Inger Österholm 1942-2007

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Inger Österholm died the night between Wednesday and Thursday after a long battle with illness. For over two decades, she was a driving force behind the Ajvide excavations on Gotland, where countless archaeology students from Stockholm and Visby received their first taste of fieldwork. Inger specialised in the Neolithic of Gotland, as seen in her seminal 1989 doctoral thesis, Bosättningsmönstret på Gotland under stenåldern. She was a tireless teacher, fieldworker and university administrator, and always very good to me during my post-grad work with Gotland’s largest 1st Millennium cemetery. It will take time to adapt mentally to the fact that she is no longer there in the archaeology of Gotland.

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  1. #1 Magnus Reuterdahl
    March 23, 2007

    I met her throw Gotlands folkhŲgskola (residential college for adult education) where I got my first “live” contact with archaeology in the late 90’s partly via Ajivide and a couple of lectures that she held on the prehistory of Gotland and the Baltic see. Some years later when I studied archaeology in Stockholm I met her on a few occasions in Stockholm and on Gotland. She was always nice and always had time for a few minutes of archaeolgy. She will be missed.

    Magnus Reuterdahl

  2. #2 Christina
    March 23, 2007

    Inger was one of those people for whom I felt great reverence despite only having met only a few times. Not only was she a role model for us wannabe archaeologists getting our first taste of a dig pit at Ajvide, but she was also a role model for those of us who were women wannabe archaeologist. To us, she was larger than life and in every way worthy of our respect, and, like you said, Martin, it will take a while to adjust mentally to her not being here. Her spirit will, however, linger through her work at the university and through her writings, not to mention in the students she’s helped shape. -T

  3. #3 Natalia Petrushina
    June 9, 2008

    It was an honor and a privilege to have met Dr Osterholm. I served as an interpeter for her and her students during excavations in Lyubytino, Russia, in the summer of 1996. Occupying a high post at Visby’s College, she was still humble, easy to talk to, and down to earth. People like Inger Osterholm are few and far between. Living in another country, I have only just now found out about her passing. The sad news broke my heart. In loving memory…
    Natalia Petrushina

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