Þóra Pétursdóttir

Associate Professor - Archaeology
Image of Þóra Pétursdóttir
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22841948
Mobile phone +47-92077735
Room 1.44
Visiting address Blindernveien 11 0371 Oslo

Research interest

As an archaeologist and researcher I work predominantly with themes within contemporary archaeology, cultural heritage studies and archaeological theory and method. These three fields overlap in my current work with archaeology and heritage of the Anthropocene where I study the afterlife of things as unruly heritage, the relation between culture and nature, and archaeology's challenges and potentials in this regard.

My orientation has always been towards the north and Arctic and my research has been carried out mostly in Iceland, Northern Norway and Russia.

In my work I put great emphasis on communication and I am interested in how different forms of dissemination further archaeology's knowledge production and the characteristics of material culture.


ARK 4040 Fordypning i arkeologisk teori og metode

ARK 2110 Arkeologisk kulturminneforvaltning


I have my education from the University of Iceland (BA) and UiT The Arctic University of Norway (MA, PhD). As a PhD candidate I also studied at Stanford University (2012). From 2007 to 2010 I worked as project manager at Institute of Archaeology/Fornleifastofnun Íslands (http://fornleif.is/), in Iceland, where I was responsible for archaeological registration projects, excavations and consultation. I held a lectureship at the University of Iceland in 2008 and 2009. After completing my PhD in 2013 I held postdoc and later researcher positions at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (2013-2019), and a research fellowship at CAS Centre for Advanced Studies in Oslo during 2016-2017. I have been Associate Professor at UiO from August 2019.

I currently serve as Editor-in-Chief for the journal NAR Norwegian Archaeological Review

Other commissions

2019-2021 Reserve member of the Science and Technology Policy Council of the Icelandic Government

2019- Editor-in-Chief, NAR Norwegian Archaeological Review

2016- Assistant Editor, Post Medieval Archaeology

2016- Board member of standing committee, CHAT, Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory, International network of archaeologists working with the recent past.

2015-2017 Vice president for the Icelandic Archaeological Association (Hið íslenzka fornleifafélag)

2015-2016 Representative for temporary employees on the institute board, IAS, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

2014-2019 Editorial Secretary NAR Norwegian Archaeological Review

2010-2013 Vice president for the Archaeology committee, Ministry of Education and Culture, Iceland

2009-2011 President of the executive committee, Akureyri Academy


2019: Universitetsforlagets lærebokpris

Tags: Archaeology, Archaeological theory, Contemporary archaeology, Cultural heritage, Environmental Humanities


