"Dei skar so månge skøre i ein kjeppe [...]" : om pinner med innskårne hakk funnet under kirkegulv
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHeimen 41(2004) Nr. 3, S. 179-194
Archaeological research under churches has unearthed a substantial and varied range of finds. Among the numerous types of objects found are sticks with carved notches. The function these sticks have had, and the reason why they are found under the church floor, are discussed in this article. Around 35 of these sticks were found under Uvdal stave church in Numedal and the old church at Bø, Telemark. A little over half of the sticks in both churches were found under the choirs. Approximately half of the sticks have been dated, and most of these appear to have been pushed through cracks in the church floor at some time during the latter half of the 17th century or the 18th century. Furthermore, the number of notches on the sticks varies between one and thirteen, and specks of blood have been found on one. It has been determined that many of the sticks are of pinewood. Reasoning by analogy from a consideration of magical folk medicine leads to a conclusion that these sticks were most likely stuck into church ground with a therapeutic purpose, as a magical transfer of warts to the dead. The idea that the ground under the church itself was a graveyard was a central element in this practice.
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