Jari-Matti Kuusela


Research interests

I’m mostly interested in social structures of communities in the northern Baltic Sea region during the Metal Ages (1500 BC to 1300 AD). The chronological limitation of my research was mainly coincidence, and I’m not actually interested in any specific era; instead, I’m interested at a more general level in the dynamics between groups of people, the creation of group hierarchies and social capital, as well as their manipulation.

In my research, I use the principles of anthropological archaeology, and I always study archaeological data in a broad context.

Current research project

Itämeren kauppaverkoston pohjoinen ulottuvuus. Finnish Cultural Fund. Principal investigator J-M Kuusela.

Previous research projects

Sisämaa ja rannikko Pohjois-Suomen rautakauden löytöjen ja kohteiden valossa. Kone Foundation. Researcher, principal investigator J. Okkonen.



  • Kuusela, J.-M., Nurmi, R. & Hakamäki, V. (in press). Unhierarchical and hierarchical core-periphery relations: North Fennoscandian trade network from the Middle Ages to the post-sixteenth century. American Anthropologist.
  • Kuusela, J.-M. 2018. Food and tension. Feasting as means to alleviate social tension in the 14th­–15th century trading places of the Bothnian Bay region. World Archaeology. (DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2018.1494625)
  • Kuusela, J.-M., Nurmi, R. & Hakamäki, V. 2016. Co-existence and colonization. Re-assessing the settlement history of the pre-Christian Bothnian Bay coast. Norwegian Archaeological Review 49(2): 177–203. (DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2016.1260048)
  • Hakonen, A., Kuusela, J.-M. & Okkonen, J. 2015. Assessing the application of laser scanning and 3D inspection in the study of prehistoric cairn sites: the case study of Tahkokangas, Northern Finland. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 2: 227–234. (DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.02.001)
  • Kuusela, J.-M. 2014. From coast to inland – activity zones in Northern Finland during the Iron Age. In J. Ahola, Frog & C. Tolley (eds.), Fibula, Fabula, Fact. The Viking Age in Finland. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Helsinki, pp. 219–241. (DOI: 10.21435/sfh.18)
  • Hakamäki, V. & Kuusela, J.-M. 2013. Examining the topography and social context of Metal Age artefact finds in Northern Finland. Fennoscandia Archaeologica 30: 95–106.
  • Kuusela, J.-M. 2012a. Tools of lethal play – weapon burials reflecting power structures and group cohesion during the Iron Age in Ostrobothnia, Finland. In R. Berge, M. Jasinski & K. Sognees (eds.), N-TAG TEN, the Proceedings of the 10th Nordic TAG Conference at Stiklestad, Norway 2009. Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 275–289.
  • Kuusela, J.-M. 2012b. Style as distinction – burials reflecting distinction and the development of social stratification of the Iron Age elites of Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland. In T. Äikäs, S. Lipkin & A.-K. Salmi (eds.), Archaeology of Social Relations: Ten Case Studies by Finnish Archaeologists. University of Oulu, Oulu, pp. 155–180.
  • Kuusela, J.-M., Vaneeckhout, S. & Okkonen, J. 2010. Places of importance and social communication: studying the Pre-Roman cairn field of Viirikallio in Laihia, Finland. Estonian Journal of Archaeology 14(1): 22–39. (DOI: 10.3176/arch.2010.1.02)
  • Kuusela, J.-M. 2009. Masters of the burial grounds – elites, power and ritual during the Middle Iron Age in Vähäkyrö. Fennoscandia Archaeologica 26: 39–52.


Last updated: 1.10.2018