Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe - Pioneering, Resource Use, Coping with Change - Hans Peter Blankholm

Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe - Pioneering, Resource Use, Coping with Change - Hans Peter Blankholm

Early Mesolithic Central Norway: A Review of Research History, Settlements, and Tool Tradition

Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe - Pioneering, Resource Use, Coping with Change - Hans Peter Blankholm

Heidi Mjelva Breivik [+-]
Department of Historical Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Heidi Mjelva Breivik holds a PhD in archaeology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Her research focusses Early Stone Age with emphasis on marine foragers, human–environment relations, technology and settlement patterns.
Hein B. Bjerck [+-]
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Hein B. Bjerck is professor in archaeology (research and teaching) at the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim. His research is focussed on early marine foraging (Marine Ventures project), and large scale excavation projects (Ormen Lange project). Bjerck is also involved in research on the recent past, and project member in Ruin Memories, After Discourse and Objects Matter.

Description

This paper sums up the vast record from the Early Mesolithic (EM) pioneer period (c. 10,000-9000 BP, c. 9500-8000 cal. BC) in central Norway (Fig. 1). This region holds a significant place when it comes to Stone Age research. This is where the first (Early Mesolithic) Fosna pioneer settlements were located by Anders Nummedal in 1909. It is also the region with the highest density of EM settlements in the present archaeological record of Norway. In recent years, several large-scale excavations have been conducted, revealing new and interesting details of EM dwellings, settlement structure and tool tradition. The quantitative analysis of 248 sites has the potential to put the former studies into perspective and investigate topics that have been less treated in the past. Since the EM record from the coastal areas of northern Europe are severely hampered by Post-Glacial inundations, this archaeological information is of great importance. The nature of the isostatic uplift in central Norway has preserved these ancient shorelines, and does, unlike most other places, allow for detailed studies of early marine foragers. There is also a possibility that the high density of settlements is a result of a perfect correspondence between subsistence pattern and environmental characteristics, where fjords represent efficient communication routes between a highly productive marine biotope along the outer coast and the reindeer populations in the adjacent mountain plateaus. Thus, the EM record from central Norway constitutes an interesting case in the understanding of the social and economic conglomerate of Mesolithic Europe.

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Citation

Breivik, Heidi; Bjerck, Hein. Early Mesolithic Central Norway: A Review of Research History, Settlements, and Tool Tradition. Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe - Pioneering, Resource Use, Coping with Change. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 169-206 May 2018. ISBN 9781781795170. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30731. Date accessed: 21 Aug 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30731. May 2018

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