  • Petursdottir, Thora (2020). Anticipated futures? Knowing the heritage of drift matter. International Journal of Heritage Studies (IJHS).  ISSN 1352-7258.  26(1), s 87- 103 . doi: 10.1080/13527258.2019.1620835 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Petursdottir, Thora & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2020). Modern Ruins: Remembrance, Resistance, and Ruin Value, In Claire M Smith (ed.),  Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology.  Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology/Springer Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-030-30016-6.  Kapittel.  s 7304 - 7315
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). Drift, In Suzanne Pilaar Birch (ed.),  Multispecies Archaeology.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138898981.  5.  s 85 - 101
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). Gengið á reka: fornleifafræði mannaldar. Árbók hins Íslenzka fornleifafélags.  ISSN 0256-8462.  s 7- 36
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). Lyrics for a duskier enlightenment. in response to Alexandra Ion. Archaeological Dialogues.  ISSN 1380-2038.  25(2), s 205- 213 . doi: 10.1017/S138020381800020X
  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2017). Sværholt: Poetics of Memory, In J Kaila & J Knuutila (ed.),  Inside and Beside the Camp.  The Academy of Fine Arts.  ISBN 978-952-7131-36-7.  kapittel.  s 88 - 95
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2017). Climate Change: Archaeology and Anthropocene. Archaeological Dialogues.  ISSN 1380-2038.  24(2), s 175- 205 . doi: 10.1017/S1380203817000216
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2017). Theory Adrift: The Matter of Archaeological Theorizing. Journal of Social Archaeology.  ISSN 1469-6053.  18(1), s 97- 117 . doi: 10.1177/1469605317737426 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Unruly Heritage: Tracing Legacies in the Anthropocene. Arkæologisk Forum.  ISSN 1399-5545.  35, s 38- 45
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Cold Wars and Summer-Night Dances: An Archaeology of the Iron Curtain: Material and Metaphor, by Anna McWilliams and Minnen från vår samtid: Arkeologi, materialitet och samtidshistoria (Memories of our Time: Archaeology, Materiality and Contemporary History) by Maria Persson. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology.  ISSN 2051-3429. Full text in Research Archive.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). For love of ruins, In Bille Mikkel & Sørensen Tim Flohr (ed.),  Elements of Architecture: Assembling archaeology, atmosphere and the performance of building spaces.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1138775411.  24.  s 365 - 386
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2015). Die Sorge für Verfallendes: Theoretisierung von materiellem Kulturerbe, I: Philipp W. Stockhammer & Hans Peter Hahn (red.),  Lost in Things - Fragen an die Welt des Materiellen.  Waxmann Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-8309-3175-1.  6.  s 105 - 127
  • Grabowski, Radoslaw; Olsen, Bjørnar Julius; Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Witmore, Christopher (2014). Teillager 6 Sværholt: The archaeology of a World War II prisoner of war camp in Finnmark, arctic Norway. Fennoscandia Archaeologica.  ISSN 0781-7126.  XXXI, s 3- 24
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2014). Things out-of-hand: the aesthetics of abandonment, In Bjørnar Julius Olsen & Þóra Pétursdóttir (ed.),  Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past.  Routledge.  ISBN 9780415523622.  19.  s 335 - 364
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2014). An archaeology of ruins, In Bjørnar Julius Olsen & Þóra Pétursdóttir (ed.),  Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past.  Routledge.  ISBN 9780415523622.  Kapittel.  s 3 - 29
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2014). Modern Ruins: Remembrance, Resistance, and Ruin Value, In Claire M Smith (ed.),  Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology.  Springer.  ISBN 978-1-4419-0466-9.  kapittel.  s 4983 - 4994
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2013). Concrete matters: Ruins of modernity and the things called heritage. Journal of Social Archaeology.  ISSN 1469-6053.  13(1), s 31- 53 . doi: 10.1177/1469605312456342
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2012). Fé og frændur í eina gröf: Hugleiðingar um kuml og greftrun í íslensku samhengi. Ólafía. Rit fornleifafræðingafélags Íslands.  ISSN 1670-6498.  s 139- 162
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2012). Small Things Forgotten Now Included, or What Else Do Things Deserve?. International Journal of Historical Archaeology.  ISSN 1092-7697.  16(3), s 577- 603 . doi: 10.1007/s10761-012-0191-0
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Grafist fyrir um mannvirkin í Arnarbæli við Selfljót: Af niðurstöðum rannsókna haustið 2010. Múlaþing.  ISSN 1022-5021.  37, s 34- 43
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Kuml, I: Birna Lárusdóttir (red.),  Mannvist: Sýnisbók íslenskra fornleifa.  Opna.  ISBN 978-9935-10-045-0.  Kapittel.  s 54 - 71
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Nýminjar: (Forn)leifar og (forn)leifafræði, I: Birna Lárusdóttir (red.),  Mannvist: Sýnisbók íslenskra fornleifa.  Opna.  ISBN 978-9935-10-045-0.  Kapittel.  s 424 - 433
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Orð í belg um íslenska kumlhestinn og uppruna hans. Árbók hins Íslenzka fornleifafélags.  ISSN 0256-8462.  s 185- 208
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Hermannsdóttir, Ásta (2011). Fornleifaskráning á Öxi. Múlaþing.  ISSN 1022-5021.  37, s 126- 135

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  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (ed.) (2014). Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past. Routledge.  ISBN 9780415523622.  492 s.

