trajectories, which has been published in top-ranking international journals such as Current Anthropology, World Archaeology, Journal of Cognition and Culture, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, Land Use Policy, and Nature (Scientific Reports).
She is responsible for WP 2 which focuses on the ontology of the Early Iron Age sacrificial tradition, studying how the tradition of depositing people in bogs (bog bodies) emerged and transformed and related to other sacrificial traditions during this period, including the deposition and smashing of ceramic pots and vessels, the slaughtering of animals and the systematic destruction of war booty. Leader WP I.
Anthropologist and archaeologist (MA UCL, PhD Aberdeen University, posting at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Aarhus, Denmark), Sean is co-editor of a book series on circumpolar cultures with Professor Rane Willerslev, for British academic publisher Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
His work focuses on tracing patterns of cultural transmission involved in material culture and technology traditions, political economy, social structure and cosmologies/ systems of belief. Sean has published work in numerous journals and collections, including the Philosophical Proceedings of the Royal Society B and with the Oxford University Press.
In 2015 he founded the Two Towers Press, which had two Nielsen International Bestsellers in its first year of trading. Prior to 2007, he was a transnational creative/ business director in media, with extensive work in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA). Post.Doc. WP I.