Knut Stjerna

gigatos | January 22, 2022


Knut Martin Stjerna, born 14 March 1874 in Malmö , died 15 November 1909 in Uppsala, was a Swedish archaeologist.

Stjerna began studying at Lund University in 1892, mainly literature, art history and history, and graduated with a licentiate of philosophy in 1902, which was supplemented in 1903 with the subject of comparative antiquity, after which he defended his doctorate of philosophy at Uppsala University in 1905.

Stjerna served 1900-1903 as a staff member of the Sydsvenska Dagbladet in Malmö and 1903-1905 at the National Archives in Lund, and in 1905 he was appointed lecturer in Nordic and comparative archaeology in Uppsala. During the 1890s he undertook several art historical study trips to Germany and France. In 1903 and 1904 he made archaeological field trips to Germany, Denmark and Austria-Hungary and carried out archaeological investigations in Skåne.

Star”s doctoral thesis from 1905 deals with the population history of Bornholm, in which he discussed whether the archaeological grave material could prove that the migratory Burgundians had emigrated from Bornholm. The Migration Period and the Stone Age were the prehistoric periods that most attracted his interest. He subsequently became an associate professor of Nordic and comparative archaeology at Uppsala University. The following year he began his tenure at the Department of Uppsala. During his short time here, he initiated a research project on the Swedish Stone Age, which was mapped region by region by his students.

Stjerna was the tutor of Gunnar Ekholm, Birger Nerman and Sune Lindqvist, among others. He was also very involved in the investigation of the medieval graves at Studentholmen in Uppsala. Knut Stjerna was very active and productive during his working years. He was a frequent writer and lecturer. Several of his articles and papers deal with the Beowulf quartet from an archaeological perspective. From 1903 until his death he was a member of the board of the Ethnological Society in Lund. This was initiated by Knut Stjerna himself, the botanist Johan af Klercker (1866-1929) and the zoologist Hans Wallengren (1864-1938). From 1907 onwards he was also secretary of the Urd cultural history association in Uppsala and of the Upplands fornminnesförening.


  1. Knut Stjerna
  2. Knut Stjerna
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