View all works in Cristin

  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Petursdottir, Thora (2020). ARV.
  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Petursdottir, Thora (2020). ARV.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2020). Hernámið frá sjónarhóli fornleifafræðinnar: fornleifarannsókn á minjum úr síðari heimsstyrjöld á Skálum á Langanesi.
  • Farstadvoll, Stein; Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Petursdottir, Thora (2019). A speculative archaeology of excess: Exploring the afterlife of a derelict landscape garden. Show summary
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2019). Fra arkeologisk kulturarv til kulturarvsarkeologi.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2019). Fragment to form.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2019). Writing things.
  • Petursdottir, Thora & Godin, Geneviève (2019). At the pace of things: archaeology in the Anthropocene.
  • Petursdottir, Thora & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2019). ARV/ERBE.
  • Petursdottir, Thora & Olsen, Bjørnar Julius (2019). Tingenes verdi - museets arv. Ottar.  ISSN 0030-6703.  65(2), s 31- 40
  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius; Nango, Joar & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). ARV.
  • Olsen, Bjørnar Julius & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). Søppel eller kulturarv?.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). On nearing and knowing drift matter.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2018). Things in passing.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Tim Flohr, Sørensen (2018). Indecent and Obscene? A view from a depraved ethics of the contemporary.
  • Kramvig, Britt; Huse, Tone; Verran, Helen Ruth & Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). How and why do objects come to matter in the Arctic?.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). After Discourse: Archaeology and Anthropocene.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Archaeology of Drift Matter: Driftwood and the Movement of Things Around People.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Arriving at the Past: Challenges in Archaeological Reasoning.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Book review of: ‘Industrial Heritage in Denmark: Landscapes, Environments and Historical Archaeology. Edited by Caspar Jørgensen and Morten Pedersen Aarhus: Kultur Styrelsen and Aarhus University Press. 285 pp. ISBN 978 87 7124 108 2. Nordicum-Mediterraneum.  ISSN 1670-6242.  11
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Drift.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016, 17. mars). Hagræðing menningararfs.  Vísir.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Radical Ontologies? Archaeology in the Age of the Anthropocene.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2016). Strange and Estranged: On bringing Things Close.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra; Huse, Tone & Kramvig, Britt (2016). How and why do objects come to matter in the Arctic?.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Sørensen, Tim Flohr (2016). On the Trace: An Introduction.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2015). For Love of Ruins: Aesthetics of Ruination and Heritage Value.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2015). Heritage, Ruins and the Archaeology of the Recent Past.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2015). Sharing ground. Current Swedish Archaeology.  ISSN 1102-7355.  23, s 67- 71
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2015). Wrack Zone Archaeology: The Heritage of Stranded Things.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2014). Hlutir, menning, minjar: Hugleiðing um arfleifð.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2013). Aesthetizication and ruin porn? A reply to the critique of ruin photography.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2013). Approaching Modern Ruins: Photos, Memos and Ruin Memories.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2013). Concrete matters: towards an archaeology of things.
  • Petursdottir, Thora (2013). Ruin/ruination: the aesthetics of heritage.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2012). Concrete Matters: Modern ruins in Saga-land and the things called heritage.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). A sense of snow: Ruin memories from the North Atlantic.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Af öskuhaugum fullveldis.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Behind my back: Abandonment, object narratives and moments of intervention.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Dreggjar dagsins og fornleifafræði hins nýliðna. Hugsandi.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Endurfundir: Fornleifarannsóknir styrktar af Kristnihátíðarsjóði 2001-2005. Árbók hins Íslenzka fornleifafélags.  ISSN 0256-8462.  s 227- 232
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). "Innviðir" - enn af dreggjum dagsins. Hugsandi.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Stóriðja á Ströndum.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra (2011). Topographic - Photographic: Dialogues with the recent past.
  • Pétursdóttir, Þóra & Sigurgeirsson, Magnús (2011). Frumrannsókn menningarminja í Arnarbæli við Selfljót.

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Published Aug. 6, 2019 9:10 AM - Last modified Sep. 16, 2020 1:42 PM