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Ms Ann Jacobsen

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Member of the Department of Archaeology  


Research Topic

Researching burials in the Faroe Islands


The main research question that this project is attempting to answer is “Where and how can we locate more Viking Age burials in the Faroe Islands?” In relation to this main research question there are also a number of underlying research questions, including: How can a Viking Age burial be identified in the Faroese landscape? Are the Viking Age burials in the Faroe Islands similar or different to those in Viking-age Norway, Iceland, Shetland and Orkney? Does the location of burials in these different regions say anything about how the Vikings viewed their world, and how were their world-views influenced by different natural and cultural landscapes? Which methods and theories can we utilize and develop in order to get any closer to answering this question?

Essential to this research project is the aim to gain a better understanding of Viking Age burials in the Faroe Islands. Since only two Viking Age burial sites have been found in the Faroe Islands so far, the religious beliefs and mortuary practices of the first inhabitants in these islands remain poorly understood. This lack of knowledge about the early burial heritage on the Faroe Islands leaves a huge gap in our understanding about Viking Age life and world-views. By answering the first part of the research question this research project’s main goals intend to fill in this knowledge gap by testing various models for locating Viking Age burials, which have lately been developed in Iceland by archaeologist Dr Adolf Friðriksson. Secondly, by comparing similarities and differences with other Viking Age burials outside the Faroe Islands, significant burial data can be obtained about burial customs and world-views and how they differed across the Viking world.

Academic Background


As graduated Cand.Mag./MA and as PhD student in Archaeology I have learned to work with cultural analysis in a broad time frame with a focus to think the past humans into the prehistoric remains. In my line of work the theoretical and academic disciplines I have gained throughout my study, are used in both archaeological and communications contexts. I am emphatic and I thrive in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.


  • 2013 Cand.mag. in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Copenhagen University
  • 2007 Bachelor in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen with elective module in Mesopotamians religion, Society- and Cultural Analysis, Culture- and Social Theory and Anthropological Field Method
  • 2001 Linguistics Student from Føroya Studentaskúli og HF-Skeið (The Faroe Islands)

Archaeological work experience

  • 2015- Leading fieldwork in the Faroe Islands as part of PhD study
  • 2014-2015 Field Archaeologist at Museum Nordsjælland, Denmark
  • 2013-2014 Field Archaeologist at the Copenhagen Museum, Denmark
  • 2012 Survey in the Faroe Islands and the Shetland Islands. The project lead by the signed with support from Fiedlers legat 
  • 2011 Excavation assistant at Museum Sønderjylland in Haderslev, Denmark
  • 2011 Nordic Field School Project in Greenland Nordisk Forum for Kulturarv i Grønland
  • 2010 Excavation Assistant on Koltur, the Faroe Islands. Project lead by Mass Hoydal and Helgi Michelsen Søvn Landsins
  • 2008 Survey in Western Krim: the Džarylgač Survey Project. Project lead by  Pia Guldager Bilde (Sortehavscentret)
  • 2004 Field School in Jordan, Jarash: The Danish-Jordanian Islamic Jarash Project. Project lead by Alan George Walmsley (Copenhagen University)
Conference Contributions


  • 2018 PhD research project presentation in Reykjavík, at the National Museum in Iceland.
  • 2018 PhD research project presentation at the National Museum in the Faroe Islands, Tjóðsavnið.


  • 2018 Society for Medieval Archaeology conference in Durham on “Burial Archaeology” Presented a paper on the project results together with Karen Milek and Símun V. Arge. Title: “Landscape agency, mental maps and the siting of Viking Age burials in the North Atlantic”.
  • 2016 Presented a paper entitled Viking Age burials, interdisciplinary study and archaeological progress at a conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, called Frændafundur 9
  • 2015 Presented a paper at the ‘The Landscape Survey Group Conference’ in Shrewsbury, England Title: Changing Landscapes in The Faroe Island


  • 2017 Poster presentation at the Viking Congress in Denmark with the title Burials and Landscape in the Faroe Islands during the Viking Age
Conference Organisation
Public Outreach
  • 2018 Radio Interview
    Við Tórði á túri í Skarðsvík í Fugloy
  • 2015 Radio Interview about my PhD research with Kára Sólstein on Faroe Islands National Radio, Kringvarp, for the program Vitan.
  • 2015 Interview with Eilen Anthoniussen in the newspaper Sosialurin Title: Við skeið at leita eftir beinagrindum